Ex-President, Goodluck Jonathan has replied the national Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adams Oshiomhole over a recent comment on Vote Buying.
Oshiomhole, on Sunday, during an interview with Channels Television, accused Jonathan of being the originator of vote buying in Nigerian politics.
In response to the allegation, Jonathan in a statement by his media adviser, Ikechukwu Eze, said voting buying in Nigeria started in Edo State gubernatorial election in 2016, a year after Jonathan his left office.
It noted that while in office between 2010 and 2015, the former president conducted many elections adjudged as free and fair by both national and international observers.
The statement read;
“It is instructive that in each case, the former president was given a clean bill, with both local and international observers commending him for having supervised a credible and transparent process.
”In November 2017, a United Nations delegation led by Ambassador Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, and Chairman of the Cameroon-Nigeria Mixed Commission (CNMC) commended former President Jonathan for the positive outcome of the electoral reforms he initiated during his tenure, and prayed that the institutions he built and the high standards he set in organizing credible and peaceful elections are maintained and sustained by his successors.
“It is instructive that Jonathan also received plaudits from the visiting UN team over his conduct of the same 2015 elections which Oshiomhole had casually singled out for condemnation,”
He pointed out that Oshiomhole is suffering from multiple personality syndrome, recalling how he praised Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State and Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso only to denounce them the next day.
The former president said it appeared that Mr. Oshiomhole faces psychological strain, as he is in feud with everybody, including members of his party.
He added that the false accusations might have stemmed from his own guilty conscience arising from the unenviable behavior he exhibited during the September 2016 gubernatorial election in Edo State.
“After observing the Edo 2016 gubernatorial election, the Transition Monitoring Group (TMG) a coalition of over 400 civil society organizations spread across the country, said ‘the most frequent reported incidents (of electoral irregularities) are vote buying/voter bribery.’
The trend was later to spread to Ondo, Anambra and Ekiti States governorship elections, all taking place after Jonathan had left office as President.
“What also changed was that Oshiomhole’s emergence as the national chairman of APC and the burden of ‘delivering results to his party’, has pushed him into exporting and escalating this vote buying dexterity to other states, as recently witnessed in Ekiti governorship poll.
“The fact is that inducement as a tool in the hands of politicians is an old malaise that no Nigerian can be proud of.
“It is bad enough that this has been allowed to fester and morph into the ugly trend that is today called vote buying.
“Given this circumstance, you would expect a statesman of Oshiomhole’s standing to offer perspectives on how to solve this problem that is already making our country an object of scorn in the eyes of the international community.
“That Oshiomhole only resorted to blame game rather than offer any useful suggestions to the election management bodies on how to solve this shameful problem, in the cited television interview, is a sad commentary on the quality and character of today’s political leaders.
“A government that continues to blame its predecessor rather than show its scorecard, less than one year to the end of its four-year tenure, is only giving the impression that it is already at its wit’s end.
“We believe that it is high time Mr. Oshiomhole began to put a leash on his unhelpful, ill-conceived comments and tumultuous style of leadership, to enable him offer quality service to the party he currently leads,”.