A governorship aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2017 governorship election in Anambra State, Mr. Oseloka Obaze, has described the huge campaign expenses incurred by elective office seekers as bad omen for good governance in Nigeria.
Obaze, a former Secretary to the Anambra State Government (SSG) said that until the electorates refuse to sell their voter cards to the highest bidders, good governance would continue to elude them.
He spoke on Tuesday on ‘’Conflict between Politics and Governance, Bane of Economic and Social Development: A Case Study of Nigeria” at the Correspondents’ Chapel Forum of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Anambra State.
The PDP chief heaped the blame for the expensive campaign in the country and abuse of the power of the ballot on the attitude of the electorates.
Obaze said that the electorates must know that their votes count and therefore should guide their voter cards jealously, adding that “if votes don’t count there would be no need for some political parties to be buying a voter card for N5,000.”
He lamented that ‘’Nigeria is going in the wrong direction in many ways. No area is this reality is starker than in the realm of campaign financing. One cannot fully address the issue of conflict between politics and governance without talking about a deeply entrenched culture of ‘cash and carry’ politics and a flawed campaign finance model we practice in Nigeria. It is hardly news to this audience that elections in Nigeria are capital intensive. We are prime witnesses. Everywhere you go in this country today, engaging in any form of politicking provokes solicitation for financial inducement. Some will unapologetically and unashamedly tell you, ‘money for hand, thumb for ballot’.
‘’This imposes huge financial burdens on those running for political offices. It implies also and indeed confirms that those with the deepest pockets or those who are willing to cut deals are most likely to get elected. Wining through such a model translates to huge political debts to pay. These debts are paid at the expense of socio-economic development. There is no perfect democracy anywhere, but there are some that are better than others; and many democracies fare better than ours. Naturally, we sometimes wish we are like them. Yet we are not ready to contribute to the causes and candidates we believe in,” he stated.