- Former Delta state governor, Uduaghan, has reacted to alleged vote buying that characterised the 2019 general elections
- According to Uduaghan, the Nigerian government must invest heavily in political education especially at the grassroots
- The ex-governor wondered if INEC was truly independent and capable across the various states, local government, and wards
Emmanuel Uduaghan, a former governor of Delta state, has said that people tend to lose when they sell their votes to politicians during elections.
Premium Times reports that Uduaghan acknowledged that the just concluded general election in Nigeria was characterised by vote buying.
Legit.ng gathered that Uduaghan made this known on Tuesday, April 9, while delivering a lecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu state, adding that when people were bought with money, they lost the right to complain.
He said the people must bear considerable responsibility as far as vote-buying is concerned.
Uduaghan said the Nigerian government must invest heavily in political education, especially at the grassroots.
He said: “The awareness of the people may have improved but awareness without commensurate political education can only go so far. The greatest empowerment the people need today is political education.
“Overall it does appear that the voters may not always understand what their best interests are and how to ensure that their best interests reflect in the election.
“With a more informed electorate, the rising culture of solicitation and vote buying would not have been so prevalent as we find today during elections.
“And so I am calling for an intensification of voter education. Unless there is voter education that makes people aware of the self-harm in bargaining and selling their votes, we won’t be making as much progress as I think and believe we should."
The former governor also questioned the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the conduct of elections in the country, even though he somehow gave some kudos to the commission.
He said: “Is INEC truly independent and capable, not just in Abuja but across the various states, local government, and wards?
“If I am being fair, I have to state that INEC standard has not always been kept across the states, local governments, and wards. In those places that came short, I call on INEC to closely reset its team on the ground. In INEC, one can also retrospectively recall the significant improvement in INEC over the years."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Uduaghan in the just concluded general election, urged Niger Deltans to expect more dividends of democracy from President Muhammadu Buhari.
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