Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has written to alibaba.com, a Chinese online sale platform, over reports that Nigeria’s Permanent Voters Card is on sale on its website.
In the open letter titled “A Matter of National Security and Electoral Integrity Involving alibaba.com,” he said the action is a breach of Nigeria’s electoral and national integrity. The letter which was signed by Otunba Gbenga Daniel, Director General of Atiku’s Presidential Campaign Organisation, such sales would greatly impede on the chances of a free and fair Nigerian election in 2019.
Dear Jack Ma,
“Greetings and many congratulations for your entrepreneurial successes. I have great admiration for what you have achieved, especially coming from a humble background.
“I write this open letter because my attention has been drawn to an egregious breach of Nigeria’s electoral integrity and thus our national security, by the sale of Nigerian Permanent Voter Cards, on alibaba.com
“We are very concerned about this security breach because it threatens Nigeria’s desire to build strong institutions, like the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“A situation like this could lead to massive vote buying and thus thwart our efforts and instead create strong men where we want to enable strength in institutions.
“Permanent Voter Cards were used in the 2015 Nigerian elections and the alibaba platform was also in existence then, yet we did not have this breach.
“That precedence leads me to believe that if alibaba.com refuses to lend its platform to those unscrupulous elements who want to thwart Nigeria’s democracy, we would greatly increase the chances of a free and fair Nigerian election in 2019.
“Therefore, I appeal to you to use your good offices to permanently remove these items from alibaba.com
“Furthermore, I do kindly ask you to consider sharing information with Nigeria’s security apparatus that may help expose any impropriety.
“The world is currently witnessing the unfolding of allegations, counter allegations and investigations into election meddling in the 2016 American Presidential elections.
“These occurrences have ensnared several technologies, IT and social media platforms includingFacebook, Cambridge Analytica and Twitter just to mention a few.
“Their involvement has had far-reaching political and economic impact which has affected their market capitalisation and consumer confidence.
“It is also in the light of preventing such a scenario involving Nigeria and alibaba.com that I make these appeals. I trust that I can count on your cooperation.
“Thank you and please be assured of my continued admiration and my offer of a right hand of friendship.”