2023 General Elections: Connected Development tasks EFCC on Votes buying.
* Urges Electorate to vote for competence.
A s the Nation prepare for the 2023 general elections, a civil society organization, Connected Development, has urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to play its role to curb voters’ inducement in the 2023 general elections.
Amb. Hamzat Lawal, the Executive Director of Connected Development, made the call during a Town hall and sensitisation meeting held at Mangogo in Ogorimangogo Local Government Area of Kogi State.
Lawal stressed that vote buying and selling remained one of the biggest threat to a smooth transition in 2023, and urged the anti graft agency to play its role by tackling the menace.
He further called on the civil society organisations, the media, the anti corruption body as well as other security agencies to play their roles to jointly curb vote buying and selling in elections.
He also stressed the need to work with the traditional and religious institutions to amplify the message at the grassroots in order to do away with vote buying and selling.
Lawal, who is an international election monitor, disclosed that Connected Development was committed to deploying 20,000 observers to monitor the 2023 elections, as well as women participation in the elections, and issues affecting them.
He noted that the organisation in its published quarterly security dossier, reported that over 3000 people lost their lives just within six months in Nigeria, describing it as a threat to democracy and the elections.
According to him, one of the biggest threat to 2023 general elections is insecurity; there is break down of not only law and order but also the value in our society.
He emphasised the need to engaging the communities, sensitising them and transferring knowledge, stressing that the meeting was to sensitise the electorate on the need to conduct themselves peacefully and vote rightly during the 2023 general elections.
He stressed that the time has come when electorate should look beyond taking money from politicians, but base their votes on credibility of the candidates contesting elections.
The activist enjoined the people to base their choice of candidate during election on competency, credibility and vibrancy that would bring about service to the people and their communities.
He, therefore cautioned electorate in Nigeria to desist from selling their votes to candidates of political parties that lack the capacity to deliver dividend of democracy.
”In 2023, we must focus on issues that affect us collectively and I believe we will have justice, fairness and equity in our democracy and politics in Nigeria,” Lawal said
In his remarks, His Royal Highness, the Olumagongo of Magongo, Chief Sam Bola-Ojo, appealed to politicians to bear in mind that in politics there must be sincerity, love and understanding.
He stressed that the use of money to buy victory had been a cog in the wheel of political development in Nigeria.
The royal father lamented that the resultant effect of vote buying and selling was poor performance, and urged the electorate to do the needful during the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
“I have told my people not to pursue wealth at the detriment of their peace and comfort. There is nothing rice, maggi, omo and cloths can do for any body; instead, it will further impoverish you for four years.
”If you have regard for yourself, you will not run after what can not add value to your life. We must have faith in God that created us” the monarch said.
In their separate comments, the Women Leader, Mrs Rukayat Ahmadu; and Youth Leader, Mr Desmond Obaro, both promised to mobilise their people to vote for credible candidates irrespective of political party.
Ahmadu, an Educationist, said the future of their children rest in the hands of the parents, and charged them to collect their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in order to change the narrative for better come 2023.