Abuja — A former governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the November 2019 Kogi State governorship election, Natasha Akpoti, has said that the fear of sactions by the United States and United Kingdom forced politicians to play by the rules in the just-concluded Edo governorship election.
She pointed out that the United States Government's visa ban on riggers of Kogi and Bayesa State elections did the magic as it also served as a reference point by keeping many of the would-be riggers in Edo State at bay.
She said the United Kingdom also helped the situation by threatening to seize the assets of such desperate Nigerian politicians.
Akpoti explained that in times of health challenges, some of the politicians may seek better healthcare abroad given the Nigerian history of poor healthcare delivery system, hence riggers were wary of the US and UK sanctions in the exercise.
She also commended the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for deploying technology by uploading the results of polling units, ward levels as they were being declared which she said gave no room for those who would have altered the results at the polling units and ward level during collation.
Meanwhile, Akpoti also congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki on his re-election, saying the victory transcends political platforms because it shows that true power belongs to the people and not godfathers.
She noted that the overwhelming votes in favour of Obaseki have proved that sheer determination by the people can make their wishes prevail.
"Godfatherism breeds criminal politics, usurps the rights and choices of the people; and worsens the socio-political development of Nigeria. Eradicating this vice will do Nigeria's democracy a whole lot of good," Akpoti added.
She challenged stakeholders to learn lessons from the outcome of Edo election and push for total overhaul of the electoral system to set the ball rolling for better elections in Nigeria.
"I applaud INEC for that, they were able to use technology updating and uploading as the results were coming in so that did not give room for manipulation of results.
"The basic is that he is a performing Governor and he has done quite well and his people connected with him with in his first term and they all look forward to better performance considering the fact that he is going to have enough time to continue with completing his projects.
"I am proud that his people came out enmass without fear and voted for him. That is what democracy is all about when the people are given the chance to choose their rightful leaders as against imposition from God fathers.
"I hope that every Nigerian will learn from this election outcome and apply this lesson to Ondo election and the 2023 presidential and Governorship election," she added.