The National Orientation Agency in Osun State, on Tuesday, said its officials were engaging different groups in the state to discourage vote-buying ahead of the July 16 governorship election.
This was disclosed by the state’s NOA Director, Mr. Abiodun Ibikunle, at a day stakeholders’ roundtable programme organised by Center for Transparency Advocacy, held in Osogbo, the state capital.
He said though human beings could not be predicted, the Agency would still continue to appeal to the conscience of the electorate to discourage them from trading votes, using its officials across the 30 local government areas in the state.
“We are not a law enforcement agency. Our work rests mainly on persuasion. We are talking to our people through the NOA officials in the local government areas. They have been having engagement through cooperative meetings and stakeholders forums in the Independent National Electoral Commission’s LG offices.
“Those addressed are contacts that would disseminate the message to the wider audience. We are dealing with human beings and they are complex beings, but we are hopeful the message will discourage vote-buying,” Ibikunle said.
In her remarks, the Executive Director, the CTA, Faith Nwadishi, said the group would deploy 60 observers for the Osun governorship poll.
Nwadishi said the advocacy group would also be setting up a situation room that would relate with the observers on the field, adding that the stakeholders’ meeting was to encourage political actors to hold their campaign without violence.
Lamenting the menace of vote-buying, Nwadishi said vote trading had put the country’s democracy in danger, urging the electorate to resist inducement before they cast their votes.