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How money disappointed politicians in the 2019 elections

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As the inauguration of the new state governors comes underway tomorrow, May 29, 2019, many politicians who lost in the election are biting their fingers not necessarily for the fact that they lost but the fact that they spent millions, some billions and yet lost.

It is like a dream for those who had put all their hope in money as the only factor they needed to scale through and win but it turned the other way round. They lost openly after spending the money for the simple fact that Nigerians have become wiser; they have come to realise that selling their conscience and staking their future on a platter of “hot porridge” because of hunger has, over the years, been counterproductive.
Nigerians have come to realise that any politician who has nothing to present to the electorate as his achievements but only relies on the huge money he is ready to offer is a mercenary, an invader, whose sole aim is to invest in the election with the hope of recouping his investment if he wins.

This strategy is now discredited. It has been exposed as fraudulent. There is a new consciousness among Nigerians that whatever money is brought out by any politician is public money that ought to have been used to provide water, healthcare, roads, schools, etc, but had been stolen.

The result is that Nigerians have decided, never again, to let such crooked politicians have their way. The new consciousness is that when such ill gotten funds are put forward to entice the electorate, Nigerians will wholeheartedly collect the money and still vote the politician out. This happened in 2015. It has repeated in 2019 on a greater dimension and will continue in 2023. Politicians should learn their lesson.

Those who think they would use money to buy votes had better think twice. Take this bitter truth – people will collect your money and still vote you out! It is ironic. Those who steal public funds waiting to use it to buy people’s conscience in elections will no longer be winners but losers. There are many such losers across the states reeling in utter disappointment. It is a dramatic turn of events.

I doff my cap for those who took the money and still voted politicians out out. It is new patriotism. Nigeria needs it to build this society. That has set the stage for future elections. Such lost investment cannot be recouped. It is gone forever.

One thing is certain; a politician who tries to buy votes cannot be a good leader. If he won the post he was gunning for, the people would be in for trouble. Such politicians are like hit men on a business mission. Maybe, if they had presented well-articulated agenda, they could win.

Sadly enough, that is the attitude of many politicians jostling for one position or the other. And that is why Nigeria is in trouble. There are few, very few politicians who are sincerely committed to the people’s welfare. The interest of the people is secondary. Arguably, every contestant has an agenda – and that agenda is personal. It is called the ego mentality – ego, me, mei, mihi, me – everything for me!

It is unfortunate that what we’re treating lackadaisically is something that should attract prosecution and jail term in other climes. What we are faced with is a clear case of bribery, where both the giver and receivers are guilty. But trust Naija, you don’t pursue cases such as this here because there is no evidence. That explains why one aspirant who lost governorship ticket in Kano State in 2015 decided to engage thugs to recover his money. It was easy to engage thugs because the delegates were few and known.

What happens when an aspirant shares out billions to electorates across the state or country? How do you recover such money if you lose? How many thugs would be enough to go after each member of the public who took money only to vote you out? Nowadays, the stakes are high.

And just as the people have become wiser, ready to feast on free money anyone floats budget to buy votes, politicians should also be wary by doing the right thing. Instead of amassing wealth to pay for votes at elections, politicians should be objective and state why and how they want to lead.

Without money flying in all directions, people, probably the right people, will still win. Having said that, the truth is that with the level of frustration among the populace, there is a high risk in hoping to sail through by floating money. People have been hoodwinked for too long; there is no trust in the polity.

As a matter of fact, many people now believe that election time is money-making time. Of course it is. Many people position themselves to take money from any would be Father Christmas politician and still vote him out.

There are politicians who will sink in financial debt after losing election; who would find it extremely difficult to come out. And the mere thought of a bad situation could lead to irreversible health conditions. The truth is that there are those who know they are not sellable to the public but who believe that money can do all things. Those are the ones who would bite their fingers more when they lose.

As the 2019 elections are over and the 2023 edition is in view, let those politicians who want to throw money about gear up – it is party time. Let them hire their agents who will distribute money. But let them, at the same time, prepare to count their losses. There are examples of former incumbent governors and legislators across the states that staked huge amounts of money to campaign but lost woefully. They serve as a lesson for others.

The Kano incident in 2015 was there to teach would-be greedy politicians to be wary of relying on money as a campaign weapon for catching votes. It worked very well in the past but not now. The chickens have come home to roost.

It was the Jewish King David who said the scepter of the wicked shall not rule over the land of the righteous less the righteous commits sin. The time has come when wickedness will no longer rule over Nigeria but righteousness that exalts a nation.


In this article:
Luke Onyekakeyah
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