Ahead of the February 25 presidential and National Assembly elections, the Young Progressive Party (YPP) senatorial candidate for the Akwa Ibom North-West (Ikot Ekpene) senatorial district, Emmanuel Ekon, warned that unless take drastic measures to address the -voting crisis, democracy would remain a mirage in Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom state, the former member of the House of Representatives for Abak federal constituency said that “the wholesale penetration of money into the leadership recruitment process has robbed electorates of effective representation and constituency development.”
He blamed the gullible nature of electorates, party leaders and stakeholders, for always trading the fate of their constituents and constituents for cash, a situation that he said forced most politicians to “see their positions within the prism of personal achievement, without any obligation paid”. to the people they represent.
Praising the new monetary policy, the former deputy noted that it would go a long way to entrench some measures of financial discipline, and lamented that the monetary incentive of voters before and during the polls would only end up throwing mediocre and desperate leaders whose mentality is “for recoup their investments.
He said: “Politicians here would go to the extreme of borrowing, selling their property and getting cash for elections. Most of this money would go towards consultations of neighborhood elders and stakeholders at all other levels, including youth, to secure support. So when they win, the first thing is to win back and recoup their investments. Don’t forget that the major political parties, including the APC, had priced the nomination forms much higher than the reach of the average youth in the country can afford.
“In the United States, where I have been for several years, things are not done that way. There and in other developed economies, people contribute to their preferred and chosen candidates. Such contributions are only used for logistics and other programs to facilitate campaigns and not for vote buying, consultations, and other ceremonies to court electorates.
Hoping to return to the National Assembly (Red Chamber), Ekon, who led the agitation for the passage of the Local Content Law, which led to more indigenous players in the oil and gas sector, said he would seek more Nigerian content in the industry in another to create more jobs, skills and wealth for young people.
Calling on the people of the Ikot Ekpene senatorial district to avoid the lure of money as crucial elections approached, Ekon noted that “only an experienced person could weather the storm of politics at that level as a senior member, to get the due dividends of democracy to the people.
‘”Don’t let anyone fool you, it’s always not easy to break ranks and get what you want as a newbie. I was in the Green Chamber for four years, learning the ropes until my second term when I became chair of the Local Content Committee, and I know what I achieved for the people of the Abak federal constituency I represented in terms of human capital development. , job and skill acquisition, scholarships, women’s empowerment, and physical infrastructure, including electricity, establishment of a skills acquisition center, and other programs.
“Therefore, I can say authoritatively and bluntly that I remain the best representative of the National Assembly with the best record of constituency development since the return of democracy in 1999, as far as the Abak federal constituency is concerned. , and I have this burning desire. to beat that record if given the chance next month.” he assured her.