The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it will not tolerate vote buying by Politically Exposed Persons, PEPs, during the forthcoming general elections.

Acting Head, Media and Publicity of the commission, Tony Orilade, said this at an event tagged: “Say No To Vote Buying” in Abuja, on Monday.

Mr Orilade said it was becoming a trend that politicians buy votes from the electorate instead of going to campaign and sell their policies and programmes to them.

“It is a crime and should not be tolerated and the only way we can do that is to create awareness that there is danger in vote buying.

“When you sell your vote you have mortgaged your conscience for four years. You can’t complain because you have sold it.

“Vote the person you believe in; vote the person you believe will protect and provide for the citizens,” he said.

Usen Asanga, Senior Programme Officer, Youth Alive Foundation, said campaign against all forms of corruption was everybody’s business.

Mr Asanga described the spate of vote buying as alarming, saying it was a threat to Nigeria’s democracy.

“If we sell our votes, we do not have that moral standing to demand for accountability from our leaders.

“It is important that we vote with our conscience, to enable us have the moral standing to challenge our leaders when they go wrong,” he said.

He urged the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to ensure free and fair elections.

Earlier, the organiser, Olanrewaju Toriseju, popularly known as “Ambassador Wahala”, urged the youth to shun acts of thuggery before, during and after the elections.

“We are here to preach the gospel against vote buying through music and stage plays,” he said.

Mr Toriseju, who is also a comedian and human rights activist, said the event was with the support of the anti-graft agency aimed at highlighting the ills of corruption in the country.

NAN

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