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What is the worth of your PVC?

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IN recent times, elections in Nigeria have taken a very dangerous twist. From primary elections all the way to the general elections have been bastardised.

This ugly development need to be checked by concerned agencies, if not elections in Nigeria will be a mere ritual to be observed every four years.

Some years ago, it was cases of anointed candidates, godfatherism, ballot snatching, fake election results, massive or co-ordinated rigging, by some power hungry groups or individuals. Sometimes, popular opposition candidates are kidnapped, tortured, maimed or killed in the process.

Going into politics then was synonymous to jumping into sharks infested water or one deliberately, signing his death warrant. Late Engr Funsho Williams, Ayo Daramola were victims of political assassination. The list is inexhaustible.

In the 2015 general elections, there was palpable fear in this country. Chaos rented the air. Some contestants resorted to name callings, hate speeches, mudslinging, campaigns of calumny, leaving issue based campaign behind.

The foundation of this country was almost touched, as some unpatriotic individuals fanned the embers of war. Drum beats of war enveloped and swallowed our polity. At last, we found a common ground. Thank providence we survived that 2015 hurdle.

So, as we approach the 2019 general elections with so much expectations, the electorate, the press, political analysts, election observers both local and international have raised concerns over the rising rate of vote buying.

This ugly trend was alleged to have characterized the last governorship polls conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Ekiti and Osun States. In Kogi bye election, voters were alleged to have been induced with money and sourvenir to vote a particular candidate. This is very disheartening.

It was alleged that Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayo Fayose, paid three thousand naira into the accounts of civil servants in the state to vote for his successor on the eve to that election; while Chief Kayode Fayemi camp was alleged to have induced voters with five thousand naira.
In Osun guber poll the story was indifferent, as observers (local and international) also condemned the roles of moneybags.

In developed clime’s democracy, candidate’s integrity and antecedents play a major role in his success or failure in an election.

But in Nigeria, reverse is the case. Religion, tribe and money play a leading role. No one cares about your past and present record, manifestoes, strengths and weaknesses.

You are on your own if you don’t have money to throw around, or have a wealthy and influential Godfather.

Therefore, INEC and other concerned agencies must not turn a deaf ear or look the other way to these menace. The National orientation Agency (NOA), and the media must be on it toes to fight this scourge that is fast becoming a norm.

If ten thousand naira is not enough to buy a bag of rice, why will a sane mind sell his vote and conscience for one, two, three, four or five thousand naira? Do you think that posterity will forgive you? Obviously, no.

Nigeria was nailed on penury cross because of bad leaders who bought our votes and conscience for a penny.

This brings to the fore the roles of security agents and the electoral umpire in checking the ugly trend that is gradually eroding the sanctity of our electoral system.

I believe in peaceful, transparent, credible, free, fair election. So an election can’t be adjudged to be free and fair when money bags have hijacked the system. It is undemocratic.

These ambassadors of poverty, will soon come with their filthy lucre as we approach 2019 general elections. Neither my voter card nor vote is for sale. Yes, it is not for sale. Not even for a hundred thousand dollars.

However, if you must sell your vote, please don’t sell below four million naira. I repeat, four million naira. A million naira for each year the tenure of your vote merchant will elapse.

Finally, the fast approaching 2019 general elections, is presenting to us a clean slate to right our wrongs, reshape our destinies, and perhaps elect a better crop of leaders.

Collectively, we must not fail because future begins today. Remember, “The future is not only a time zone that is yet to come, it what you can do’, but have not yet done.

It is what be, but have not, yet become. It is what you can achieve, but have not yet achieved. The future is here, the future is now.”

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