The presidential candidate of KOWA Party, Dr. Sina Fagbenro-Byron, on Thursday declared that political parties in Nigeria were thriving because of the alarming rate of poverty among electorate.
Fagbenro-Byron made this declaration while addressing journalists on the sideline at a symposium organised by Politics and Governance Intervention Group in Ibadan, the Oyo state capital.
Fagbenro-Byron while addressing journalists, maintained that political parties in Nigeria are capitalising on the poverty level and illiteracy among Nigerians to woo electorate when seeking votes to win elections.
The Kowa presidential candidate, while lamenting the level of poverty and illiteracy in Nigeria, explained that many elected public officers would not have been elected if electorates are not poor.
He said, “Political parties are taking advantage of the illiteracy of the people.
“People don’t vote candidates today because of manifestos, but depend on the peanuts our politicians have to give to woo them.
“Whoever gives you 5000 naira to earn your vote doesn’t want you to live beyond that.
“If our people are not so poor, no one will be able to buy their votes. If everything is fine and citizens’ needs are met by the government, citizens will need not worry to wait for peanuts before voting.”
Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Barrister Mutiu Agboke, while speaking called on political parties to commence programs aimed at sensitising the electorate in order to reduce void votes in the coming elections.
Agboke who was represented by the Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state, Mr. David Ademola added that the symposium was targeted towards minimising votes and what citizens should know and do.
He said that the responsibility of sensitising the people should not be solely left for INEC to do, rather political parties can do so much to help the process.
He said, “Political parties should educate their supporters on the right way to exercise their franchise.
“Voters must be able to identify candidates and party of their choice.
“Voters must be able to identify their party logo so that they can know where to put their finger prints.
Agboke while lamenting that void votes have from time to time affected the outcome of elections in Nigeria, said the commission was taking strategic actions to ensure that void votes are reduced in coming elections.