19th September, 2018
Ahead of Saturday’s governorship election in Osun, some Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have called on the electorate to refrain from selling their votes.
They made the call on Wednesday in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Osogbo.
According to the CSOs, Osun people need to rise above immediate financial gains and vote according to their conscience in order to secure their future.
Mr Ariyo-Dare Atoye, the Coordinator of Coalition in Defence of Nigerian Democracy and Constitution (CDNDC), said vote-buying and vote selling obstruct democratic processes and must be resisted.
He argued that accepting money to vote would amount to selling the birthright of an individual and the destiny of a nation.
“As part of our genuine concern for Nigerian’s democracy, we are here to urge Osun voters to shun vote-selling which is gradually eating deep into the political system of the country.
“Vote-selling is like selling your birthright as an individual and then our collective future as a nation which is wrong morally and otherwise.
“A lot of our politicians have nothing to offer the people other than money, and that is why we are preaching that people should not sell their future for N5,000.
“The consequence of vote buying and selling is like a Tsunami, hurricane and other natural disasters that will eventually destroy all of us, whether rich or poor, if not stopped, “he said.
In the same vein, Mr Deji Adeyaju, Convener of Concerned Nigerians, said elections should not be seen as a business transaction between sellers and buyers.
He warned that cases of vote buying and selling which happened in Ekiti should not be allowed the Osun poll, especially as the 2019 general elections draw closer.
“Nigerians need to understand that a politician who gives them money for their votes today will impoverish them for the next four years because he would want to recoup his money.
“We need to work on people to desist from selling their votes because it is their conscience and future they are trading for peanuts.
“All we want is a society that works for everyone which we all can be proud of at the end of the day instead of mortgaging our future for stipends,” he said.
Mr Moses Paul, the President of Madmo Concept, a leadership awareness and empowerment initiative, however, told NAN that the electorate, politicians and government all have roles to play in curbing vote buying and selling.
According to him, as the Nigerian voter is being educated on electoral practices, relevant institutions should be strengthened and must remain neutral in discharging their duties.
“Vote buying by politicians should be criminalised to stop the trend in the political system of the country.
“The police and other security agencies should be honest and law-abiding enough not to aid vote buying in all its forms at polling units,” he said