For Edo State To Develop

For Edo State To Develop, Voters Must Avoid Exploiting Candidates, Adobokashi Advises

For Edo State To Develop

OpenLife Nigeria reports that Adobokashi For Edo Welfare Initiative, AFEWIN, a registered advocacy group, seeking improved socio-economic and democratic governance for Edo State, has advised voters across the 18 local government areas and 192 wards to desist from exploiting candidates as campaigns for the September 21 governorship election begin in earnest.

This piece of advice was handed down by Benson Ehiagwina, an international businessman and President, Adobokashi For Edo Welfare Initiative, AFEWIN.

In a statement made available to the press by Mr. Fidelis Anenih, Secretary of the advocacy group, Mr. Ehiagwina noted with dismay the consistent exploitation of candidates in every round of elections by voters and stakeholders, stressing that such tendencies portend grave dangers to expected democratic dividends.

He pointed out that voters and stakeholders should focus on the integrity and programmes of candidates.

“Voters should peruse the programmes of candidates and how implementable they are. They should desist from fixating on how deep the pockets of candidates are and how much can be extracted from them in the guise of vote promise in September,” he stated.

Ehiagwina emphasized that once candidates are made to borrow money with high interest rate, sell off assets to share for leaders and voters during campaigns, such monies are usually recovered in office to the disadvantage of infrastructural developments.

He explained that in other countries of the world, economic index are improving because voters and stakeholders can boldly hold elected public office holders accountable for any failure in governance.

According to him, they are able to do this and keep politicians on their toes in advanced countries because voters voted for implementable programmes and integrity of the candidates and not the cups of rice, beans shared during campaigns.

The AFEWIN President stressed that the NGO will continue to share quality political and economic knowledge with voters and stakeholders to attain a better Edo State where opportunities for growth will be available to everyone without inhibition.

Part of the statement reads:

Good governance must begin from Edo State and that is what Adobokashi For Edo Welfare Initiative, AFEWIN, stands for.

For Edo to achieve good and qualitative democratic governance, voters must shun the habit of exploiting candidates during campaigns.

That is the only way public office holders can be held accountable when they get to office.

When candidates are made to sell their assets including houses, lands and borrow from different sources to fund campaigns, chances are that they would first recoup their monies before thinking of developing infrastructure for the well being of the people.

This has been the case which has negated unconditional social expectations.

Such customs and antithetical political games are hugely responsible for dislocated democratic growth.
This should change and must change in this 2024 for Edo State to advance to the next stages of developments.

Records show that over time, delegates would collect money from money bag aspirants to produce candidates that are not worth the office.

Voters, as well, would collect money when candidates visit and also collect when candidates are visited.
Candidates are made to pay all manner of bills for youth groups, women groups, elder groups, pastor groups, Imam groups, transport union groups, teacher groups, media groups etc including buying vehicles for ‘leaders.’

These are reasons for wrong choices at the polls with lamentable consequences of poor governance after the elections.

Edo voters should know that when a candidate chooses to pay for support, rather than compete fairly for votes and present implementable programmes, it is sign of disregard for democratic norms and a willingness to dump you after victory.

However, AFEWIN recognizes the fact that poverty is also a contributory factor to this menace.
Lots of voters who do not have what to eat see the campaign season as the right time “To make my own money.”

But voters should know that such tendency to collect money from desperate candidates during campaigns are the reasons insecurity remains unresolved, roads are not motorable, collapsed educational system, rising unemployment ratio, dilapidated health care system etc.

Candidate with the deepest pocket shouldn’t win election, rather candidate with the best manifestoes in line with clear policy programmes to serve, should win.

This is the standard in countries lots of people try to japa to.

If our dear Edo State must move forward, we must strive to shun exploiting candidates and vote according to convincing programmes.


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