Catholic Church urges electorate to avoid vote buying – The Sun Nigeria

The The Catholic Diocese of Ekiti has advised residents of the state to avoid vote buying and other forms of incitement in the June 18 gubernatorial election.

The Director of Justice Development and Peace Initiative (JDPI) for the Diocese, Reverend Emmanuel Akingbade told Ado Ekiti during a road trip yesterday.

The road march was organized by JDPI in collaboration with the Union of Nigerian Journalists (NUJ), Ekiti State Council and Ekiti Council of Elders.

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Akingbade regretted the low participation of Nigerians in the electoral process, hence the need to sensitize the inhabitants for a change of attitude.

He said the sensitization was aimed at discouraging the electorate from accepting financial and material inducements from politicians during elections.

He warned that the buying and selling of votes hinders the democratic process and the consequences are always devastating.

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Akingbade urged residents of Ekiti, mostly young people, to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) ahead of the upcoming general elections in 2023. He said it was imperative because the PVC is the great power to choose a better leader and enjoy the dividends of democracy.

“In every election, voter education and civic education is necessary to ensure that all voters, men and women, understand their rights, their political system, the contests they are called upon to decide, and how and where to vote. For an election to be successful and democratic, voters must understand their rights and responsibilities, and must be informed and knowledgeable enough to vote legally and to participate meaningfully in the voting process,” he said.

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Akingbade said the electorate must come out in droves to exercise their right to vote as the election has a big impact on the future of the state.

“Stop letting a few voters determine your future, because if you refuse to vote, few voters will and to the detriment of all. When you refuse to live up to your civic responsibility, the bags of money will hijack the election and set the tone,” he said.

He lamented that the nation, from the grassroots, has not experienced the desired growth due to the caliber of those elected.

Reverend Sister Agatha Fidelis, one of the coordinators, called on the electorate not to sell their PVC to politicians or their agents, but rather to vote for the right people in elective positions.

“Be ready to make a bold statement with your PVC, don’t sell your birthrights or your future, your PVC is your asset, keep it safe. Your vote is your civic right and your responsibility, you must exercise it. If you don’t vote, your vote won’t count, so come and vote on June 18 for the candidate of your choice. We call on all voters to vote according to their conscience and not be manipulated by politicians’ allowances. Don’t sell your vote, your vote is your right, it could make a difference. Don’t trade the future with a pot of soup, a bowl of rice or allowances,” she warned.

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