EFCC blames votes buying on money laundering, mortgaged conscience.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has identified money laundering by corrupt politicians as a major cause of votes buying during elections in the country.
Its Spokesperson, Tony Orilade, sated this in Abuja during the Say No To Vote Buying Concert, organized in partnership with Olanrewaju Toriseju, a popular comedian fondly referred to as Ambassador Wahala.
“Whenever there is money laundering, people look for where to spend the money, legitimize the money and this election period, even though it is not legitimate, they tend to save the money and use it to buy votes.
“We discovered that in recent times, it is becoming a trend that politicians buy votes instead of going to campaign and sell their policies and programmes to the electorate, they rather wait and buy votes,” he stated.
Noting that selling of votes during an election was an indirect way of mortgaging one’s conscience, Orilade urged citizens to vote candidates who they know could protect and provide for them.
“Vote buying is a crime that should not be tolerated and the only way we can do that is to create awareness. That is why we are working with Ambassador Wahala to create awareness that vote buying is dangerous.
“We should also know that when people sell their votes, it means they have mortgaged their consciences for four years and they should not complain because they sold their votes. But we are saying Nigerians should vote the right candidates and those they know can protect and provide for them,” he said.
Orilade stressed that campaigns were not supposed to be funded by public money, saying, “If a government uses public money to fund campaigns, it is corruption because that government is a political party.
“For example, if the All Progressives Congress (APC) government uses state money to fund campaigns, what happens to other parties?
Stating the commission’s readiness for the general elections, Orilade noted that the EFCC has trained its men and they would be on the ground now, during and after the polls.
“We can assure Nigerians that what happened in previous elections where vote buying was so alarming will never happen again.
“Politicians are saying there is no money because they know that EFCC is watching and people are afraid to bring out money to do the evil they want to do. There is money, but they are afraid to bring it out because we are everywhere,” he added.