It’s alarming that the manner at which politics are malevolently played and ways at which justice have been sabotaged in this country. Since the return of democracy to Nigeria in May 1999, vote buying has steadily grown in scale and brazenness.
Several videos and images have emerged, showing unabashed sharing of money among the electorate by politicians as recently seen during 2019 election in Ogun State. This has led to the apt description of Nigeria’s electoral politics as “cash-and-carry democracy.”
It would interest you to know that the Ogun State House of Assembly contestant representing Abeokuta South Constituency One under Allied Peoples Movement (APM) party in 2019, who was apprehended by the anti-graft agency (EFCC) at the early of hours during the election held on March 9, 2019 at the Ijaiye Park polling unit, Abeokuta, Ogun State with a sum of N1,709 million, that was intended for vote buying as forge ahead to procure expression of interest and nomination form under All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest in the forthcoming election in 2023.
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It should be noted that vote buying is prohibited in Nigeria. Article 130 of the Electoral Act 2010, as amended, states that:
“A person who — (a) corruptly by himself or by any other person at any time after the date of an election has been announced, directly or indirectly gives or provides or pays money to or for any person for the purpose of corruptly influencing that person or any other person to vote or refrain from voting at such election, or on account of such person or any other person having voted or refrained from voting at such election; or (b) being a voter, corruptly accepts or takes money or any other inducement during any of the period stated in paragraph (a) of this section, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of N100,000 or 12 months imprisonment or both.”
However, the consequences of vote buying is disastrous, has its unduly spike the cost of elections and promotes political corruption. It equally compromises the credibility, legitimacy and integrity of elections. It therefore discourages conscientious people from during their civic responsibility and causes citizens to lose faith in state institutions.
I would therefore beseech the good people of Ogun State, to shun and distance themselves from an individual that solely believes in using money as an exchange for vote, whose antecedent has proven that if such an individual is given the baton to lead, he would definitely disintegrate and mar the office with corrupt practices and self aggrandisement.
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