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‘Vote buying should be criminalized’

The co-founder of the Young Democratic Party (YDP) and its governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Arch. Nya Ezekiel Etuk, has called for the criminalization of vote buying.

He told newsmen, yesterday in Abuja, that vote buying was an evil worse than any of the security challenges currently facing Nigeria and the citizenry.

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Etuk, who is also the director general of Nigeria First Project, said failure to curb vote buying was a veritable threat that may lead to the collapse of the nations’ nascent democracy.

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According to him, vote buying was the cancer that attacked the nation’s institutional framework, and that the recently concluded elections recorded political parties paying as high as N15,000 to voters to buy their votes.

“Vote buying is going to do this country more harm than insurgency, Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping or even militancy all put together. The reason is whether militancy, killer herdsmen, Boko Haram or any form of insurgency can be addressed by a well set up institutional framework, but vote buying is the cancer that attacks directly our institutional framework on account that all other insurgencies can never be addressed when the system is compromised.

“I have decided with a few other likeminded people who were part of the last election to take the issue of vote buying to the highest level, not just in this country but the International Criminal Court (ICC),” he said.

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