Stop selling votes, Akwa Ibom council poll chief advises voters
The Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Independent Electoral Commission (AKISIEC), Aniedi Ikoiwak, has advised voters not to sell their votes during the forthcoming council poll in the state as well as during other elections in the country.
According to Ikoiwak, vote-buying can be stopped in Nigeria if the electorate resist politicians who offer them money to buy their votes. He said: “To curb vote buying and vote selling it is about people because you can’t buy without a seller. The electorate need to resist those who want to buy their conscience and go ahead to vote their conscience. Voters must resist vote buying because it is their conscience that is being bought.”
He said voters should not allow politicians to use their money to influence their choice of candidates during elections. Ikoiwak said: “If they vote their conscience, even the politicians will realise that there is no need taking their money to people who will vote the candidate they want.
“Politicians will try to do things and provide social amenities for the people so that when they see good roads and enjoy constant electricity, they will identify with them.
“What we need to do as a country is to improve from buying votes to allowing the will of the people, because when you are talking about vote buying, that means you have realised that the people own the votes. Before now it was the issue of hijacking ballot papers, multiple voting, you didn’t even need the people.”
There have been some improvement, 2which threw the people up as the agent in elections, that is why politicians try to buy the conscience of the people, because if you do not see people would you buy their conscience? We need to make the electorate know that they have the power. It is time for voters to know that they have power, and should stop people from controlling their conscience.
“The electorate should tell politicians to keep their money and go ahead to vote their conscience, that’s how government will now try to do things to meet the yearnings of the people.”
He said electoral process in the country had improved greatly a lot. Ikoiwak said: “What we need to do as a country is to improve from buying votes to allowing the will of the people. When you are talking about vote buying, that means you have realised that the people own the votes. But before now it was the issue of hijacking ballot papers and multiple voting.
“There has been some improvement, which threw the people up as the agent in elections, that’s why politicians now go to buy their conscience. What we need to do is to enlighten the electorate and make them know that they have power to resist vote buying.”
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