From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Ahead of the 2023 general elections, former chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Youth Development, Kamil Akinlabi, has warned that vote-buying is a major threat to the future of Nigeria as a country because it largely prevents the right people to emerge as political leaders.
He made the observation during an interactive session with journalists in Ibadan at the Press Centre of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Ibadan, Oyo State capital, in commemoration of the 61st independence anniversary of Nigeria.
Akinlabi, who represented Oyo federal constituency in the National Assembly from 2007 to 2015 and presently the Chairman, Oyo State Road Maintenance Agency, said: “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, Prof Attahiru Jega tried to fight vote-buying but he didn’t complete it.
“We must put a stop to vote buying now. It is a threat to our future as a country. Youths 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.”
Akinlabi, who described elections in the country as ‘conspiracy of the elites’, also stated that Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), did not jettison the coalition arrangements that brought him to power in 2019. He added that the Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), Social Democratic Party (SDP), and African Democratic Congress (ADC) that formed the coalition with PDP have been compensated.
“Every gubernatorial candidate that stepped down for Governor Makinde has 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 terms. But, they have been compensated.
“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 has been compensated.”