The Chairman of Oyo state Road Maintenance Agency (OYSRMA) and former member of House of Representatives, representing Oyo Federal Constituency, Hon. Kamil Akinlabi has alerted that vote buying during elections is a major threat to Nigeria’s democracy.
Akinlabi raised the alarm in Ibadan while featuring on the Oyo state NUJ Guest platform, “Frank Talk” o commemorate Nigeria’s 61 Independence anniversary at its Press centre, in Iyaganku
The former House of Representatives member stressed that there was need for the Nigerian media to rise up to the task of orientating Nigerians, especially, the masses on the dangers of vote buying to our democracy and the country at large.
Hon Akinlabi emphasized that it was also the time for other stakeholders in the country, particularly, the youth to rise and fight against vote buying in their respective polling units.
According to the OYSROMA Chairman, it is only by doing this that people can elect good leaders capable of making the much needed change as well as turn the country around for good.
The former lawmaker who said elections in the country as at present was nothing but the ‘conspiracy of the elite’, emphasized that should the media as a critical player in setting agenda, play its expected role in condemning vote buying and orientate the masses on its dangers, the voters would reject money from politicians before voting for them.
“The way out is for us to encourage the media to set agenda for the masses. The agenda is to sensitise our people not to accept money before voting for them. The former INEC chairman, Professor Jaga tried to fight vote buying but he didn’t complete it”, he said.
Hon Akinlabi added, “we must put a stop to vote buying now. It’s a threat to our future as a country. Youth need to rise up and fight this menace. This is a kind of agenda we should set for the people as men of the forth estate of the realm.”
Speaking on Oyo state politics, Hon Akinlabi said contrary to insinuations, Gov Seyi Makinde did not jettison the coalition agreement that produced him as governor of Oyo state in 2019.
He emphasized that there was no time Gov Makinde deviated from the principles and ideas of the coalition, and that, unknown to many, the governor has since been carrying along identified leadership of all the political parties in the coalition in ensuring that all the parties are benefitting from the present administration in the state.
“Let me tell you, Governor Makinde never jettisoned the coalition agreement. There cannot be two masters in a ship. He has given appointments to those in ADC, Zenith Labour Party and SDP. I am also part of the coalition, I am ADP member. ADP have been compensated. Every gubernatorial candidates that stepped down for Makinde have been compensated one way or the other. You should know that they are happy, I may not be able to tell you the way they have been compensated. I cannot tell you in specific term. But, they have been compensated”.