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Former Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan has expressed concerns over Saturdays elections in Kogi and Bayelsa State.
Jonathan who hails from Bayelsa state has said “The use of thugs, shooting guns and our people are already being killed when the voting process has not even started is disturbing. This would not happen if we have got to a point in this country where voter card matters.”
The former President made the observations in Port Harcourt during the presentation of a book by Gabriel Toby, a former deputy governor of Rivers, on Thursday.
“Look at what is happening now; we have governorship elections in two states in Kogi and Bayelsa. The signals coming from both are quite disturbing, ” Jonathan noted. “That is why I have always advocated electronic voting. We must go into electronic voting.”
” If people these days can transfer billions of dollars from one bank to the other, using electronic means, then I believe that we can do electronic voting perfectly and that will ensure that the use of thugs during elections would not come up again.”
He said he believes that when the country develops to a point where voter cards matter, politicians would change their bad ways. “My opinion is that people don’t change when they get into political office; we vote people that we don’t know into offices and it is difficult to know the true character of a person; it is hard to understand, but the fact is we don’t really vote people we know. People tend to use different means to get into office, “he maintained.
“When we develop as a nation to the point where our voter cards matter, where the people can vote, who they believe in, the behaviour of the politicians would change; politicians would stop recruiting group of boys and feeding them like dogs, calling them thugs to be used for elections while their children attend the best universities abroad. “
On Wednesday, Simon Onu, a van driver with Bayelsa Radio was shot dead while several other people were injured during a rally of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nembe area of the state.
In Kogi state, after suspected thugs set fire to the secretariat of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the campaign train was attacked at the venue of a peace accord meeting set up by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Lokoja.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Godknows Boladei Igali, OON, Phd, also a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party in Bayelsa in a media statement made available to NewsWireNGR, has urged the people to the state to be calm and go out to cast their votes on Saturday.
“We must remember our age old Izon adage which says “binaotu anda, ongbo yainghamini” – a wrestling bout between siblings must not result in broken bones”, Ambassador Igali noted in a statement issued.
The Ambassador continued, “This election is a routine game within the family which must come and go. We must therefore eschew wild desperation to hold on to power and influence or uncontrolled fight for office”.
He said the sanctity of the lives of our youths and vulnerable groups must be upheld and protected.
“The shameful blight of undue money politics, financial inducement and open vote buying in our relatively backward state must be shunned and resisted.” he added.