Former President Goodluck Jonathan has compared politicians attempting to win elections by “unorthodox” means such as vote-buying to armed robbers and grifters.
“For us who are politicians, our conduct matters a lot,” Jonathan said while addressing journalists moments after casting his vote in home state of Bayelsa for the presidential and National Assembly elections held on Saturday.
“And I always tell politicians that ‘Yes, you can win elections through unorthodox means, just like using violence to win elections or buying votes and so on. But when you do that, you are behaving like an armed robber or a con man.
“An armed robber makes money through robbery, but everybody knows that he’s an armed robber. A con man makes money through deceiving people, but everybody knows that he’s a con man. They’re not decent members of society.”
According to him, politicians are supposed to be decent members of society. For this reason, he says “we must conduct our affairs very creditably” so that supporters, relatives and others would be convinced that politics is a “clean business.”
He urged politicians to allow voters to choose their leaders at any level.
“My plea is, we the politicians, the security people, the INEC operatives should do the best for the country; the whole world is looking at us” he said.
“So many senior global citizens are in Nigeria because of these elections. They want us to succeed, and we must not fail.”
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Jonathan hailed the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS), expressing the assurance that though hitches could not be ruled out, the technology was indicative of the developments being made by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“BVAS is an improvement on the card reader, and I believe it will be better than the card reader,” he said. “I don’t think we are moving backwards. We may still have some hitches – it’s technology. Even you have problems with your phones.
“Even if you buy one of the best smartphones, sometimes, you still have problems. I’m not expecting that [in] the whole country, the BVAS machines will work perfectly. But it’s a significant improvement and at least there’s an attempt to improve on the methodology.
“The only thing I request from INEC is that in terms of distributing materials, they should improve on that because it appears they are using the same method to distribute materials”