Against the backdrop of inducement by aspirants for key elective public offices in the 2023 elections, eminent persons on Saturday warned that undue monetisation of the political process poses a grave danger to the country.
Those, who spoke on the issue, included former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran; elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, a chieftain of the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Anthony N. Sani and a legal practitioner, Chief Supo Shonibare described the trend as embarrassing and ominous.
In one of his reasons for withdrawing from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary, former banker, Mohammed Hayatu-Deen, in a letter to the party’s national leadership, alleged undue use of money in the process by some unnamed constants, while a former Minister of Agriculture and governorship aspirant in Sokoto State, Alhaji Mukhtar Shagari, said he decided to dump the party because it had jettisoned the values and ideals of its founding fathers.
Speaking on the issue of heavy monetisation of politics and the suggestion by former President Goodluck Jonathan for a law criminalising the act, Professor Adeniran told Sunday Tribune that said money politics constituted an embarrassing legacy for the country, saying he supported Jonathan’s call for criminalising the abuser of money in Nigeria’s politics.
“Money politics is a shameful legacy of Nigeria’s political class. It is terrible that people loot the governance,” Professor Adeniran asserted.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan raised very serious issues and commendable suggestions during his recent address. My summary of his submission are that crude monetization or material incentivization of the electoral process is wrong, an embarrassment to the nation and should be criminalized,” the professor added.
A former general secretary of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Sani, in his submission, said undue use of money in politics is never part of democracy premised on triple foundation of justice, liberty and common decency, while legal practitioner, Chief Supo Shonibare suggested that those behind such abuse in politics could be prosecuted under some existing laws in the country.
Second Republic presidential Adviser, Alhaji Yakassai said the unjustified use of money in politics was worrisome, because much of such funds came from questionable sources, saying “Patriotic Nigerians should make sure that even though every candidate spends money and without money you cannot win, let us look at a candidate who will be able to change this situation for the better if he gets elected.
On his part, Dr Akin Fapouñda of the Okun Ethnic Nationality Movement in Kogi State, said undue deployment of money in politics portends a grave danger for the country, while Dr Fapounda, in reaction to Jonathan’s call for criminalisation, queried: “Who will do that; the same class that is complicit? It will take an external force of whatever nature eventually.”
Also speaking, an activist and author, Shehu Bankole Hameed noted that money politics was not new, it has now assumed a frightening dimension.
He said: “The present or current state of money disorder, as I would like to call it, is a direct consequence of how the Buhari regime has treated corruption, either by bandits, terrorists, certain individuals stealing billions, or inefficiencies due to negligence of people in government or outside of it. In his own address, Dr Olu Alabi, who was in the Senate between 1999 and 2003, lamented the scale of money politics, saying it has grave implications for the country.
“Money politics has destroyed everything in Nigeria, including commerce, business, politics, integrity, etc. It has encouraged Money laundering and discouraged anything that is decent.
“For instance, Osun PDP has been completely destroyed by a money gag, who has bought the conscience of some members, both at the state and national levels,” he said.
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