By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—THE presidential candidate of Grassroots Development Party of Nigeria, GDPN, Dr. Davidson Akhimien, has attributed vote buying during elections to the pauperisation of Nigerians by successive governments.
He also said the Federal Government’s disbursement of N15 billion to over 1.5 million petty traders under its TraderMoni loan nationwide was a wrong approach to empowering ordinary Nigerians and tackling poverty in the country.
Akhimien spoke with Vanguard during the party’s rally at Ekpoma, headquarters of Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State.
He said: “I have always told the people, whenever I have the opportunity, that you must not sell your vote to any politician for mere pittance. The politician must earn your vote and not the other way round.
“That is why I blamed successive governments for the pauperisation of the people, which led to vote buying— pauperisation in terms of poverty and mental capacity.
“Will they give money to a literate man? He will give you a slap because he feels you are denigrating his human dignity. They are involved in vote buying because our people are poor, uneducated and cannot rationalise.
“That is why you find politicians insulting their personalities by giving people N4,000 or N5,000 for votes. This must be changed and the only way to do this, is through intensive development of human capacity of Nigerians.”
On the disbursement of TraderMoni by the Federal Government, Akhimien said his party, GDPN, see the TraderMoni as a strategy to further impoverish and pauperise Nigerians.
He said rather than provide Nigerians with the dividends of democracy and effective leadership, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, was going around markets nationwide sharing TraderMoni.