Ahead of November 11 governorship election in Kogi State, a Civil Society Organisation, Conscience for Human Rights and Conflict Resolution (CHRCR) has cautioned electorates in the state to shun voting buying and selling, describing the act as inimical to the political and economic development of the country.
The Executive Director CHRCR Idris Miliki Abdul stated this in Okene during a one day multi-stakeholders engagement for electorates in Central Senatorial District toward the governorship election in Kogi State on integrity and community ownership in the fight against corruption organized by CHRCR in partnership with Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC).
According to him, one of the major consequences of vote buying and selling is that it pave ways for the wrong persons to get the elective position and get the works done wrongly, advising the electorate not to be deceived by politicians who will give them peanuts to buy their conscience at the detriment of their future.
“As the governorship of Kogi state is fast approaching, the electorate should get set with their Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) to vote for the candidate of their choice base on the credibility and capacity to deliver.
“If you allow yourselves to be deceived by politicians offering you a mudu of rice, a packet of Maggi , cloth, N1,000 among others to buy your votes then prepare to suffer for four years without basic necessity of life aside mortgaging the future of your children. It is better you cast your votes for a candidate who you can hold accountable for the mandate you give to him or her” he stated.
Speaking on integrity and community ownership in the fight against corruption, Comrade Miliki Abdul , said it is obligatory to all Nigerians to uphold the tenants of core value of integrity in order to live a peaceful and purposeful life .
He opined that no nation can be built without integrity and therefore urged Nigerian citizens to help in reframing the national purpose through an improved discipline, respect for one another , commitment and self control , adding that total adherence to the core national value enshrined in the country’s constitution would go a long in shaping the nation for better.
“Integrity from personal responsibility, upholding moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand damages, fear or difficulty in the public and national good, irrespective of the cost to us” he advised.
Comrade Miliki Abdul who admonished traditional rulers in the state to always ask the politicians what they would do for their subjects, charged the people to report misconduct or violence of the Ethics and Integrity Policy to any Anti-Corruption agency or Law Enforcement Agents such as EFCC, ICPC, Code of Conduct Bureau and Nigeria Police Force.
While charging the electorate to always know their representatives at both state and national assembly, Comrade Abdul, urged women to take the advantage of their numerical strength during election to demand for more political positions for women folks.
One of the participants, Mr Audu Emmanuel from Okehi, said vote buying and selling can only be tackled when the electorate imbibe the doctrine of “change begin with me” by outright rejection of any motivations from the overzealous politicians.
“We all knows that vote buying and selling are inimical to the future of our children and by extension the country. If every one can refuse or reject money meant for buying our votes , our integrity will remain intact and become a reference point for others to emulate” he said.
He appealed to women and youth to be wary of overzealous politicians who would seek for positions at all cost and forget the people that gave them the mandate.
“Women, youth and elders should organize themselves and demand for accountability from their representatives at the national and state assembly. You should also endeavour to know your representative so that you can channel your complain to them.
“We should be concern with what happened in our locality and also ask yourselves what is your responsibility to your family, local government and your state” he said.