Delegates Are The New Bandits – Ben Igbakpa

Delegates Are The New Bandits – Ben Igbakpa

Our Correspondent

Member representing Ethiope Federal Constituency of Delta State, Ben Igbakpa has described electoral delegates as Nigeria’s “new bandits.”

Igbakpa, while responding to questions from our correspondent, condemned the activities of delegates who he described as ‘cash and carry bundle of people’. He explained that these delegates where new to the political scene and as such where only interested in how much they could get.

“These delegates are new people, they are strangers and all they think about is how much will I take home, they became cash and carry bundle of people, they became people that even after the cash and carry, still listen to the people that brought them because most of them are products of people in government or in one authority or the other”.

Explaining why vote buying was prevalent in the last PDP primaries, the lawmaker explained that the amendment to the electoral Act prevented political office holders from embarking on partisan politics and as such led to the use of non-political delegates.

Defending his use of the word ‘bandits’, he said, “You see this banditry we are talking about comes in various ways, for somebody who can just go off and collect so much from a person knowing that you wouldn’t vote for that person what kind of wickedness is that? I think we would correct it, I would implore my colleagues so we look into applying Section 50 of the constitution whenever it arises, it is our responsibility to make laws”.

Although Igbaka condemned the activities of some delegates, he insisted that the Act has created a level playing ground for all political candidates by ensuring that political office holders (appointees) resign from office before embarking on political activities so as to prevent exploitation and oppression from the later.

“In curing this, it must be that either you want to contest for election or you want to vote for someone. In the cause of selecting a candidate, then you must leave government. I think it is a fair deal, its either I choose to be in government, yes, the constitution is talking about 30 days before the general election, but this one is talking about the main election and its process.

“The law did not say anybody, it said political appointees, so if you are a civil servant and you want to remain there that is fine but 30 days to that time you must leave. But if you are an appointee you have to leave so you don’t use the tools of your office to oppress those who have no opportunity to be in government. We will continue to do what we can as a parliament to ensure that the bill meets the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians. All we are crying for is a free, fair and credible election”.

Tags assigned to this article:
2023 Elections