Former deputy senate president, Ibrahim Mantu, has revealed why he confessed to rigging elections for the former ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
During an interview on Channels Television, Mr. Mantu, a former member of the PDP’s Board of Trustees, said he was actively involved in compromising election officials, security officers and even agents of rival parties to either assist in rigging candidates of the PDP to victory or look the other way in cases of obvious rigging.
“Yes, yes, I did. But I am now confessing the truth. What do I mean? I didn’t have to go and change election; but you provide money. You give money to INEC boys to help; that is, they see any chance they should try and favour you. You provide money for the security. All our elections in the past, I’ve been in the game for about 20 years.
“And I tell you each time, it is not necessarily when I am contesting an election but when my party sponsors a candidate, I would like that candidate to win the election. What we used to do before, we make provision for INEC, we make provision for security, we make provision for even agents of other parties so that they would not raise any objection to what we are able to get. Whether I rig myself or not, but when I provide those resources to the officials, I am rigging election.
“I believe so because if people are born again, like me, and refuse to do it. We, the players, we have to give before somebody will take. Don’t give so you will not get a taker,” he said.
The interview has sparked outrage with people calling on the authorities to arrest and prosecute him for electoral fraud.
But Mr. Mantu explained during the same interview that he decided to confess to election rigging because he was tired of the negative perception Nigerians have abroad.
“Wouldn’t you even ask me why am I thinking this way?” he asked the interviewer.
“I am tired of being seen as a criminal on the street of the world, because you are a Nigerian. You assume that everybody is an innocent human being until proven otherwise, but whilst you are outside this country with a green passport, and they see that you are a Nigerian, even if you are a pastor or an imam they will assume that you are criminally minded or you have criminal tendencies just because of where you come from. That must change,” he said.
He said he confessed because he was tired of the abundance of poverty in the country. He said he hopes that his confession will result in good governance by the election of credible people, who would prudently manage the resources of the country and ensure equitable wealth for everyone, into public office.
“I am tired of living in poverty in the midst of plenty. Even how much you have, you see people coming to you every day, complaining, my wife has given birth my relation is in the hospital. Every day. But if everybody has enough to take care of his or herself, they won’t come bothering you, saying give me this, give me that.
“We have the resources (with which) people can live decent lives, without being beggars to those who have. Just because we haven’t gotten our own governance system right. So, we need good governance, good governance can only be provided by good people, good people who are truly repentant, who are actually there to serve the people, who are concerned about the well-being of the people being the primary concern. If we have such leaders, then I can tell you they would judiciously and prudently use our resources for the common good of everybody.” (PREMIUM TIMES)