By NewsCritic Reporters
The Coalition For Abia Unity, CAU, has raised the alarm over what it described as subtle but well-coordinated moves by some unscrupulous political elements in Abia State to compromise the electoral system come 2023 elections. It has therefore called on all relevant authorities especially the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Police Force and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, and others to as a matter of urgency and importance closely monitor the activities of political parties and their followers, so as to safe guard the integrity of the electoral system.
This is even as the Young Progressives Party, YPP, in Abia has vowed to take all practical steps permitted by law to resist vote buying and other electoral shenanigans during the forthcoming general elections.
The Chairman of CAU Chief Uzo Chukwu in an interview with Newscritic online at the weekend in Aba said, their preliminary findings in the last few months have revealed that some political figures under the guise of mobilizing the people to go and collect their Permanent Voters Card, PVCs, have been mopping up PVCs from the people, especially the vulnerable people in the rural areas, noting that the intentions behind this ugly trend is well known to all discerning people.
According to the CAU, although they discovered that most of the established political parties and their stalwarts are involved in this subtle vote buying tactics, the ruling party in the state PDP remains the biggest culprit, adding that Council Chairmen, top government functionaries and major party stakeholders, have all been given targets of how many PVCs to mop up.
“We are constraint to draw the attention of all lovers of our country to this unwholesome development, which if not nipped in the bud is capable of eroding the people confidence in the electoral system. We can authoritatively tell our people that the electoral system is under a serious threat, through massive mopping of PVCs across the state. The exercises are being coordinated by top government functionaries and major party stakeholders from the major political parties. For us this development signposts danger and a serious threat to our electoral system in particular, and the entire democratic process. We are using this opportunity to call on all the authorities vested with the constitutional responsibility of midwifing and protecting the system to please close monitor the activities of not only the parties and their stalwart, but also all the latter day advocacy groups who are hiding under the canopy of civil societies to serve as fronts in this PVCs buying,” CAU stated.
The YPP, which spoke through Barr Emperor Ogbnnaya Gabriel, warned that the party will not tolerate any move by anyone no matter how highly placed to compromise the electoral system, either through vote buying and or any other means. The fiery Aba based legal practitioner and human rights crusader in an interview with the press in Aba while affirming the confidence of his party in the current electoral process, however stated that they have equally put in place machineries to check mate any attempt to compromise the electoral system through vote buying.
Chief Emperor who is also the YPP candidate for Aba Central state constituency in the 2023 General Election, added that they would arrest and even initiate the prosecution of electoral offenders as the law permits them to do so.
He however called on all the relevant authorities concerned with protecting the system to be proactive in their operations.
“We are mindful of the fact that some people would want to compromise the electoral system but we are also well prepared to confront them. Our party has enough youths who are ready to defend their votes. We report any move to buy votes by anyone”, Chief Emperor warned.