Abuja – An Abuja-based Political Analyst, Mr Ephraim Audu, has advised Nigerians against vote-trading, saying it is an act of barbarism and a threat to nation’s democracy.
Audu gave the advice in an interview in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said that vote-trading must be curbed as Africa and other countries were watching Nigeria.
He emphasised that election was a critical instrument of determining elected representatives at various tiers of government, but regretted that the opposite to that was happening in Nigeria.
According to Audu, it is very unfortunate that we are still experiencing vote-buying as we saw in the just-concluded Ekiti governorship election.
“We saw how politicians induced the electorate into vote-trading. This is an act of barbarism and must not be accepted in our democratic system as Africa and other part of the world are watching.
“The only way vote-buying can be stopped lies in the hands of young people, who comprise over 60 per cent of the electorate.
“This demographic youth and women age bracket of between18 years and 45 years must focus on capacity building, entrepreneurship development and leadership values’’.
He said that self-reliance would empower the electorate and make them financially independent, a situation that would influence the voter’s mind-set when electing candidates of their choice.
Audu said that regardless of any forces and vote-trading inducement, when hunger and poverty are alarming, voters would unconsciously sell their mandate for daily bread.
He said that politicians consistently used poverty as a yardstick of manipulating the electorate, insisting that “that political nonsense has to be stopped.”
He, however, suggested that a constitutional punishment should be prescribed against vote-buying.
Audu advised young people and electorate to be self-disciplined.
“Young people must not be politically neutral; the citizens must hold their elected representatives accountable, must participate in the electoral process and must play the role of voting and be voted for.
“To vote is to participate and to participate is to vote,” he said. (NAN)