- The Accord Party (AP) gubernatorial candidate in Imo state, Ikedi Ohakim, has said that he will never engage in vote buying in the coming polls
- Ohakim said that those who sold their votes in 2015 are going through serious poverty, hunger and suffering now
- He stressed that vote buying is one of the key factors that brought about hunger throughout the country
Ikedi Ohakim, the Accord Party (AP) gubernatorial candidate in Imo state, on Monday, January 28, said that he would not in any way buy votes for himself in the coming governorship poll, Vanguard reports.
Ohakim, through his chief press secretary, Collins Ughallaa, said that those who traded their votes for money during the 2015 general elections are now regretting it. He said: "There is too much hunger in the land.
“Have you asked yourself why they still give you money for your votes if they were just going to write the results? They do that because truly your votes count but you are the one to decide if it counts for good or whether you would keep yourself in bondage of bad leadership.
“I have heard those making claims about writing results in their favour and I tell you that such practice is no longer obtainable in present day Nigeria.
“We have gone beyond 1999 when we were still fresh to the idea of democracy. Today we have our smartphones and we can even transmit the results straight from the polling booths and determine if there were manipulations with the figures.”
“Many people are getting billions ready to buy your votes. They would tell you that your vote doesn’t count, so just collect money and vote their people.
"Why are they concerned that you vote for them if your vote doesn’t count ? “The decision to enjoy good governance is yours to make. Ikedi Ohakim is not ready to pay anybody to vote for him, but I urge you to collect their money and make the right choice.”
The AP governorship also said that vote buying and selling resulted into serious poverty in Nigeria.
He said: "My roadshows have opened me eyes to how bad it really is. It is worse than I had imagined, worse than anybody would have ever imagined.
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“To your face you would see people begging for money to feed. Hunger has been weaponized and unleashed on my people. The hunger and poverty was designed to break us as Ndi Igbo and turn us into who we are not.
"Ndi Igbo are proud people. We are a Royal Lineage. We are not beggars. These designs of artificial poverty and hunger is being used to break our resolute Igbo spirit but we must not let them succeed.”
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the United States had warned that widespread vote-buying could mar Nigeria's forthcoming general elections.
The warning was given by the US deputy representative to the United Nations, Jonathan Cohen, during a UN Security Council meeting on West Africa, on Thursday, January 10.
Legit.ng gathered that Cohen urged politicians, civil society groups and community leaders to ensure that the election was free and fair.
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