Igala leaders allege vote-buying by politicians in Kogi State
• Accuse Buhari of neglect
UK’Omu Igala Organisation has alleged that politicians in Kogi State use cash to buy votes, citing the by-election that took place in Lokoja/Koton Karfe last year.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the organisation’s executive council meeting held at Harbour Bay Anyigba.
Signed by the group’s national leader, Maj.-Gen. Patrick Akpa (rtd.), in Lokoja yesterday, the communiqué added: “In poverty-stricken Kogi State, politicians are using worthless cash to buy the people’s votes, as was seen in the by-elections that took place in Lokoja/Koton Karfe.”
According to the council, vote-buying and money politics have turned Nigerians into the biblical Esau who sold his birthright for a plate of porridge.
“It is very dangerous for the people to mortgage their future by accepting money from politicians. Uk’Omu Igala enjoins the political class to campaign on issues and promise only those things they can deliver,” it added.
Insisting that vote-buying is evil and detrimental to the people’s future, the group called security agencies and traditional institutions in Kogi East to enlighten the people against vote-buying and shun politicians who tempt them with cash for votes.
The group accused President Muhammadu Buhari of outright neglect and discrimination against the Igala race of Kogi East since he became president on May 29, 2015.
Claiming that Kogi East voted massively for Buhari in 2015, it lamented that the president did not deem the area qualified for a major ministerial slot except the junior minister portfolio the late James Ocholi occupied despite his enormous contribution.
The communiqué read in part: “It was observed that there is apparent discrimination and near absence of Kogi easterners in national political appointment in this dispensation.
It also alleged that, in many instances, Kogi East slots were traded off on the altar of politics of marginalisation.
According to the communiqué, the people of Kogi East, being the ninth largest ethnic nationality in Nigeria, which makes it the swing bloc in the state, have become second-class citizens in Nigeria because of their peace-loving and non-violent posture.
The people want the anomaly addressed ahead of the general election, as they observed that people must not take up arms before their plights are addressed.
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