23 April 2019

Nigeria: 2019 General Election - Group Vows to Take Vote-Buying Case to ICC

Abuja — A group of concerned Nigerians under the name Project Nigeria First (PNF) has vowed to take the case of votes buying to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherland, saying if the president and the governors are aware that vote buying can be traced to them and punished by the ICC for crime against humanity, they would no longer support it.

The National Coordinator of PNF, Nya Etok, disclosed this in Abuja yesterday while addressing journalists on the danger vote buying could cause Nigeria and the African continent.

He said Nigerian politicians are no longer afraid of the Nigerian judiciary, but if they know that vote buying, which is a crime against humanity at the ICC, can be traced to them and punished for it, they will no longer encourage it.

According to the coordinator, "I have decided with a few like-minded people, who were part of the last election and others who were not part of the election, to take the issue of vote buying to the highest level, not in this country, but at the ICC.

"Because vote buying is a crime against humanity and we want to make it such that any president who can be traced directly or indirectly to vote buying but dodges the law in Nigeria, will not be able to dodge the law at the international level.

"Vote buying is worse than corruption. If we don't address it, Nigeria will not only be a problem to itself but to the African continent. Vote buying is the monster that will consume Nigeria and Africa.

"Voting buying must be stopped because it is worse than Boko Haram, killer herdsmen, kidnapping and militancy put together because all of these can be addressed through institutional frame works, but vote buying compromises institutions as it brings the money bags into government."

According to him, political parties have become agents who only exist just to make money during elections, adding that they sell forms and endorse other political parties' candidates.

He also talked about fundamentals of which are absent in the country.

"Social Governance is a bottom-to-top and people-centred approach to governance and development, with the primary objective of bringing the citizens out of poverty.

"It aims to recreate/expand the middle class, not by pulling the rich down, but by pulling the poor up through the provision of qualitative and affordable education, healthcare, housing, and other social infrastructure.

"An ideology encourages, promotes and lays more emphasis on Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises and cottage industries above the big industries," he further stated.

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