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DOGARA COMES HARD ON BUHARI'S GOVERNMENT OVER VOTE BUYING


Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representative, Mr Yakubu Dogara has taken a swipe at the security agencies and INEC over election malpractices and the disbursement of funds to the public, just few weeks to the 2019 general elections Mr Dogara made the bold claim, while addressing a public hearing on vote-buying organised by the Nigerian senate and house of representatives committees on electoral and political party matters.

Dogara also said “alleged use of the officials of the electoral umpire, INEC, and officers of security agencies to induce, or intimidate and coerce voters to vote a particular candidate. ”

“It is instructive to note that the electoral act anticipated and captured most forms of electoral fraud including inducement and vote buying. I hope we will have the courage at this event to address the distribution of cash to the public very close to general elections by public officials.”

“I am afraid that such endeavors no matter how noble the intentions behind them may fall within the all encompassing provisions of S. 124 (1)(a); (b); (c); and S.(124)(2)(4)(5) and S. 130 of the electoral act.

“Although penalties are not stringent, there is also lack of political will to implement the laws as it is even if it were to offer feeble deterrence to violators. Arrest are hardly made and even where arrests are made, prosecutions are unheard of.

“A more worrisome dimension to vote buying is the alleged use of the officials of the electoral umpire, INEC, and officers of security agencies to induce, or intimidate and coerce voters to vote for particular candidates.

“Such absurdities have been widely reported in the media and confirmed by some local and international observers in respect of the recently concluded governorship elections in Osun state. As expected, all lovers of democracy worldwide rose to condemn these despicable incidents.

“Condemnation is not enough, it will amount to hypocrisy, if we don’t take the bull by the horn by taking concrete steps to eliminate these evils that make mockery of our hard worn democracy.”

My view: The Speaker and the Senate president are heartless, instead of introducing Income Support Bill to help millions of jobless Nigerians, they are both complaining about vote-buying. According to reports a civil society group said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is suffering from “masses rejection syndrome” for questioning President Buhari’s much-loved Social Intervention Programme (SIP). I wonder why Buhari didn't start the so called SIP in his first year in office and why is Buhari ignoring millions of jobless Nigerians?, the programme should be for everyone that is unemployed. Nigerians shouldn't vote for presidential candidate, who is not ready to help them with Job-seekers allowance