The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has said that vote-buying, violence and the use of state resources by public office holders for campaigns and other political party activities are the leading threats to the 2013 general elections and overall national political development.
The National Chairman of IPAC, Engr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani, said this during a meeting with the United Nations, Secretary General’s Representative for West Africa, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, at the council’s headquarters yesterday in Abuja.
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He, therefore, urged all stakeholders, particularly the international community, to save Nigeria’s democracy from imminent collapse, as the only way a nation can thrive and remain peaceful is through credible elections.
“The bane of our political development are three key issues. They are the obscene use of money to induce voters and buy their votes, the spate of violence that normally increases when elections are near, the use of state resources for electioneering by those in power to gain an unfair advantage over others,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the UN envoy called for peace ahead of the forthcoming elections amid reports of insecurity in parts of the country.
Annadif re-assured of the commitment of the UN to supporting the country’s efforts to consolidate its democratic gains and strengthen national cohesion.
He also advised political leaders and their parties to resolve their disputes through dialogue.
“Our message is very simple: The West African sub region is facing many challenges in terms of peace and security. If Nigeria, with its challenges and issues, will impact the region, we wish that the 2023 elections will be conducted in a peaceful manner,” he said.
Be vigilant of vote buyers – PDP tells UN
Similarly, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) urged the UN Secretary General’s envoy to pay keen interest on issues of vote buying and conduct of security personnel during the 2023 general elections.
Speaking yesterday when he received Annadif on a courtesy visit at the PDP Secretariat in Abuja, the party’s Deputy National Chairman (North), Ambassador Umar Damagum, said the recently-conducted governorship election in Ekiti State was characterised by vote buying and manipulation,
By Abbas Jimoh & Baba Martins