An aspirant for Kogi Central Senatorial seat under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abdulkarim Salihu has called on the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmoud Yakubu to as a matter of urgency tackle the malaise of votes buying during the forthcoming elections to protect sanctity of the electoral process.
Salihu, who made the call on Tuesday while submitting his nomination form at the PDP state secretariat in Lokoja, said the conduct of the governorship election in Ekiti state recently was a pointer to the fact that the electoral umpire need to be awake to its responsibility of discouraging vote buying in order to protect democracy and give credence to the country’s electoral process.
“What happened in Ekiti during the governorship election is enough signal that our democracy is nosediving and requires urgent measures to nip the bod so that such act will not take the centre stage in our country democracy.
“If the major agenda of the federal government is to fight corruption, then buying votes should be seen as an act of corruption which should be dealt with before it collapse the hard earned democracy.
“Vote buying is one of the major challenges that will affect the integrity of 2019 elections as it will not allow the electorate to support and vote for the candidates of their choice and if this is not discouraged elections in Nigeria will loss it’s credibility and where there is no credibility in an election, the desired dividends of democracy will not be enjoyed by Nigerians as the politicians would gear their effort in recovering the money spent during the election”, he said.
He said if given the opportunity to serve, he will introduce a needs assessment committee where the people will have inputs on the types of projects they needed, noting that the era of just sharing motorcycles and sewing machines was over.
The senatorial aspirant, who berated the ruling APC for attacking and preventing the opposition from organising activities in the state, noted that democracy can not thrive where there is no strong and virile oppositions to checkmate the activities of the ruling party.