By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Bishop of the Diocese of Ekiti West, the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) , the Rt. Rev. Rufus Ajileye Adepoju, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop vote buying in the electoral system and prevent it from increasing poverty and crime in the land through bad leadership, stressing that vote buying is a crime against God and humanity.
He also cautioned politicians against making empty promises to deceive the electorate as the 2019 general elections draw nearer.
Adepoju also admonished Nigerians against the practice of vote buying, saying the practice is “aimed at stifling people from making free choice of their candidates.”
The Bishop's position emanated from the resolutions reached at the 1st Session of the 7th Synod which ended on Saturday and presided over by the Bishop held at St. Paul's Anglican Church, Idagba, Efon Alaaye,
A communiqué issued at the end of the synod, stressed that “vote buying can end up giving a bad candidate with loads of funds an undeserved edge to the detriment of the people at the long run.”
The synod called on all eligible Nigerians who are of age to ensure that they register with INEC and collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) in order to be able to perform their civic responsibility of voting at national elections to bring credible people into political offices.
The communiqué reads: “The Synod admonished some of our politicians who were in the habit of making empty promises to desist from such practices, which only heighten people's expectations only to disappointed at last. This practice contributes to people's disaffection for people in governance and politics.
“Synod appealed to Government at both States and National level to promptly pay salary and pension arrears to serving workers and pensioners.
“The non-payment of these deserved salaries and pension has brought untold hardship to families, especially those where the husband and wife are civil servants.
“Synod was deeply concerned with the prevailing scourge of political and religious motivated killings, kidnapping and other anti-social behaviours.
“Synod called on the federal government of Nigeria to deploy adequate security resources to tackle these menace and eradicate them from our country.
“Synod appreciated government's efforts at waging the war against Boko Haram, but also charged the security forces not to rest on their oars.
“Synod demanded that the issue of herdsmen should receive the same measure of force and seriousness as was applied to other dissident forces that threatened the lives, properties and our national unity.
“Synod charged all Christians to remain unmoved, stable, persistent and resolute in their dependence on God and His Words, which is enough and sufficient for our salvation”.