The Democratic People’s Party (DPP), yesterday, called for urgent action against the prevalence of vote buying ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The national chairman of the party, Gershom Bassey, who stated this during their National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting, called for all stakeholders in the electoral system to partner with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to tackle the menace ahead of the Osun and 2019 general elections.
Addressing newsmen after the opening session of the NEC meeting, he said, “The issue of vote buying played a role in Edo, Ekiti States and other recent elections. All stakeholders must come together to tackle it.
“Somebody is buying and somebody is selling. INEC is not forcing anybody to buy or sell votes.
“It is the electorate that is helping those who are buying by selling their votes, if nobody is selling, nobody will buy.”
Benson charged INEC on providing a level playing ground for all candidates and political parties in Osun and 2019.
“INEC is doing its best but we are appealing that it should do more.
“Nigerians are expecting a level playing ground for all candidates and political parties.”
Benson also advised the federal government to address the issue of rising unemployment and decaying infrastructure across the country.
“We are pleading with the federal government that now that the budget has been passed, it should use the remaining period of the budget to address some of these challenges. “
Benson, however, condemned recent incidents in the country including the security blockade of the National Assembly and siege on residents of the leaders of the Senate by security personnel.
“Again, we are not happy with the way Sen Rabiu Kwankwaso (a presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party) was denied the usage of the Eagle Square, which he had earlier paid for.
“Nigeria shouldn’t be a police state where you can muscle opposition. Without opposition there cannot be Democracy.”
He said that the essence of the NEC meeting was to adopt the party’s timetable and fees for its nomination and expression of interest forms for aspirants interested in various elective positions in 2019 general elections.
Benson called on DPP members to engage in grassroots mobilisation for the party, saying, “No national office produces a candidate, every candidate is coming from a polling unit or ward before it comes to local governments or state.”
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