FORMER President Goodluck Jonathan has appealed to Nigerians to avoid voting for politicians who could kill or maim to win an election or those capable of compromising the nation’s security.
Jonathan made the appeal in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, today during a special interdenominational service to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the creation of the state.
Channels Television reported the former president as saying, “In 2023, you must not make the mistake to vote killers. Those who will carry knives, guns, and all kinds of gadgets to go and kill people because of politics are the enemies of society. If you kill to become a leader, you will continue to kill to remain a leader.
“The people will continue to suffer. Make sure that from the House of Assembly to the House of Representatives to Senate to governor, you vote the right people in Akwa Ibom State.”
The ICIR reports that the use of thuggery and weapons during elections characterise the electoral process in Nigeria.
In December 2001, the minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Bola Ige, was assassinated in Ibadan, two days before Christmas.
Despite multiple reports linking the attack to prominent politicians in the country’s South-West, there has been no conclusion in the investigation into his death 20 years after.
On July 27, 2006, a leading aspirant for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial ticket for the 2007 governorship election in Lagos State, Funsho Williams, was found bound, strangled and stabbed at his home in Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, area of the state.
His killers have not been brought to book to date.
Similarly, in January 2011, the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) candidate for the governorship election in Borno State, Fannami Gubio, was shot dead by gunmen.
More recently, in Kogi State, in November 2019, a PDP campaign woman leader in Kogi, Acheju Abuh, was burnt alive in her home at Ochadamu in Ofu Local Government Area of the state by angry opposition political thugs, after she had cast her vote during a governorship poll.
Her killer was, however apprehended, prosecuted and sentenced.
While the amended Electoral Act recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to curb the use of thugs and other criminals to disrupt the electoral process, unscrupulous politicians still devise other means such as financially inducing voters to compromise elections.
I bear the light; I'll beam it everywhere. Marcus loves his job dearly, and he gives it his best.
Do you have any information for me? Contact me via email @ firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook Messenger @ Marcus Omoniyi Fatunmole. Together, we can make Nigeria work.