2019: Vote credible candidates – Voters urged

By Adekola Afolabi
Ahead of the 2019 general elections in Nigeria, voters have been urged to vote for credible candidates and not those that would entice them with money to buy their conscience.

Giving the advice were two legal practitioners based in Akure, the Ondo state capital, Barrister Sola Ajisafe and Barrister Samuel Ayesa, who spoke in separate interviews with The Hope.

They attributed the reason voters collect money to vote for some candidates during elections to high level of poverty coupled with the fact that many see the money as benefit they can derive from politicians.

According to Ajisafe, a Special Assistant to the Governor and Ondo State Coordinator, N-Power project, giving money to the electorate further attested to the fact that politics all over the world is capital intensive, arguing that giving money to vote for a particular candidate is not evil as some think.

He described high nomination fees being charged by various political parties as part of the reasons the role of money cannot be ruled out from politics in the country.

“The fact remains that the role of money in party politics has come to stay. Do not take away the level of poverty of the people. You will spend money on the security, party officials and others. Even those who are shouting vote buying are shouting because they cannot outspend the other persons. It is not vote buying that is the problem but lack of internal democracy, lack of performance and corruption”, he said.

Ajisafe believed that vote buying or not, popular candidates will always emerge at any election.

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On his part, Barrister Samuel Ayesa called for the amendment of the constitution to make public offices less attractive to reduce the desperation of some politicians to assume political offices. He advocated that members of the National and State should be Assemblies part-time basis.

“Issue of vote buying or “see and buy” , as many people called it did not start today. Vote buying has been for a very long time. The only difference now is that politicians will have to take money to the various polling units and give money to voters openly to buy their votes.

“Before now, politicians used to distribute money from house to house, either a day or two days to the election, as a result, people did not know because they would distribute it in the night. Then, nobody was suspecting anybody.

“But this time around, politicians will ask voters to go and cast their votes and come back to collect their money, openly, that is what people are calling “see and buy” now. They distribute money ranging from N3, 000 to N10,000. This ugly development has now become part of us. It now happens at every election”, he said.

The legal practitioner argued that the bad development portends danger to the nation’s democracy and good governance in the country, as it encourages corruption .

He noted that any political office holder who emerges through vote buying may not perform well in the office because they will want to recoup all the money borrowed and spent during elections.

“If we make all these positions less attractive, our politicians will not want to win elections at all cost. Definitely, the tension will reduce. It is like when somebody is trading. He will want to make profits too”, he said.

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Ayesa, a retired Chief Superintendent of Police also called for judicious use of security votes for governors and President to address security challenges facing the country.

He further kicked against exorbitant nomination fees being charged by various political parties, saying it will not allow selfless leaders who have no money to get to public offices to serve their people.

The duo, however, called on the electorate to all ensure they vote credible, reliable and selfless persons into offices so as to enjoy good governance come 2019.

They also charged the voters to collect money from whoever gives them but vote according to their conscience.

2019: Vote credible candidates – Voters urged

N-power employs 14,455  in Ondo   – Ajisafe

2019: Vote credible candidates – Voters urged

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