By Samuel Edu
Economic and political analysts have stressed the need for the Federal Government to deepen its cashless policy towards reducing the menace of vote buying in the ongoing general elections.
The analysts who hailed the conduct of the last presidential election as devoid of vote buying, said the policy was largely instrumental to it.
This, they said sanitized the electoral process and as well added credibility to the elections as it helped the electorate vote their conscience.
Those who spoke with The Hope include; Professor Bayo Aborisade, Professor Olayemi Simon-Oke, Dr Bayo Fasunwon (Associate Professor) and Dr Egbetunde Tajudeen all from the Federal University of Technology Akure and Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko respectively.
Professor Olayemi Simon-Oke of the Department of Economics, Federal University of Technology, Akure noted that to a very great extent, cashless policy helped in the reduction of the menace of vote buying.
While stressing that though some politicians managed to buy votes, Simon-Oke noted that it was not business as usual.
“From all indications, it is obvious that the Muhammadu Buhari administration’s cashless policy was greatly of help in reducing vote buying unlike previous elections.
“Though we cannot completely rule out the fact that some politicians were still able to circumvent the process and bought people’s votes, it was however not as it used to be.
“On the day of the election, there were still some people that asked the electorate to put their account details down and they later transferred money to them.
“The effort of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was as well highly commendable because they were on ground monitoring the process and to ensure that no party agent came to the polling unit with cash.”
Dr Bayo Fasunwon, an Associate Professor of Political Economist was as well of the opinion that though there were pockets of vote buying, but not the tempo it used to be with previous elections.
Speaking on the expectations of Nigerians from the incoming administration, Fasunwon said “it is obvious that Nigerians’ expectations are high.
“Hence, Tinubu should look more closely at the areas of more inclusive governance, entrenchment of democracy especially freedom of speech, infrastructural development, job creation among others.”
Dr Egbetunde Tajudeen said “though vote buying was greatly reduced but has not been totally eradicated as the fact remains that some unscrupulous politicians devised another means of influencing the electorate most especially in the aspect of distribution of commodities before the election.”
Professor Bayo Aborisade, a political analyst and scholar noted that Nigerians are looking up to the incoming administration to restore the lost hope of the people.
The don noted that Nigeria is at a critical state and in need of someone with the will to salvage the situation and rescue the already sinking Nigerian ship.
“The hope of Nigerians are high in the incoming administration because Nigerians were so much disappointed in the outgoing president Muhamadu Buhari’s administration, he added.