Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday advocated the use of electronic voting in Nigeria to reduce the use of thugs by some “politicians who are hell-bent on grabbing political power”.
Jonathan along with Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri Bayelsa spoke weekend during the Third Synod of the Diocese of Ogbia at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Otakeme, where they both berated politicians who promote thuggery and cultism as a means of winning elections in the country.
“That is why I have always advocated that for us to move forward as a country, we must use electronic voting where nobody will use thugs to win elections. Immediately we use electronic voting, the issue of thuggery and cultism will drop by at least 50 per cent,” Jonathan said.
“Our political activities particularly the use of young people as militiamen and thugs and so on to win elections has increased the security challenges facing our nation.
“Some of the youths they use are so protected that even the police cannot arrest them because they are ‘boys’ to powerful politicians who use them during elections.”
On his part, Governor Diri who was represented at the occasion by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, urged youths to shun politicians who only use them as cannon fodders to achieve their selfish political goals and abandon them afterwards.
He noted that the only way a youth could resist the temptation of going into thuggery and cultism is to love and appreciate him or herself as a unique creation of God.
Diri also used the opportunity to call on people of the state to key into the present administration’s prosperity agenda by embracing agriculture and small scale businesses to better their lot.
“Just like our father (the former President) said earlier, I want to encourage our youths to resist evil politicians who do not mean well for them. If they invite you to carry guns, ask them, where are your children? You must learn to love yourself above any politician.
“For us as a government, we are determined to improve the lives of our people. And our focus is to see how prosperity can be engendered. Prosperity is not engendered by coming to beg a politician to give you something to eat.
“The man who teaches you how to fish is better than the one who gives you fish. To be taking fish from a politician everyday is to be dependent. To be a fisherman is to be independent. And to be independent is the glory and desire of every reasonable man.
“So, we are ready to make our youths self-reliant and prosperous by teaching them how to fish in agriculture and other legitimate endeavours.”
Both leaders made financial donations to support the Ogbia Diocese and urged the clergy and laity not to relent in their prayers for the state in particular and the country in general.
Delivering his charge as President of the Synod and Bishop of Ogbia Diocese, Rt Revd James Aye-Oruwori, cautioned the Federal Government not to use its Companies and other Allied Matters Act (CAMA) to undermine the sacred place of the church in society.
He said the theme of this year’s synod tagged ‘I Am That Am’ emphasises the self existent nature of God who is in perfect control of all situations and circumstances.
Bishop Aye-Oruwori, who thanked the dignitaries and all synods for attending the event, urged Christians not to presume to have known God enough but strive to serve Him in humility at all times.