According to Prince Adewole Adebayo, the Social Democratic Party’s (SDP) presidential candidate, the majority of the 9th National Assembly’s members engaged in vote-buying.
On Tuesday, Prince Adebayo revealed this on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, when he lamented the current problem threatening the nation’s democracy.
“The problem of Nigeria is not that we are sinners, God can forgive us. But we are hypocrites, God can’t help hypocrites,” he said.
“Majority of the people in the National Assembly are vote buyers, even though they are passing the law against vote buyers and they are desperately looking for money everywhere to buy votes.”
“So it is not difficult to just make us believe that this is an offence that can only be committed by the political class and the same political class is the one passing the law they know they are going to disobey.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission’s chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood, reiterated the commission’s commitment to putting safeguards in place to ensure that the issue of vote buying does not arise in the elections of 2023 despite the fact that it has been a problem in Nigeria.
Assuring that his party does not have anyone engaged in such conduct, the SDP presidential candidate further stated that anyone found to be participating in the act of vote buying will be removed from their party.
“In the Social Democratic Party, there is not a single vote buyer there. if there is a single vote buyer, let us know we will expel them from our party.”
“So you look at the senatorial candidates, house of assembly candidates, governorship and house of representatives candidates, you can stop vote buying if every political party can say we will expel every candidate who engages in vote buying,” he said.
Adebayo alleged that some of the candidates for the 2023 presidency bought votes during the primary elections.
“Many of the candidates or some of the candidates you see today did vote buying to win the primary in their party.”
He noted that the way forward was to take a “moral challenge” to the candidates”
“I think that the first thing we are supposed to do is to take a moral challenge to these candidates. SERAP asked us to sign an undertaking against vote buying and I think that they should make a ceremony out of that and let it be a part of the process but from the point of view of INEC.”