Edith CHUKU / Gift EREBAH, Port Harcourt
A chieftain of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Mr. Wokocha Augustine, has encouraged the people of Rivers State not to reject money offered to them by candidates vying for various political positions in the state.
But Wokocha stressed the need for natives and residents of the state to ensure that those offering them such money to buy their vote do not win any election.
According to him, monies offered in exchange for votes belong to the electorate, which he said they have been denied and deprived of over the years.
Speaking with TNN in an exclusive interview, he said “we will not buy votes, I am encouraging Rivers people to collect any money from any person who comes to them offering them money, whether it is the people who have held their destiny hostage over the last eight years or those who had subjugated them in one form or the other, and gathered all their money to come and give them on election day.
“I encourage them to collect the money and pocket them but they must ask themselves, whatever amount of money they will give to them, will it carry them over for the next year, will it be enough for them to live on that money for the next eight years? So, while I encourage them to take the money because it is their money that have been denied them and deprived them over the last how many years, they should make sure such persons who are giving them those monies do not see the position of authority again.”
He urged the people to, “enthrone a government that will create the environment that will enable them thrive and be able to solve their problem without waiting for election day to be given handout that will last them for one week, or maybe one month.”
According to Wokocha, “Senator Magnus Abe is the most qualified in whatever parameter you want to look at, he is well educated, he’s vastly experienced in the act of governance, he is a lawyer, so he has some judicial experience, he was a member of the state house of assembly, and a senator by excellence, so he has vast legislative experience, he was a commissioner in the state and a secretary to the government of Rivers State, so he has vast executive experience.”
Asked to comment on the non- existence of SDP structures in the state, he responded with an illustration, saying, “a friend of mine said, you know some of us go to the market to buy cloths so that we will look fine, other people are made to wear cloth so that they will make that cloth fine; that is the issue of you and me and a model. A model does not wear dress to make him or herself look good. He or she wears a dress to make the dress look good, as against you and I buying the dress to look good.
He further advised Rivers people to “look at every candidate and how they emerged, look at those who are behind them, you can tell from the candidates who will make Rivers State better, who will cure the unemployment that you are talking about that has made them vulnerable to be used.”