Young Nigerians have condemned the rising spate of vote buying especially during the July 14 governorship polls in Ekiti elections, describing it as a threat to youth’s political participation in the country.
While expressing their worries, they noted that the trend was not just damage to democracy and electioneering process but injury to the recently signed “Not too young to run bill”
Speaking to the Guardian, National Media Director for Youth Take Over and Youth Alliance for Greater Africa Foundation (YAGA), Nathan Simeon, said for the nation to thrive, its has to go beyond ‘politic of who has money to give, but who will serve people, protect their interests and better their living standards’.
According to him, money politics, which has remained a key problem to the nation’s leadership, development and growth, is a mentality that must be abolished if the nation must move forward, grow or attain the heights of her founding fathers.
“Money politics is the key problem with Nigeria’s leadership today as selling of votes in Nigeria has become a legal trend which has changed the mentality of the young ones as they now believe aspirants that don’t spray money are jokers.
Nigerian youths now believe that the #NotTooYoungToRun law is a fiasco as money now rules Nigerian politics.”
“I personally think there should be a #NotTooPoorToRun Bill passed into law ranging from reduction in party tickets/form prices, reduction in parties cash responsibilities to counter the mentality of money politics in Nigeria.
This mentality has to stop or else the destiny of the green nation will be demolished”.
He therefore called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other stakeholders to device measures to eradicate the practice from the country’s political life especially with the nearness of the Osun elections and 2019 general elections.
I hereby urge INEC and all Nigerian youths to curb this disdainful act by shunning vote selling or buying and any form of electoral violence especially in Osun State forth-coming election and the 2019 general elections. Nigerian youth should also know that aspirant willing to buy his way into any electoral office does not have the good of the people at heart and is going into the office for his/her own selfish interest.
To the Acting Chairman, Nigeria Youths Party (NYP), Lagos Chapter, Seun Onih, the blame should be on the leaders who have performed below expectations, leaving the citizenry in hunger and poverty.
According to him, if democratically elected leaders should ensure good governance, and improve the conditions of the citizens there would be no need for vote buying or selling, as election would be based on performance or party driven policy or antecedent based.
“We have little time to correct this great setback to our democracy in view of forthcoming elections and future ones. Does it mean if you don’t buy vote you can’t win an election legitimately? Of course not, but the main issue, which is bad leadership and governance that led us to this to be tackled”
“Also, the source of funding for such act needs to be tackled. Our electoral regulations on party finance including campaign programme should be properly supervised, our electoral reforms should be effective.
Anti-corruption agencies need to collaborate with financial institutions especially banks to monitor the movement of cash during elections”, he advised.