I am a victim of electoral fraud, rigging in the past ― Senator Adeyemi

THE Senator representing Kogi West in the National Assembly, Senator Smart Adeyemi, on Thursday said he is a victim of electoral fraud and rigging in the recent past.

This was contained in a press statement issued on Thursday by Chief Olowo Cornelius, legislative aide to Senator Adeyemi, a copy which was made available to Nigerian Tribune in Lokoja.

Recall that Adeyemi had said that “military era is better than a democratic government.”

But in the statement on Thursday, he said the true position on the matter is that he personally knows and experience the pains of election rigging, so he spoke from a position of personal experience.

According to him, what he said on the floor of the Senate was that “truncating the wish of the people by not allowing their votes to count in elections is worse than a military takeover.”

The press statement stated thus: “One would have ordinarily ignored this attempt at the deliberate misrepresentation of the people’s senator. First, considering the section of the online media where the news emanated from, who their principal is, and the injuries they still nurse from their losses in the recent Kogi West Senatorial election, their situation can be understood. Two, our knowledge of the fact that Nigerians and particularly the media sector know DSSA as an astute journalist and a fearless labour leader with indelible records of struggle against the military government, even now as a serving, ranking Senator of the Federal Republic, he is too knowledgeable, exposed and mature to make such a careless statement.

“But for the purpose of setting the record straight for posterity, I wish to clarify here that what DSSA said on the floor of the Senate was that ‘truncating the wish of the people by not allowing their votes to count in elections is worse than a military takeover.’

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“He said this in contribution to a discussion on a bill to curtail the devastating effects of electoral violence and election rigging.

“It is known globally that the hallmark of democracy is free and fair elections, but this cannot be said of some of our previous elections in which politicians of questionable characters whose adoption of the do-or-die approach to elections have resulted in pandemonium, arson, killings and maiming, even the killing of security agents and youth corps members, and the criminal robbery of the people’s mandates at gunpoints. Where free and fair election is lacking, such is worst than a military government.

“In Nigeria today, hardly can elections be held, even for positions as small as Councillorship, without recording casualties, this can not be encouraged nor allowed to continue as the wish of the people as regarding who is to lead or represent them par time must be respected, if only we want, as a nation, to continue to enjoy the grace and favour of God and the goodwill of the comity of nations. We must know that God will fight for the helpless and common man when criminal-minded politicians continue to trample upon their rights in their helpless positions.

“We must know that Distinguished Senator Smart Adeyemi was himself a victim of electoral fraud and rigging, in the recent past he was personally made to know and experience the pains of election rigging, so he spoke from a position of personal experience.

“Nigerians must wake up to the fact that when leaders obtain their electoral mandates legally from the people, their interest and loyalty is to the people, but when electoral mandates are criminally obtained from thuggery and weapons, definitely their loyalty and commitments will be to the thugs and their weapons.

“Distinguished Senator Smart Adeyemi is a politician of repute who believes that democracy will deliver on its mandates if the processes leading to the emergence of our leaders and representatives are kept peaceful and sacred, development and growth of this nation can only be guaranteed when people occupying various political offices derive their mandates and legitimacy from the people.”

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