Corruption and Underdevelopment

Implications of vote buying as EFCC cautions against menace

By Paul Michael

Effects of vote buying on Nigeria’s democratic journey have been alarming such that the outcome of elections cannot be adjudged outright to be free, fair and credible.

Voters inducement has had a very negative impact on the outcome of elections across the country; often than not, the highest bidder with cash to throw around emerges winner of elections not the most popular, most preferable, most competent, or most intelligent candidate with the technical know-how to fix the nagging problems bedeviling the country.

The urban areas to the remotest rural areas, most electorates look forward to political seasons, which are largely seen as a time that politicians dish out free money to the people. This has not just made politics expensive, it has also opened doors of public services to the very corrupt people in the society without clues to grow the country.

When in office, the political elites take pride in impoverishing the electorates and show up every four years after to buy their votes and consciences with peanuts rangingfrom N500 to N10,000, making it appear as a form of favour being done to the people.

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As the 2023 elections approach, critical stakeholders are wondering if the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would in collaboration with anti-graft agencies arrest the menace of votes buying and conduct a credible polls.

So far, the news of voters inducement are already overwhelming the polity with the conduct of the ongoing party primaries, where it is being alleged that some aspirants are going as far as using hard currencies to induce delegates.

It was based on such rumours that operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stormed the presidential primary venue of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) days ago.

The anti-graft agency in a bid to sensitize Nigerians on the implications of votes buying, has called on the electorates to refrain from every act of vote buying and vote selling in the nation’s electoral processes.

EFCC made the call in Abuja on Friday, June 3, 2022, by the Secretary of the Commission, Dr George Ekpungu, while receiving a delegation of th Civil Society Partners on Electoral Reform (CISPER) who paid a courtesy visit to the EFCC.

Ekpungu noted that every leadership’s recruitment process in the country is very vital, and called on Nigerians to avoid selling their votes and their future to the highest bidder in the course of elections.

He commended CISPER for coming forward to partner with the EFCC in curbing the menace of vote buying and selling and called on other well-meaning Nigerians to come and partner with the Commission to aid the fight of all sorts of economic and financial crimes in the country.

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