Improve living standards to curb vote-buying, says perm sec

The Permanent Secretary, Special Services Office in the Presidency, Dr Amina Shamaki, has called on government at all levels to improve the standard of living of the populace to curb vote-buying and intimidation during elections.

According to her, vote-buying and intimidation of voters during elections, are new dimensions in African elections.

Speaking during the Federal and States Security Administrators’ meeting in Uyo on Thursday, Shamaki noted that the only way for the country to stay out of vote-buying and intimidation was for governments to adopt measures to improve the living standards of Nigerians.

“From experiences at recent elections, the populace is worried about the new trend of vote-buying. Vote-buying is viewed as a purely economic exchange in which the voter sells his or her vote to the highest bidder.

“The poor are more likely to be victimised by vote-buying because their limited means make them susceptible to material inducements, including offers of basic commodities or modest amounts of money.

“Government at all levels should embrace measures that will improve the standard of living of the populace while the National Orientation Agency continues to sensitise the populace to the ills of selling their votes,” she said.

Shamaki noted that with the commencement of dry season, there would likely to be conflicts between farmers and herders owing to water and hay scarcity in the North. She urged state governments to establish herdsmen/farmers reconciliation committees to curb farmers and herdsmen clashes.

She said, “In recent times, Nigeria has witnessed series of violent clashes arising from the activities of the farmers and herdsmen, who move about on a daily basis with their cattle in search of water and green pastures.

“As the dry season sets in, it would degrade pastures, dry up many natural water sources across the Savannah region. This will force large numbers of herders to migrate South in search of grassland and water for their herds.

“State governments are thereby urged to establish herdsmen/farmers reconciliation committees, pasture rangers and water points in a bid to curb farmers and herdsmen clashes.”
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