The Centre for Democracy and Development on Saturday alleged that the voting process in Edo state’s gubernatorial election was anything but democratic.

It said according to reports from its election observers, young girls were used to trade votes with voters for between N1,000 and N15,000.

Director of CDD, Idayat Hassan, who said these during a press briefing on the preliminary report on the election said it was quite worrisome that “young girls were used for indirect vote-buying during the election.”

She said, “We saw largely vote-buying in the Edo election, the most worrisome trend in this election is the level of sophistication at which politicians engaged in the anomaly of vote-buying.

“In some cases, votes were traded for Ankara materials, and cash gifts from N1,000 to N15,000, Spaghetti and other food items.”

Hassan said it was worrisome that vote-buying was so pronounced despite heavy deployment of security forces in the state.

She also lamented the poor adherence to COVID-19 protocols by both voters and electoral officers during the exercise.

Hassan said, “The flouting of the rule of physical distancing was the order of the day, there was a complete inability of INEC to maintain her 2-meter rules as written in her guidelines.

“In the context of the serious risks posed by the COVID-19, CDD calls on INEC to explore further preventive measures by instructing poll officials involved in the conduct of the election to self-isolate, while working with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control to test poll workers, who conducted this election.”

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