Philip Clement, Abuja
Experts in Nigeria’s socio-political sphere have lend their voices to demand an end to vote buying and the need for political leaders to deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
They stated this during the unveiling of ‘FixPolitics’ campaign which held virtually.
Lead convener of the campaign, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili says the idea behind her research is to fix Nigeria’s fragile democracy which has been worsened by bad governance.
In her presentation, she says “The fix politics campaign is derived from the findings of my research which advances the quest to understand economic performance and politics in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Overtime African countries have poor economic indices but always tops the chart when it comes insecurity and terrorism as a result of bad leadership.
“As such, it is time for Nigeria to enshrine the fundamental features of politics which has worked in other democracies and that is the fact that there must be election and not selection while merit must take presidence over mediocricy”
“Absence of good governance has remained a key obstacle to development which which is why there must be a free and fair elections for citizen’s votes to count,” she explained.
Commenting on how to reorientate citizens especially at the grassroots on he need to reject exchanging their votes for monetary gains, Dr Ezekwesili said the campaign will drive mobilization of Nigerians on restructuring and promote economic Sustainability.
She added that as part of efforts to drive change, the campaign will establish a school of Politics, Policies and Governance which will train citizens especially young people on ethical policies and governance.
Speaking further, she says for the issue of vote buying to be history “Productivity of extremely poor people must be improved as well as their political literacy for rational decisions to be made to improve their welfare,”
In her submissions, a former presidential candidate, Prof. Remi Sonaiya highlighted the need for political and electoral reforms to achieve democratic dividends in the country.
She said citizens “Must not relent in pushing for electoral reforms especially the adoption of electronic voting in elections”
She added that the campaign will not relent to ensure that electoral process have legislations in order to achieve desired results.