….Says it’s worst vice in society
..Vote buying, albatross to Nigeria’s electoral process – Archbishop Umoren
OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The Vice Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in February 23, 2019 Presidential election, Mr. Peter Obi, has decried the rigging recorded in this year’s general elections in the country and said no nation can really grow with a rigged election.
Obi said the process through which people come into office was far more important than what they do thereafter and that forms the basis of their integrity.
He said election rigging was the worst form of vices and indeed the root of corruption as it goes to impact negatively on the political and economic growth of the country.
Obi noted that the fraud that characterized this year’s election has greatly undermined the country’s democracy, its future and has significantly damaged the ongoing fight against all vices and tainted the integrity of those responsible.
The VP candidate who governed Anambra State for eight years said through a statement from his media office that Nigeria cannot quantify the enormity of damage the electoral fraud has done to the psyche of the country.
He described such negative acts like election manipulation as the the real reason why this country is not growing and has been unable to tackle the existing myriads of problems like unemployment and its attendant vices.
“The only thing rigging does to a country is that it continues to keep incompetent people in office, and as a result rather than put energy in creating jobs to engage its teeming youths, it instead channels it trying to contain all sorts of vices and brigandage..
He also lamented the further effects of election rigging which encourages incompetent person to hang on în office and cause more harm to the society.
Obi finally remarked that his main concern and worry is how to create jobs and engage millions of Nigerian youths roaming the streets doing nothing at their prime productive ages.
Meanwhile, the Auxiliary Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese Diocese of Abuja, Most Rev. Anslem Umoren has bemoaned the dangerous trend of vote buying in Nigeria’s electoral process.
He expressed doubt in the future of the country’s democracy if politicians should continue indulging in buying voting rights of unsuspecting voters.
The clergy as well took a swipe on Nigerians who sell their votes for a token for mortgaging their future and that of unborn generation.
Addressing the press in Abuja on Sunday during the 2019 Feast Day Celebration of Saint Patrick Edo/Delta Catholic Community hosted by St. Kevin’s Catholic Church, Jikwoyi, Most Rev. Umoren also advised INEC to be better prepared for the conduct of elections to avoid the pitfalls witnessed in the recent exercise.
He said, “I am not INEC. So, I cannot give you review of general elections but maybe we should prepare a little bit more than what we have done, try to change mentality of Nigerians that we don’t live on short term.
“They should be things on long term and that should reflect who we elect to represent us. What criteria do we use to elect people, because this whole issue we are hearing of people using money to get vote, that is a useless way of living and if Nigerians want it that way, they should no that they do jot have any future, they are not building a future.
“We must get beyond that and think of electing people who have the quality and who have shown it. We don’t just elect people by what they say but by what they have done before, they have precedence and in that regards we know they can do better.
“But if I have not done nothing before and you elect me, what do u expect?
Whatever I do is what I can do. So, we need to go beyond this childish way of living and acting and begin to take responsibility for our lives and the lives of our children on the future.”
The Catholic Archbishop stressed that people must vote for whoever can provide them good representation rather than for a candidate they would be forced to put up with for another four years no matter how bad he/she might be.
He said: “We don’t have that (supplementary elections) in Abuja but wherever they have, we call on people to go out and vote for whoever they want to represent them.
“At the end of the day, whatever decision you make is what you will leave within the next four years.“So, people must make sure that whoever they will be comfortable with are the ones they elect.”
On the celebration of the feast of St. Patrick, Archbishop Umoren explained that St Patrick was an important figure in the church, an epitome of how Christians should love their neighbors including those who hate them.
He added: “That is the trademark of Christianity. It is not just to love those who love us. And Jesus said that if you do that, there is no different between you and pagans, because even the pagans do as much of that. They care for those who care for them. You give something and I give to you.
“But for Christians we must go beyond that to love who we sometimes have the perception that they do not love us.
“Even if it is a reality that they do not love us, we are still called to love them because God loves us even though we still fell in things that we should not. So, Saint Patrick is an example in that regards.”
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