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Nigerians Should Rise Against Vote Buying – Abuda

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Comrade Julius Abuda, is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Edo state. In this interview with PATRICK OCHOGA, he speaks on some national issues and developments within the party.

What is your take on the crisis at the national assembly?

What is happening today was expected. It is difficult to see a polygamous home that is crisis free. You know that APC was coalition of different political party that came together. For me, I want to be a politician with principles that believes in the ideals of the party, a politician with direction. How can a tenant be stubborn to the extent that the landlord will have to park out of his house? If by the grace of God am in the national assembly I will align with progressive forces based on principles, people that shares the same political concept with you and that is the only way the Country can move forward.

There are moves by the national leadership of the APC to give automatic tickets to national assembly members. What is your take on this?
We have people who have served two terms at the national assembly. What really matters most in giving ticket is to know your political weight. It is not all politicians that have that political clout to be given ticket. Some of these politicians have lost touch with their constituencies. What I understand is that they want to lobby for return tickets.
Last Tuesday, we held a meeting with Comrade Oshiomhole at his Iyamho home, I was in attendance and in his speech he said because of the crisis at the national assembly he will only discuss about Senator Alimikhena but for the house representatives and state house of assemblies the people will decide who to fly the party’s flag. He told us it is better we choose our candidates through direct primaries. Oshiomhole is a man of his words. I have been his fan over the years. Don’t forget that it was Oshiomhole who brought the political paradise from Uromi to Etsako from Chief Tony Anenih and to crown it all he brought development to all the nooks and cranny of Edo state.

Are you not worried that the power of incumbency may work against some aspirants?
The most risky position is incumbency. It is better you are not an incumbent because you did not come there as an incumbent but as a fresh politician. It is like going into the football field to play for the first time when people see the way you play they will decide on their own if you are a good player or not. The question we should ask is if the incumbent has been able to meet the expectation of his people. Was former President Jonathan not an incumbent? But he was defeated by Buhari.

Are you not disturbed about the negative trend of vote buying that has now become a threat to our democracy?
Vote buying is cancerous. Buying a man conscious with N4, 000 or N5, 000, is something we all have to rise up against. If you are in government especially when you are occupying political offices and you think you have performed you don’t need to buy people votes during election for peanuts. For me, it is like mortgaging our future.
This is the time INEC, security agents and all stakeholders need to rise up to tackle the challenges of vote buying. The rest of the world are mocking us.



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