Need for Credible 2023 Polls and Rejection of the monstrous Vote Buying

Need for Credible 2023 Polls and Rejection of the monstrous Vote Buying

Written by Felix Obani

On Saturday February 25, 2023, Nigerians nay eligible voters will elect a new President that will lead the country for the next four years.

The fears that have enveloped Nigerians who are earnestly yearning for a change of narrative, is the monster called “Vote buying and selling”. The recent electoral act signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari on one hand has been applauded by Nigerians but also the most recent cash scarcity might give room to the monster to thrive comfortably.

Succinctly put, the introduction of the Biomodal Accreditation System, BVAS is a plus to INEC to ensure transparency.

While we commend President Muhammadu Buhari for signing the new electoral act into law, all stakeholders have their roles to achieve violence free and acceptable polls to make the February 25th and March 11th 2023 indelible in the heart of Nigerians.

Therefore, this is a clarion call on Nigerians to join hands to fight the forces that may have hindered the smooth conduct of elections in the past and join in the search for a free and violet free election in 2023.

Importantly, Nigerians are demanding that this year’s general elections should reflect their desires, as they expect the electoral umpire to provide credible and transparent elections in a process that will be conducted peacefully.

Record has it that seventeen seven percent of Abia citizens did not vote in 2019 general elections, thereby creating a voter apathy due to doubts and actions that played out in the state in 2015.

Going forward, INEC holds the key to keep their millions of promises to conduct free, fair and credible elections. To achieve this, every staff member of the commission and adhoc staff should shun partisanship, while the security agents on their own should remain apolitical, but embrace professionalism.

On the other hand, media workers should be neutral in their reportage, and should verify information before publication to avoid fake news as well as misinformation.

The Late Literary icon, Professor Chinua Achebe in his work published in Nigerian Tribune on February 7th, 1983 said “an active and intellectually alert population is the best guarantee against misrule”.

Following this advice, it is wise to advice those who have no business at the polling units to stay clear and avoid every unholy act that can trigger violence. Also, every Android phone holder, emergency Journalists should desist from deceiving the public.

It is also pertinent at this juncture to appeal to Nigerians not to allow the present fuel and cash scarcity to discourage them from coming out en masse to vote for candidates of their choice. The cash policy may not have gone well, but majority view it a way of fighting vote buying. Which to a large extent is true. There is need for people to be patients and get it right once and for all.

As Abians and Nigerians prepare for the general elections with the Presidential election taking place first, the masses should reject every form of vote buying. This is because the act of vote buying and selling has been seen as an evil wind which gives unqualified and evil people to hold public officers. Vote Buying whether in cash or in kind should be shunned by the electorate for the good of the society.

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