Politics in Nigeria is a business like most other businesses. It is also like a business that is characterized by winner take all and clinched by the highest bidder. Politics in our clime is investment. People invest in it because it rewards the highest dividend effortlessly. All it requires basically is the initial outlay to grab the positions and four years you will cruise like a millionaire and well equipped to try your luck again.
It is because it is good business that those who are money bags take interest in sponsoring those who lack capacity but who must remain loyal to them. They are called political god fathers and are usually party big wigs or who have held political offices in the past. They have been limited by virtue of period to continue in office so they use their stolen wealth to perpetuate themselves in office indirectly through surrogates.
The politics of god fatherism remains a major bane of Nigerian politics because those who call the shots usually impose mediocre leadership on the better qualified ones, leading the people to suffer untold hardship. It is because politics is lucrative business the actors are prepared to throw in everything to win. They adopt thuggery, cultism, rituals, bribery, violence, vote buying and all manner of indiscipline to sail through. Anything but discipline characterize our politics.
At the 2019 general elections what dominated the scene as a strategy to win votes was to buy those votes. It was very clear that virtually all the political parties according to their respective strengths indulged in this act. Parties voted huge sums of money for the exercise and competed to outbid one another.
Can one really point to a clean politician in this country? By rating they are all guilty and have come short of the expectations of Nigerians. It was reported that they shared about 500k per booth during the election. Vote buying dominated the election nationwide even in the face of strict warning by the Independence National Electoral Commission (INEC). Security operatives caught many people but after the election nothing has been heard again about the offence
In the just concluded governorship election in Ondo which threw up again the incumbent governor Rotimi Akeredolu, the issue of vote buying reared up its ugly head again. Politicians desperate to win by hook or crook picked up the strategy to compromise an already famished electorate who cannot shy away from any offer. Thus they continue to perpetuate the culture of fraud while pretending to be good leaders.
Barr. Chris Okeke, President Imo Lawyers Association, on the possible reason we never heard anything on the issue stated: ”A system where politicians buy votes certainly can only produce criminals as political office holders. That is because, as you already know, vote buying is a criminal act. Clearly those who buy votes are politicians, and it is they that become public office holders. Certainly those who become political office holders are those who bought votes. That is a criminal act. Isn’t it? A system where we have political office holders that are vote buyers, what do you expect? It wouldn’t work. It cannot happen.”
Again the power to prosecute is with INEC and it has seldom exercised it leading many to ask what could possibly be its challenge on the issue yet it is the one that cries most over politicians fraudulent posturing on election issues. Could it be that the electoral umpire is overwhelmed by the huge challenge? Or it is possible it is lacking in financial resources and manpower to execute the task? The INEC should not just turn a blind eye as it is interpreted to mean. .
Truly Nigerian’s are not sufficiently deprived that is why we don’t hold leadership accountable. The manner we have confined the issue to dustbin does not in any way show that we are keen on getting the society better in any manner. We have shrugged it off our shoulder and it has become business as usual. We are merely driving on deceit, both the leader and the led, just pretending. The interpretation is that we have no solution or are incapable of punishing culprits and so the problem has got to live with us.
News Echo is concerned about our electoral processes which has not shown any sign of improvement especially on the side of politicians who constantly seek to defraud the system. The signal demonstrated is that leaders buying vote cannot be trusted and should be rejected because they are already fraudulent. If the legislators mean well for the nation they ought to fashion out a water tight measure and stop promoting evil.