Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs, the Rivers Accord Governorship candidate for the 2023 elections, has slammed the recent appointment of 100,000 persons as Special Assistants for political units in the State, describing it as a clear vote buying strategy to further disenfranchise Rivers people from voting for candidates of their choice in the forthcoming general elections, even as he has urged the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC, to sanction the action.
Reacting to the move by the Rivers State Government, in an exclusive interview, Chief Lulu-Briggs said: “This is vote buying, and vote buying is against the rule, there’s no other way to describe it. INEC should come out and strongly against it, and sanction the rulling party in the State for that. There is no other way to look at it”, he added
Speaking further, the Rivers Accord Guber candidate asked “How do you explain the appointment of One hundred thousand special assistants across the units; unit advisers, unit assistants across the over Six thousand eight hundred and something (6800+) polling units in the State? So, you want to have One hundred thousand persons that you pay from State resources, giving your party an advantage, It’s not done!”
The Accord Governorship candidate admonished that, “we should create a level playing field, allow everyone to participate and give Rivers people the opportunity to determine for themselves, that man or woman they would love to Govern them, I think they deserve that”, he declared, adding that, “they have been through a lot, we have been through a lot as a people”.
According to him, “This time, choice is so important, especially at a time when people are de-emphasizing political parties and talking about the individuals, and they are saying so because of what people are going through.
“So, you understand the poverty status of the State, when the misery index is quite high, and people are looking for small small opportunities, and then you gather One hundred thousand people across the units and you call them what you want to call them and use Rivers Government funds to pay them and give yourself and your party One hundred thousand votes ahead of time! That’s pure vote buying, and I think that INEC should look at it as purely as that, and then sanction them, he said.
Dumo Lulu-Briggs however stated, “We are not saying people shouldn’t be employed, but they ought to have employed them. People are crying and the civil service is there. There has not been any employment, there has not been any promotion. So, if you want to do employment, it got to be holistic, it got to be altruistic, it got to be with the best intentions, and not looking at the electoral calendar and try to throw money at people at that time.
“It’s like knowing that your people are hungry but you don’t care, and then at the appropriate time, you just give them peanuts. That is insulting the collective psyche of the Rivers man and woman and child, and that’s not proper”, Dumo Lulu-Briggs stated emphatically.
State Publicity Secretary,