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2023: FG must curb insecurity to encourage Nigerians to vote, says Melaye

  Dino Melaye, spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar campaign council, says President Muhammadu Buhari needs to improve security to boost the ...

 


Dino Melaye, spokesperson for the Atiku Abubakar campaign council, says President Muhammadu Buhari needs to improve security to boost the confidence of voters ahead of the 2023 elections.

 

He said this on Tuesday during the ‘Citizens Elections Dialogue’, a programme organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), YIAGA Africa, and Channels Television.

 

According to Melaye, the security situation in the country is a cause of concern, considering how it could impact voter turnout during the general election.

 

“Going by the magnitude of banditry going on, going by the ravaging kidnapping that is on the increase, going by the insecurity in the eastern part of the country, in the north-east, north-west, and recently with the brigade of guards that is the last line of our defence as a nation being attacked, where two officers and six men of the brigade of guards were killed, and we are yet to see anyone paraded or arrested, it gives me a lot of concern,” Melaye said.

 

 “The security agencies will have to double up. The president will have to show capacity. He will have to show decisiveness and build the confidence of Nigerians, especially in areas where they can no longer go to farm so that they can have the confidence to come out and vote.

 

“The security agencies of this country will definitely need to do more to boost the morale, the confidence of Nigerians to know that they can freely come out and vote on election day.”

 

Melaye, who also spoke on vote buying, called for an amendment of the electoral act to provide stricter laws against vote buying.

 

According to the electoral act, vote buying attracts “a maximum fine of N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both”.

 

In his remarks, Melaye urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and security agencies to ensure the prosecution of anyone caught engaging in vote buying and selling.

 

“The issue of vote buying is a very serious issue and the way to tackle it, I propose an amendment to the electoral act where the issue of vote buying will attract very stringent punishment,” he said.

 

“The security agencies, including the EFCC, have also not demonstrated faith. In Osun, in Ekiti, we saw individuals arrested and paraded. Months after, we’ve heard nothing about their prosecution.

 

 “If there is no punishment for crime committed, then definitely, you are promoting that crime. So, we are calling on the security agencies, the police, the EFCC… that you need to show example with some of these people that have been arrested. You need to prosecute them. You need to take them to court.

 

“Nigerians want to see people being sentenced for buying or selling votes. Then, it will serve as a deterrent and people will adjust.”

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