By Dapo Akinrefon
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Ayo Arise, on Saturday, lamented that vote buying will continue to be prevalent in Nigeria’s politics for a long time.
Arise, while reacting to allegations of voter inducement and vote buying in the ongoing Governorship election in Ekiti State, said urgent steps must be taken to provide employment to curb the act.
He said: “I have gone out but I did not look out for whether there was vote buying or not, but efforts must be made to curb that.
“The greater thing we are looking for is how to educate our people. We just create jobs for our people so that money like N5000 or N1000 will not make any meaning to them. If one person is doing it, it means that people will be looking for the highest bidder.
Of course, nothing has been done to curb vote buying. Everybody saw what happened during the primaries and it has translated to the grassroots that nobody wants to vote for. But again, it is a question of how much money you have. That should not be a basis for person voting.
Like I have said, we should find ways to ensure that people are gainfully employed and the manifestos of the parties are sold to them. The moment you let them know that this is about their future. I don’t think vote buying is going to abate for a long time because people have tasted it and they now know the power of vote inducement. It is not the best for us and we are working to ensure that people understand that it is not in their best interest to sell their votes.”
Senator Arise however commended INEC for the improvements thus far with the use of the BVAS and electronic transmission of results which he noted would reduce incidents of result manipulation.