The youth wing of the apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC), yesterday, expressed concern over the 2023 general elections, saying vote-buying is the major threat to the polls.
Ohanaeze spoke in reaction to the outcome of the Ekiti State governorship election, which was allegedly characterised by inducement of voters with as much as N10,000.
OYC, in a statement jointly signed by its President General, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike ,and the Secretary General, Obinna Achionye, said the credibility of the 2023 polls is in doubt.
They said it should be of concern to every well-meaning Nigerian that politicians are not ready to allow the democratic process thrive in the country.
The statement read: “We are saddened by the news from Saturday’s guber election in Ekiti, won by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Biodun Oyebanji.
“Ordinarily, we have no issues with any political party winning an election, but our concern is the heavy inducement of voters during the exercise.
“How can one explain a situation where political parties tried to outspend one another to buy the votes? What it means is that the politicians have continued with the same fraud with which they conducted primary elections across the country.
“As youths, we declare that this is unacceptable and a major threat to the credibility of the 2023 general elections. We call on the youths to rise up and say no to mortgaging of their future. Of what value is the sum of N10, 000 for a period of four years? What is the credibility of an election that is sold to the highest bidder?” Ohanaeze youths said.
The group urged the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) rise to its responsibility of monitoring political parties’ spending.
The OYC equally expressed disappointment over the low turnout of youths during the election.
“We want to remind the youths that elections are not won on social media. It is not enough to occupy the social media space,” it stated.
“We observed, during the Ekiti election, that youth votes were in the minority. This should not be so. This must not be replicated during the 2023 general elections. We, the youths, must come out en masse and vote rightly to secure our future,” the group said.