The Stomach – The Way To A Man’s Vote

Someone said,

There is nothing inevitable about poor people selling their votes for cash. Nigeria is not the only democracy with poor people in it. Britain too had a problem with ‘Septennial Ale’ (see bottom right). It was not accepted as ‘reality’. A consensus was achieved to fix it.

I think he is not addressing his mind fully to this, from his place of comfort!

I think the comparison between Britain and Nigeria isn’t complete.

Yes; there are poor people in both places, but here, there is absolutely no social support system. You are totally completely on your own regarding basic things.

That’s the difference..

Another person wondered aloud,

The big question we should all be asking, if we want to change this messy template, is, how do we get our people to not give in to financial inducement at the polls – cash for vote?

If we do not answer this question, politicians have a potent weapon – poverty, and they will not relinquish it.

I agree.

Maybe another question is, how come all the security personnel exhibit obvious partisanship by allowing such things – openly – on election day? Inducement, obviously.

How can we have non-partisan law enforcement agents?

With poverty in the land, would a policemen be able to refuse a bribe worth one-year’s salary, for bending the law?

It is doubtful!

INEC commissioners and other electoral officers get bribed.

That’s the crux.

A dead broke man only thinking IMMEDIATE survival would grab ₦5k to vote, all right. You can only think of the future when your present is assured.

A great mind said,

It has always been the same old song. Nothing will change.

We blacks are still far from civilization,always making reference to civilized nations when expecting the ideals whereas, individually, we are far from doing our own part right.

This Cash For Vote (CFV) is a matter of using what the people want to get what you, desperately, need.

The role of money in politics is universal. But, in our clime, it is sickening.

The last Ekiti State election that brought in Governor Ayodele Fayose popularized the saying, stomach infrastructure.

We just had a repeat in that state, where votes were being bought openly – for cash by the two dominant parties.

A huge shame.

There is a law as to how much political parties can receive as donation from single entities (individuals, organizations, etc), and a cap placed on much parties can spend on electioneering campaign.

Who is enforcing all those paper-laws?

It is like expecting a thief to ostracize pilfering. This same political class would likely not make laws that would take away their weapon – money deployment in elections.

Even the new political entrants grandstanding are likely going to kowtow to status quo once they have the reins.


Maybe it will happen, some day, but I submit this wont happen without some major upheaval in the polity – precipitated by the same hungry masses.

That change won’t happen from the same political class! I can beg my moustache on that!

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