Vote buying may be worse than insurgency – Group

Director General, Nigeria First Project, a non-partisan, and non-governmental movement, Arc Ezekiel Nya-etok, has said if the growing trend of vote buying in the country is not checked it would be would worse than insurgency, militancy, killer herders.

The NFP DG said the position of the NGO was based on empirical data on havoc vote-buying has caused democratic governance in the country vis-à-vis the activities of insurgency, militancy, killer herders and other violent crimes.

Addressing a press conference, Sunday in Abuja, Nya-etok, who is co-founder of the Young Democratic Party (YDP) and its pioneer national chairman, said vote buying should be treated as a case of crime against humanity and perpetrators should be made to face the International Criminal Court (ICC).

The social housing advocate, who ran for governorship of Akwa Ibom state in the 2019 general elections, said: “Vote buying is going to do this country more harm than insurgency, Boko Haram, killer herdsmen, kidnapping or even militancy all put together.

“The reason is whether militancy, killer herdsmen, Boko Haram or any form of insurgency can be addressed by a well set up institutional framework, but vote buying is the cancer that attacks directly our institutional framework on account that all other insurgencies can never be addressed when the system is compromised.”

He said: “I have decided with a few other likeminded people who were part of the last election and those not even part of the vote buying to take the issue of vote buying to the highest level, not just in this country but the ICC.

“At that level vote buying is already seen as crime against humanity and we want to make it such that any president or governor that can be directly or indirectly linked to the act, even if he is able to dodge the laws of the country, will not be able to dodge the ICC.”

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