Ondo 2020: Monetisation of electoral process, bane of Nigeria’s democracy ― Eddy Olafeso

The National Vice Chairman (South West) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Eddy Olafeso, has said the increasing monetary inducement that characterised the electoral process portends grave danger to the nation’s democratic experience.

Olafeso, one of the leading aspirants of the PDP in the October governorship election in Ondo state, stated this while speaking with journalists in the state, noted that the trend had been pervasive in every successive election in Nigeria and stressed the need to put an end to the ugly development.

According to him, it is easier for politicians with the deepest pocket and financial muscle to win an election while politicians with integrity and intelligence are often relegated to the background

Olafeso stated that the country will continue to derail from her search for good leadership if the menace of vote-buying during the election was not urgently addressed, noting the huge amount of money is being expended by aspirants to obtain forms, saying spending millions of Naira to purchase forms is not the best way for better candidates to emerge.

He, however, expressed optimism that the financial inducement during the election and humongous amount spent to purchase form will soon be a thing of the past.

He said, “We are prepared to do everything it takes to win the election. The message is important. There are other places in the world that the media must take the battle and fight.

“It is not about taking N5000 during the election. We can do it and we just have to do it together. I’m going to lay myself on the line for certain reforms and changes. And the critical part is the fact that we everyone must know that we are shortchanging ourselves, we are diminishing the opportunity for an efficient government and we are sub-planting mediocrity.

“For us, we wouldn’t have gotten here without money, so why is that going to be an issue. The President of America will not pay N23 million to obtain a form but we have to do that. I know someday it will cease and it will stop we have to fight that. If we are joking with it now, it’s still coming back to haunt us.

“The truth remains that no individual who is worth his salt, who is a politician will think that just because I have N10 billion to buy the votes, I’ll buy it and become governor. What does he do with power?

Olafeso who stated that his position as the National Deputy Chairman of the party would not be an advantage in his quest to clinch the party’s ticket buy said all aspirants will be placed on an equal pedestal.

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“Being the national Vice Chairman of the party, the party will not give you leverage just because you are in the working committee. At the appointed time and in due course, I’ll obey the constitution by complying with the stipulated clauses of who can contest or not.

“I have served this party meritoriously and what is left for me is to serve my state and that is what I’m doing. There is nothing like taking advantage of anything, there is no advantage to be taken.”

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