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General News of Monday, 15 August 2022


2023: There are plots by political parties to massively buy votes - Group alleges

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Campaign For Transformative Governance (CFTG) has accused political parties of strategising how to buy votes in the 2023 general elections instead of focusing on issues-based campaigns. The CFTG charged politicians jostling for political positions to ensure their campaigns focus on how to provide solutions to developmental issues.

The group, a combination of civil society and labour union, made the call at the West senatorial district 2023 elections dialogue programme held at the Women Development Centre, Agege in Lagos, on Sunday.

The CFTG is an initiative of the TUC, AUPCTRE, FIWON and pro-Labour civil society organisations.

The theme of the dialogue was ‘The 2023 General Elections and the Quest for People-Centred Public Service-Focused Governance- Any Hope?’

Sina Odugbemi, CFTG chairman in Lagos, said a political eclipse had beclouded the nation’s democracy because many politicians do not base their campaigns on issues.

“In the past, after getting people’s mandates and authority, people assess politicians’ performances by all their manifestos and analysis during the electioneering, but today everything has changed. Politicians are now turning the table and limiting it with the ideas of the cash carriers take it all,” said Mr Odugbemi.

He added, “Most of them focus more on how much to spend on voters on election day than to engage the citizens on developmental issues and programmes.”

Gbenga Ekundayo, Trade Union Congress of Nigeria chair in Lagos, said

it was imperative to engage candidates jostling for political offices, to know their capacity and programme for the people.

He said, “Through this programme, people will know how much the candidates understand the challenges on the ground, the resources available and the best way to tackle challenges. This is a way we can build the future we all deserve as the programme allows the union and the civil society to advise their members aright in order to vote for the right candidates.”

Also, Oluwatoyin Shokunbi, chairman of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation, Civil Service, Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), noted that the union was coming out to sensitise the public on the coming general election.

Shokunbi explained that all party candidates were only eager to get into power without considering the challenges facing the economy as Gbenga Komolafe, the general secretary of the Federation of Informal Workers Organisation of Nigeria (FIWON), urged labour unions to be united ahead of the 2023 general elections to keep issues on the front burner.

“We have the issue of basic security of lives and property as well as challenges of public service delivery in almost all the sectors. These are the issues we want to push forward to party candidates to say what they want to offer, but unfortunately, the major candidates and present political office holders are not here,” he said.


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