Former Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi, has charged Nigerians to stop selling their votes as the 2023 general elections draw closer, asking them to ensure sanctity and secrecy of the ballots.
Sanusi expressed worry that some Nigerian voters are in the habit of displaying their thumb-printed ballot papers as an evidence to trade their votes to politicians.
Sanusi spoke virtually during the 4th anniversary lecture of Penpushing Media held at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
Speaking on the annual lecture themed, ‘Social Media Regulation: Insecurity and Elections Accountability in Nigeria,’ Sanusi said the recent governorship elections held in Osun and some States came with some improvements, saying, however, that vote buying had been on the increase.
The leader of the Tijjaniyya Islamic Movement in Nigeria said Nigerians need to join hands in ensuring the sanctity and secrecy of their votes in 2023.
According to him, there was a lot to be done to stop rigging and subversion of people’s wishes through the institutions that were supposed to be officially neutral like the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the police, the judiciary and the security services.
These institutions, he alleged, “have all too often proven themselves to be rigging tools in the hands of politicians to undermine the will of the people.”
While calling on Nigerians to be vigilant, he asked the institutions to respect their mandate by remaining neutral to ensure justice and fair play.
“One of the major ways in which elections are being subverted in the new acts is the policy of vote buying and this is a lack of respect for the law on secret ballot,” he said.
The Founder, Penpushing Media, Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji advised journalists to always engage in thorough investigation so as to avoid the spread of fake news, warning Nigerians against abuse of the social media.