Yoruba leadership group condemns Ekiti ‘see and buy’ voting

Last Saturday's governorship election in Ekiti State might have been concluded with the contestants and the umpire as well as Security Agencies congratulating themselves for a job-well-done. However the odious effects of open money inducement of the electorates have continued to reverberate world wide.

The Yoruba Leadership and Peace Initiative (TYLPI) strongly condemns this act of money inducement of voters, brazenly perpetrated majorly by both All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates and their agents before and on the Election Day in the full glare of both local and international observers.

TYLPI believes this is not in advancement of our democracy and unrepresentative of the authentic will of the people. There must be a time when enough must be enough. Now it's the time to put a determined full-stop into this show of shame which has been with us even before Independence.

We are not short of electoral laws fashioned to give us a robust and civilised democratic political dispensation.

What is unarguably and ashamedly happening is the grave impunity by which electoral laws especially at the end of the process are brazenly committed. It is ominous.

We say an emphatic no to this disgraceful act and TYLPI therefore calls on the relevant authorities who usually turned their eyes the other way when the laws are being violated to immediately commence judicial proceedings of all those that have infringed upon the electoral law. Let this be used as a checkmate to politicians, INEC officials and security agents in a way that will sanitize our electoral contests.

TYLPI believes that from whichever angle last Saturday election is viewed, open money inducement of the electorate by both APC and PDP should attract the strongest punitive sanctions based on our electoral laws so as to serve as deterrent, prevent and stave off similar occurrences in the future.

Indeed, the brazen and open vote-buying in last Saturday election in Ekiti is not just a national shame but international and it is equally the very peak of corruption. And, since corruption-fighting is a cardinal focus of the Buhari administration, TYLPI believes this is the time this government should show its true commitment to anti- corruption war.

This is particularly reinforced by the fact of what is playing out presently, that ONLY VISIBLE SOURCE OF FUNDING ELECTIONS by any party in Nigeria today-even by a party controlling one State - is through looting of the public treasury.

It is our conviction that the damage already done to our national image internationally by last Saturday's near unprecedented electoral aberration could still be salvaged. The most qualified Nigerian alive to do this, by putting NATIONAL INTEREST above partisan considerations, is President Muhammad Buhari. TYLPI believes this is a great opportunity for him to stand tall above the rot in our politics and electioneering.

TYLPI is committed to give a push to this idea on the Ekiti election particularly as the Osun State governorship election is around the corner. If this is done TYLPI believes, without any shadow of doubt that money influence will fall drastically.

The Government and INEC should make a scapegoat of criminal perpetrators involved in 'see and buy' in the last Saturday election in Ekiti and redeem our national image badly tainted internationally.

Folu Olamiti,
Chairman TYLPI Media Committee



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