The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress, APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, yesterday said that ex-President Goodluck Ebelle Jonathan introduced and perfected vote-buying syndrome into Nigerian politics. He calls on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to prosecute him for electoral crime.
Comrade Oshiomhole in a statement through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Simon Ebegbulem, said “A quick fact-check will disclose that Jonathan invented vote-buying as was witnessed in 2015, in Edo State as well as other states of the nation when he injected billions of naira desperately buying votes to ensure he got a futile second chance as President. Out of desperation Jonathan injected over N5 billion through PDP leaders with a view to forcefully influencing Edo electorate into voting PDP.
This was why the PDP was able to corner two senatorial seats in the state and got a majority of the House of Representatives’ seats against the wish of the electorate in Edo State. “At press time, PDP leaders in Edo are currently in court over the funds the ex-president deployed to buy votes in the state. If he had worked hard even for his constituents in the South-South as President, he would not have had any cause to voyage into vote-buying.
What transpired served as a deadly behaviour modification for innocent voters and skewed their consciousness to the awareness they could now make money before voting for candidates.
INEC as the electoral umpire should move to prosecute Jonathan for being a harbinger of vote-buying. At press time, Jonathan’s cronies are either on the run or singing in different courtrooms on how they converted funds meant for purchase of arms and ammunition in the fight against insurgency to buy votes for the ex-president. Today, some of the ill-fated underhand strategies Jonathan deployed to win elections are no longer secrets.
The humongous amounts – the Dasuki cash, Diezani loot, et cetera, that the EFCC has uncovered in connection with funding the 2015 presidential election and buying votes are now well known. “It is worth recalling here that in its 16 years in power, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, betrayed considerable hope. Instead of strengthening democracy and promoting good governance, the party was bedeviled by indiscipline and a compelling failure to exercise power to the benefit of Nigerians.
The PDP had with a strange consistency violated the constitutional primacy of free and fair elections as the only way of choosing a leader. The administration of Jonathan did not deviate from the flawed vision or governance impunities of the PDP. Vote-buying is a sad product of PDP’s uninspiring history. It has no place in the patriotic vision of APC. So how can ex-President Jonathan have the moral grounds to attack the national chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, who is initiating transformational template of party governance for a popular party on a rescue mission.”