National Peace Committee, on Sunday, deplored vote buying, saying the crime characterised the just concluded governorship election in Osun State.
According to the committee, the menace should not be treated with kid gloves as it constitutes a threat to the credibility of the electoral process.
Chairman of the Committee, General Abdusalami Abubakar (retd), in a statement, said both the seller and the buyer of votes must be brought to book to put a stop to the menace.
The statement titled, Osun Governorship Election: ‘How democracy triumphed over violence’, partly read, “We strongly decry the incidences of vote-trading recorded during the elections. This criminal offence should not be treated with levity because it threatens the credibility of the process.
“It reduces the privileged selection of those who steward our commonwealth through our electoral processes, as being transactional. We must hold to account all who would muddy the springs from which we as a people seek to drink from collectively by such actions of bribery, both the giver and receiver.”
Abdulsalami also urged the winner of the election to be magnanimous in victory and charged those displeased with the outcome of the election to seek redress in court and shun violence.
The statement added,
“Finally, we call on the winner of the election, Senator Adeleke Ademola Jackson Nurudeen of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to be benevolent in victory, urging him and his political party to eschew triumphalism that may make peace-building difficult after what at certain moments was a fractiously fought election.
“By collaborating with the citizens of Osun State, especially his co-contestants, in the governance process of the state, the Governor elect will be creating and embedding in Osun State the values and goals of democratic governance which is the development of an egalitarian society.
“In the same way, we urge those who may be disappointed by the outcome of the exercise, to use the available constitutional channels to express their grievances, ensuring that the rule of law dictates our collective actions as a people.”