Poverty encouraging vote buying – UN Women Country Rep




By Margaret Tyam

Ms Beatrice Eyong, the UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, says poverty is a major cause of vote buying in Nigeria.

Eyong said this when she received National Officials of Women Wing of Christian Association of Nigeria (WOWICAN) in Abuja.

She said that the UN women planned to initiate programmes to curtail the problem of vote buying in the country.

The CAN women representatives were at the UN House in Abuja to seek for collaboration to end gender based issues in Nigeria.

“We have talked about buying and selling of votes and that is a challenge.

“I tell you poverty is one of the things that is promoting buying and selling of votes and we are thinking that if we do programmes, we may improve women’s income status and other people in the villages,” she said.

Eyong said that the two major programmes are Rural Women Economic Empowerment Programme and Market Women Transformational Initiative.

“We have presented our two big programmes, and we are discussing with the minister and approval has been given. The UN is interested and donors are also interested.

“That is, the Rural Women Economic Empowerment Programme, which will be through climate smart Agriculture, which is digitally assisted by our digital platform called ‘Buy from Women’.

“So this one is going to respond to the empowerment of rural women and I’m happy that you people also work with rural women.

“The second one is the market women transformational initiative.

“I saw that people are working on market women, they are working on petty traders, these are some of the things we are interested in,” Eyong said.

She assured the women of partnership, and commended the interreligious involvement, which she described as wise and a way for more knowledge to be acquired.

“You are a credible partner, we will like to continue our work with you to advance more good things.

“I am very happy that we have this collaboration with the Muslim women, we have to also involve them because they too will have other people,” she said.

Deaconess Victoria Ihesiulor, National President, WOWICAN said they planned to run programmes to ensure women and youth shun all electoral ills.

“We have planned sensitisation and mobilisation, we need to sensitise our women, call them together and let them know. We then organize trainings that vote buying an payments make one to suffer for many years.

“By the time they come and give you N5,000, N10,000 or even N20,000, after spending that money, the person enters for four years and takes another four years, that’s eight years.

“You will suffer for eight years If you don’t vote for the right people.
We want them to know that getting rice, the issue of collecting wrappers will not address one’s challenges”.

Ihesiulor said that WOWICAN has a total of 48 million registered members in different spheres of life across the country.