A leading pro-democracy and Non-governmental organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has warned voters to reject all entreaties/enticement to be bribed by politicians but to cast their votes on Saturday based on clean conscience bearing in mind that Nigeria has become the world’s capital of poverty and also very unsafe.
The Rights group said it was regrettable that a nation with the global reputation as that which has some of the most religious people is at the same time deeply entrenched in the criminal and the morally reprehensible acts of accepting bribes from rogue politicians so as to mortgage their consciences to vote for such bribe givers.
Besides, HURIWA has wondered why all the relevant security agencies have paid deaf ears to the widely reported leaked audio of a meeting by the national leader of All progressives Congress (APC) Ahmed Bola Tinubu in which he was heard promising to offer monetary rewards to potential voters who would have voted for the incumbent president.
According to the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, the security agents are playing double standard and behaving like slaves of All Progressives Congress (APC) by not inviting the party chieftain for questioning since financial inducements verbally in anticipation of votes are same breaches of electoral Act outlawing votes buying.
“It is sad that the institution of the law enforcement have become like armed guards of the party that produced the incumbent president by either chasing after leading political opponents of president Buhari or engaging in the illegal profiling of Igbo speaking officials of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) since after the botched February 16th election even when the Niece of president Buhari in INEC Mrs. Amina Zakari reportedly heads the logistics and operations committee in the electoral commission blamed for the surreptitious eleventh hour’s postponement of the long scheduled February 16th 2019 presidential and National Assembly Polls.”
HURIWA then challenged the electorate to consider the issues of ballooning poverty; high youth unemployment and widespread insecurity including unrelenting terrorists attacks and armed Fulani killings in the last three years as necessary factors that should govern their choices before they cast their votes given that the future of Nigeria is at stake.
HURIWA recalled that according to the World Poverty Clock, created by Vienna-based World Data Lab, 91.16 million Nigerians were living below a dollar a day as of February 13, 2019.
In June 2018, the Brookings Institution projected that Nigeria had overtaken India, as the poverty capital of the world, with 86.9 million extremely poor people.
HURIWA recalled that this was further confirmed by the British Prime Minister Theresa May, who said Nigeria had become home to the largest number of very poor people in the world, putting the figures at 87 million.
“Much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy, yet 87 million Nigerians live below $1 and 90 cents a day, making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world,” the UK prime minister had said.
HURIWA recalled that since PM May made this observation in South Africa in August, the number of Nigerians living in extreme poverty has grown to 91.16 million, with six people falling into poverty every minute, according to Brookings Institution.
HURIWA recalled that today, India has 48.7 million people living in poverty, from 73 million in June 2018. By implication, India has pulled out a minimum of 24 million people from poverty in less than eight months.
HURIWA recalled that armed Fulani killer gangs have continued to carry out mass killings even as the central government had in recent times spent government resources to appease these killers by contemplating the establishment of cattle colonies which violates the Land Use Act of 1978 which vests all ownership of lands in the respective States. HURIWA said the latest attacks by armed Fulani terrorists belonging to the Miyetti Allah cattle owners Association of Nigeria has just happened in Agatu Benue state even as all the previous mass murderers are walking free and enjoying Presidential protection by the current administration with predominantly Hausa/Fulani Moslems controlled internal security team appointed by president Muhammadu Buhari in clear violations of the Constitutional principle of Federal character.