Senator Sonni Ogbuoji, the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Ebonyi, has urged the electorate not to engage in vote trading.
He also said that the votes of the electorate would determine the outcome of the 2019 general elections in Ebonyi.
Ogbuoji, representing Ebonyi South zone, spoke on Thursday at Okpoduma in Nwofe, Izzi Local Government Area of Ebonyi.
Ogbuoji spoke during the 14th anniversary and thanksgiving of Ragina Pacis Foundation, a Non-Governmental Organisation founded by Chief Edward Nkwegu, an industrialist and politician.
He cautioned Ebonyi electorate on trading their voter cards, noting that the people through their votes and not money would determine those that would lead them.
He advised eligible voters to collect their Permanent Voter Cards and urged them to shun monetary inducements.
He said: “You must resist those who will try to deceive you or buy your votes during the elections and I want to say that your votes will determine who governs you from May 2019.
“APC government is determined to right the wrongs perpetrated by the People’s Democratic Party led government, which has privatised governance and subjected the citizenry to hardship.’’
He commended Nkwegu, the founder of RPF, for promoting functional education through the foundation, stressing that the initiative would empower the people with requisite financial knowledge and vocational skills for self-sustenance.
He added that vocational education and skills acquisition would enable the students to become employers of labour instead of becoming a liability to their parents and to themselves after leaving school.
Earlier, Nkwegu said that the foundation established 14 years ago was designed to provide succour to the poor and less privileged members of society.
The former APC governorship aspirant, said that Ragina Pacis Institute was established to teach students financial, skills acquisition and vocational education in order to give them “a second chance at money and life’’.
He described poverty as lack of self -sustenance caused by ignorance and lack of financial education and stressed that the focus of the foundation was empowering people through functional skills acquisition and financial education.
He said: “Give a man fish, you feed him for a day; but teach him how to fish, you feed him for life.”
Meanwhile, Rev. Fr. JohnPaul Nwankwo, Chairman, Board of Trustees of the foundation, said no fewer than 13,000 less privileged persons had benefitted from the foundation’s single-digit soft loan under its micro credit scheme.
He said the beneficiaries cut across the 13 local government areas of the state.
Nwankwo added that over 500 indigent persons had been trained in computer operations and Information Communication Technology while 100 graduates had received training in modern agricultural technology to boost food production and food sufficiency.
The event attracted dignitaries and party chieftains across political divides, including Chief Martin Elechi, former governor of Ebonyi, among others.