Here in this article, we are going to explore why money Politics Should Be Discouraged In Nigeria. We hope you enjoy reading this.
Let me say here that, money politics has different aspects of it, and this does not mean well for the Nigerian hard earned democracy.
I think, first thing first, there should be the criminalisation of money politics in Nigeria. Why is this important? For instance, when we hear of electoral offenders, what comes to people’s minds is ballot box snatching which to my mind is a criminal offence.
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If someone disrupts a polling unit, he may be arrested by the security agency but when politicians go to, for example, the same polling unit to induce people with money and also share money, nobody arrests him.
This is not right, and my thinking is that there is a problem here. Why there is problem is that the security agencies will refuse to act once they see politicians paying for votes.
In as much as this continue to happen, no matter what other election procedures may be, those things are not going to work at all.
I believe there is a provision in the Electoral Act that criminalises money politics. My point here is that Nigerian security agencies must refuse to condone money politics in Nigeria.
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How To Discourage Money Politics In Nigeria:
Money politics can be discouraged in this country if there is political will on the part of the relevant authorities to tackle the menace.
And in this article, I will be discussing some of the ways by which money politics can be discouraged in Nigeria, below are some of the ways:
1. The Level Of Hunger Should Be Reduced
One of the best ways to discourage money politics in Nigeria is to try to make sure that, hunger is reduced in the country.
The level of hunger in Nigerian society is quite alarming. People do not consider tomorrow, they do not think about tomorrow either, because they are carried away by what they can eat today.
In as much as, the Nigerian electoral system continues to remain porous, money politics will continue. The reason is obvious, because a candidate who is not sure he is going to win election knows that the only available option he has is to induce the voters with money.
This has explained the reason why there is poor governance in this country; this is exactly what has led to misrule in Nigeria.
2. Relevant Authorities Must Tackle The Problem
There are relevant authorities in this country assigned with the responsibility of tackling the menace of money politics in Nigeria.
This is very important for this country, because those politicians, who got into office through this electoral fraudulent manner will never serve this country or its people well.
That is why, the government must, as a matter of necessity, be more serious in the fight against money politics menace in the country.
3. The Electorates/Voters Should Be Enlightened On The Danger Of Money Politics
Nigerian electorates, as well as, every voter should be enlightened on the danger of money politics in this country. It is crucial for all the voters in the country to know that for them to give away their voter in exchange for cash is an electoral crime, and that, that act will not help Nigeria in the long run as the case may be.
This is very important. But how is that easy to enlighten Nigerian electorates to such extent, while the generality of Nigerians are of the opinion that, any politician they are voting for is only there in order to serve his personal interest. However, where there is political will on the part of the government, there can always be a way out of this menace.
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4. There Should Be Compliance To Electoral Act
Another way to go about discouraging money politics in Nigeria is to comply with the Nigerian Electoral Act. I believe that the Nigerian Electoral Act has stipulated some kinds of punishments for money politics in the country.
However, the Electoral Act is very clear about inducing electorates with money or sharing money in polling units or buying of votes.
If there is any law against money politics, such law should be enforced in all the election cycles. But should the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC be asked to prosecute the offenders of such law, INEC will only prosecute leaders of opposition parties, since the ruling party has taken charge of almost all things.
The INEC must be above that because it is independent. INEC must not be found indulging in such criminal practices or even condoning any criminal act.
5. Police Should Shun Partisanship
Partisanship on the part of the Nigerian Police Force should be discouraged. The police should endeavour to shun partisanship in politics.
Having said that, the Nigerian Police should be empowered effectively for them to carry out their statutory duties before, during and after election period without fear or favour and regardless of how highly placed the politicians, who are found wanting of any electoral fraudulent acts are.
The Nigerian police have every responsibility to making sure that, it brings law offenders to book. It will spell doom for Nigeria to allow money politics in the system, and it is dangerous should Nigeria allows the commercialisation of votes during election cycles. That will mean a danger to the hard-earned Nigerian democracy as well as, the survival of Nigeria.
6. Politicians Indulging In Money politics Should Be Sanctioned
Every politician, who indulged in money politics should be sanctioned. Failure to sanction these politicians, who indulged in money politics will rather help in the normalisation of the menace.
Another thing I will love to point out here, which is quite disheartening is that political parties in the country have indeed failed in their statutory responsibilities of sensitising their party members and party loyalists, as well as their followers and this failure has actually helped in promoting irresponsible behaviours and actions among parties members, and as a result, this has helped in undermining the credibility of Nigerian elections as well as, the legitimacy of such elections.
Therefore, the emphasis here is that the political parties should of necessity, swings into action by making sure that, their followers and the general public are enlightened, educate and sensitise concerning election formalities.
There should be a criminalisation of money politics in Nigeria. This will go a long way in curbing this menacing scourge on our democractic journey.
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