Edmond Ben, a 85-year-old man, was one of the electorate that participated in the just concluded off-cycle governorship election in Imo State, held on November 11, 2023.
The octogenarian voted at unit 5, Ward 4, Uzii Primary School, in Owerri Municipal.
Ben said that his interest in coming out to vote was to elect a credible candidate, who would bring peace and development to Imo State.
He was however, apalled by the reported threats on the lives of electorate by supporters of a leading political party, which contributed to the low turnout of voters at the polls.
It was widely reported in the media that youths of some communities in Imo, threatened to attack voters, who refused to vote for a particular party in the state.
According to him, “I came out to vote to ensure that we elect a good candidate, as governor, someone that will bring joy to our souls anytime we remember him.
“Our children can move freely without being intimidated or unjustly arrested by the police and other security agencies.
“We need peace in our state, we abhore killings, especially killing of our youths, unnecessarily. What we want is good governance in Imo and Nigeria, we don’t want bad things in our society.”
The octogenarian observed that Imo State has been destroyed by bad governance and urged the government to wear a human face and rebuild Imo.
“We want Imo to be among the most developed state in Nigeria and the world. They should develop Imo a d not destroy it,” he said.
For the low turnout of voters, he berated those who refused to cast their votes, saying that they missed the chance of getting the change they desired, by staying at home and not coming out to vote.
“They said that the Governor is not doing well and so, why did they stay at home? This was an opportunity for them to elect their choice governor, but they wasted the chance,” he said.
He condenmed vote buying, which also characterised the election, saying that it is anti-democratic.
“I won’t collect money from vote buyers. It’s not good, it will further destroy our state, because the right candidate will not emerge, through vote buying
“And whoever wins, through such means will not govern well, because he will say that he bought his way in and would serve himself, rather than the people, which is why he is voted in, in the first instance,” he said.