A veteran journalist, Dupe Ajayi, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to disqualify politicians who engage in vote buying during election in order to check the menace .
Ajayi made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Asaba on the sideline of the ongoing 14th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference (ANEC).
She said that vote buying had become a menace threatening the country’s democracy and had adversely affected her political development.
She said, “ INEC should try as much as it can to disqualify those politicians who engage in vote buying during elections in the country.
“This will help to sanitise the electoral process in the country as well as promote the entire system,’’ she said.
Ajayi who is also a fellow of the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE), said that vote buying had become a serious challenge to good governance in the country.
Also, former Secretary of NGE, Mr Isaac Ighure, stressed the need for the media to stick to their traditional role of informing and educating the electorate on the evils of selling their votes.
Ighure said, “the media should educate the electorate that when they sell their votes they indirectly sell their right to development.
“This should be done repeatedly through the television, radio and newspapers,’’ he said.
He called on the media to also educate politicians who indulged in in such condemable practice on the need to desist from it.
The former Editor-in-Chief of NAN said that vote buying was an act that would help nobody.
“Such politicians should search their conscience and ask themselves whether what they are doing is right,’’ he said.
Ighure therefore advised the electorate to avoid being used by politicians, adding that no amount of money paid by desperate politicians should force them to sell their vote and conscience.
On his part, Mr Vincent Obike, the former Editor in Chief of the defunct National Ambassador Newspaper, said vote buying was getting worse by the day.
Obike said the media should try as much as it could to expose those who engaged in it.
He also called on INEC to intensify campaign on the dangers of vote buying across the nation.
The Managing Director of Plus Television said that the electorate should refuse whatever politicians offered them in exchange of their votes and cast their ballots wisely.
“They should look for candidates that would do them good in the next four years,” he advised.