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‘Take the money politicians might offer – but then vote for the person of your choice’

30 September 2022
Reading time: 5 minutes

Yesterday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officially gave the green light for political parties in Nigeria to kick-start campaigns for the forthcoming 2023 general elections in line with its scheduled timetable.

Parties and candidates will be campaigning for both the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Residents of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, mostly the young people, expressed their divergent views on the upcoming elections and told RNI that they had not decided yet who they would vote for, competent candidates or those who paid good money to get elected.

Ali Abba said: “For me, I will vote for a competent leader with a vision, who can bring about national unity and development for the betterment of all Nigerians. So, in my opinion, a competent candidate is the way to go because we have suffered enough as a result of insecurity and disunity.”

“I will definitely vote for a competent candidate who can unify the country and who will work tirelessly for the development of Nigeria, irrespective of religion, tribe, ethnicity and region, among other differences and diversity,” said Ba Kaka.

Mohammed Mustapha said: “Sincerely speaking, I won’t take money from any political party candidate who wants me to vote for them. I will carefully observe the campaign process and decide who I think the best and most competent candidate is. He will have to be clearly focused on national development and then I will vote for him. But, if they give me the money, I will take it, but I will vote for the candidate of my choice. That’s my decision.”

Zanna Bunu Bukar told RNI that, based on the current situation, it would be better to take the money. “But, in the end, I will vote for a competent candidate if there is any.”

Zainab Abdulkarim Ahmad said: “Based on the challenges and hardships we are going through, for me, I will vote for any political party candidate who will pay me to vote for them because, even if you vote for the so-called competent candidates, they won’t do anything when elected into government.”

Jafar Isa, a political analyst, told RNI that as the 2023 general elections begin to draw nearer, most politicians tended to use money to canvas for more support from the electorate.

“When the campaigning starts, you know that elections are around the corner. So, the INEC has officially started the campaign. But what the voters must understand is that the major issue for them is to elect credible and competent candidates who can represent the interests of the good people of Nigeria. Right now, people are in dilemma; they keep debating about who would be the best candidate, the one who pays for their vote or the competent one.

“This clearly indicates that the electorate is divided about their choices ahead of the 2023 general elections. This is mostly because of the challenges and hardships people are going through, especially women and youths because of insecurity, unemployment and poor education, among the many other issues confronting the country. Thus, most politicians tend to use this opportunity to dish out huge amounts money to canvas for more votes or support ahead of the elections.”

Isa urged Nigerians to vote wisely, saying they should not sell their freedom and constitutional rights to any political parties’ candidates. “But, if the voters are given money to vote for a particular candidate, they should take it and then vote for the candidate of their choice. That’s my advice.”

Abdu Umar, commissioner of police in Borno State, said at his monthly conference on Wednesday, September 28, that stringent security measures were in place to ensure campaigning would take place peacefully.

“The main purpose of this conference is to review our security architecture to conform with the evolving political programmes as laid out by the Independent National Electoral Commission. It is also to enable us to interact on measures to ensure a secure and smooth public space, so that we can guarantee a crime-free and enabling environment for the political campaigns and other components of the electoral process as the 2023 general elections draw nearer.”

He said from now on politically related offences might begin to manifest across the state and this needed to be intensely covered by the Nigerian Police Force.

“Let me also remind everyone that, to achieve our election security mandate, there is the need for us all not to rest on our oars. The Electoral Act, the Code of Conduct and Rules of Engagement for Personnel on Election Duty remain our watchwords. These further emphasise the mandate of the police to ensure the safety and security of all persons and properties; strict enforcement of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Criminal/Penal Codes as well as Electoral Laws; ensure fair play, traffic and crowd management at the venues of campaigns, rallies and other related activities.”

He said it was imperative for the police, as a critical stakeholder in the election process, to abide by these professional and legal standards.

He urged the police to liaise with political parties in their area to discuss the smooth running of election campaigns, adding that police should always be present at venues where campaigning would take place. If conflicts arose, they should be addressed peacefully as soon as possible.

“We must put in place appropriate machineries to ensure a peaceful electioneering campaign. I pray, may the Almighty Allah continue to guide and protect us in our singular aim to achieve a crime-free electioneering process.”


About the author

Mbodou Hassane Moussa

Journaliste de formation et de profession. Passionné par l'écriture, le digital et les médias sociaux, ces derniers n'ont aucun secret pour lui. Il a embrassé très tôt l'univers des médias et de la Communication. Titulaire d'une Licence en journalisme et d'un Master en Management des projets, Mbodou Hassan Moussa est éditeur Web du journal en ligne Toumaï Web Médias. Aujourd'hui, il est devenu Webmaster à la Radio Ndarason internationale et collabore à la réalisation du journal en langue française et dialecte Kanembou.