The Governorship candidate of the Young Democratic Party (YDP) in Akwa Ibom State, Arc. Ezekiel Nya-Etok, has said that the just concluded governorship election in the state was marred with votes buying by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC).
Arc. Nya-Etok made this known during a post-2019 Akwa Ibom Gubernatorial Elections World Press Conference organized by Architect Nya-Etok Ezekiel of the Young Democratic Party (YDP) and Mr. Iboro Otu of Abundant Nigeria Renewal Party (ANRP) in Uyo.
“Mr. Iboro Otu has indicated interest in challenging the outcome of the gubernatorial elections at the Election Tribunals. He believes the unfair advantage brought about by the vote buying actions of the two major political parties across all the local governments in the state, made it impossible for himself or other candidates to compete fairly, and as a result, he is asking for the cancellation of the elections. He is also approaching the International Criminal Court to highlight the effects of the vote-buying and voter-intimidation epidemic in our electoral process, with the hope that this will bring about penalties that will punish individuals, organizations and parties who engage in such.
“We call on all forward-thinking Nigerians to join us in the fight against vote-buying and voter-intimidation. We use this opportunity to call on all Akwa Ibom indigenes to support us in every way possible in this fight to rid our state of this epidemic. We also call on anyone who has firsthand information on vote-buying to come forward. Pictures, videos and firsthand testimonies highlighting vote-buying only help to move this case forward. Individuals who have lost property or have been intimidated or directly hurt physically or otherwise should also come forward. People in hospitals as a result of wounds sustained during the election period, either through gunshots, machetes or otherwise can send in their evidence through a third party. Our major interest is being a channel and a voice for these people who otherwise would be unable to speak out for themselves. This ultimately would be making sure that their losses are replaced and justice is served with everyone responsible brought to book. We especially appeal for support from all”, he said.
Nya-Etok, the progenitor of the Social Governance ideology in Nigeria, applauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his policies and his fight against vote buying and voter intimidation, vows to join the fight to protect the future of Nigeria.
“In line with the policies of the President of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, who is totally against vote-buying and voter-intimidation, we join in the fight to protect our future and the future of the coming generation. We share in his belief that Nigeria is for all Nigerians and we all should work together to make this country a better place. The present situation calls for urgency in our approach.
“We congratulate all winners and losers in this election while also encouraging aggrieved parties to follow only legal avenues open to them to challenge illegalities.
“In the end, our hope is to help build a better and more equitable, inclusive and prosperous society. If our fight against vote-buying would lead to a more efficient and transparent electoral process going forward, we would have won many times over.”