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Election finance laws must be enforced to address vote buying -Sowore

  Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), says “election finance” laws must be enforced to tackle t...

 


Omoyele Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), says “election finance” laws must be enforced to tackle the issue of vote-buying in Nigeria.

 

The activist spoke on Thursday when he appeared on #FixPolitics Dialogue titled ‘Cash or Ballot: What Should Be the Currency of Democracy’, aired on AIT.

 

Sowore said the problem of money politics will persist if laws addressing the issue are not enforced or are only targeted at “poor politicians”, while “powerful ones” are spared.

 

“There should be election finance laws. We need them to be enforced because majorly, we have laws that are not enforced or enforced with poor people and not enforced with the powerful, rich people in the political scene,” he said.

 

The AAC presidential candidate also described election day in Nigeria as “a day for verification of poverty”.

 

According to him, mainstream political parties already know how to use the currency of manipulation against the populace.

 

“Election dialogue day in Nigeria has become a day for verification of poverty. Election day in Nigeria has become a day for verification, that’s why we call the PVC, the poverty verification card in Nigeria,” he added.

 

 “The reason is simple. It’s not just about cash and ballots, there are lots of factors involved in making Nigeria’s election the way it is.

 

“Nobody is talking about security agencies. Mike did mention election managers — the mainstream politicians have perfected how to take care of every stage from primaries to the final election, so the real currency is manipulation — manipulation of people’s minds.

 

“In fact, most of the people that are expecting cash don’t get it so they create expectation fantasy that the cash is on its way, and they never got it and those who got the cash, it never lasted them for a week.

 

“In terms of money, those of us who are not mainstream, the way we manage our affairs is through ideas, because that should ordinarily be the currency of the democratic process in Nigeria. People have ideas to protect them, defend them. So, we try very hard to spread ideas and it’s very difficult.

 

 “In terms of how much money is needed, my experience in 2019 is that if you have great ideas, you don’t need too much money. People actually listen to ideas but the problem is on the day of voting, can you take ideas to the polling unit and vote based on the ideas you were told or the money or the violence? That’s why a lot of people don’t vote.”

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