Former Minister of Petroleum, Prof Tam David-West, said on Wednesday that election riggers in Nigeria deserved death sentence.
David-West stated that rigging election was worse than armed robbery, arguing that since an armed robber would get a death sentence, any politician, found guilty of subverting the people’s wish at the poll, should also bag similar sentence.
The Professor of Virology said it would be difficult for Nigeria to experience free and fair election if desperate politicians were allowed to rig and go Scot-free.
David-West was reacting to the outcome of the governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State, describing it as a sham and a dent on the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission.
The former minister expressed surprise that some persons were hailing the conduct of the election in Rivers State, adding that it was wrong to describe an election that recorded the highest level of violence in the country as ‘good’.
David-West added, “I have said that election riggers should get death sentence. Rigging election is worse that armed robbery. If an armed robber can be sentenced to death, election riggers must face similar punishment.
“That is the only way we can have peaceful, free and fair election in this country. It (election) was a sham. From all I heard, in Buguma, Asari-Toru, there was no election as a result of sporadic shooting in the area. Surprisingly, INEC released a result.
“It is wrong for anyone to say that the conducted election is good. Is that some people see the death as goodness? If an election is fraught with violence and other forms of malpractices, if it is not corrected, it would stain the performance of INEC.”
Expressing surprise that the Peoples Democratic Party polled over one million votes, David-West stated that it was not possible for the ruling party in the state to score only over 100,000 votes.
He described the rigging in Rivers elections as barefaced, maintaining that those who stole the people’s votes did it without shame and common sense.