Hon. Ginika Tor, a prominent Enugu State chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), recently shared accounts of the various forms of voter intimidation that party supporters in the Southeast region suffered during the February 25 presidential and National Assembly polls.
Tor spoke out against the many threats of physical violence that were levelled against anyone who was perceived to be sympathetic to the APC candidates, adding that religious leaders had also allegedly instructed their followers not to vote for Tinubu.
In her view, had it not been for protest votes and religious sentiments, Tinubu would have undoubtedly garnered more votes in the region.
Tor further explained that many voters from the Southeast were instructed to vote exclusively for Peter Obi, the Labour Party (LP) candidate. She condemned this undue influence on voters by spiritual leaders and urged them not to “play god” in the country’s democratic processes.
According to Tor, some people from the region were threatened with violence if they did not vote for Obi. Additionally, she cited an incident in her village where APC supporters who had assured her of their votes for Tinubu could not even go to their polling units on election day for fear of being attacked and killed. Tor said that the fear was so palpable that some of these voters could not even look her in the eyes in Enugu state.
Furthermore, Tor decried the burning of houses and the intimidation of voters that the LP carried out during the election, calling it an abomination to democracy. She pleaded with every religious head not to play god and to stop using sentiments of religion and ethnicity to influence the voting pattern of their followers. Tor urged religious leaders to evaluate a candidate’s antecedents, rather than simply using sentiments as a basis for supporting a candidate.
Tor also spoke out against the LP candidate, Peter Obi, recalling a tweet that he had made before the election, stating that he would only win if he was coming out to serve Nigerians, and God heard his prayer. Tor criticized Obi’s tweet, stating that it suggested a lack of respect for democratic processes and the power of the people’s vote.
Finally, Tor discussed the notion of a Muslim/Muslim ticket, emphasizing that Nigeria had previously seen successful Muslim/Christian tickets. In her view, the idea of a Muslim/Muslim ticket should not be a hindrance to support, and people should be judged based on their antecedents and not their religious affiliation.
Tor concluded by expressing her belief that God would use something that looked strange to change Nigeria’s situation in the country, calling on everyone to be open to this possibility.