Elections across the world over are not cheap ventures. It requires time, intellect and human capital, while huge amounts of money is required to reach out to the electorates during campaigns and before or during election.
In Imo, money politics has long dominated our elections and the problem is worsening. Imo Politicians focus a lot of attention on raising money and resources which are needed to buy the costly party’s nomination form for aspirants seeking elective posts, and to also do loud deceiving campaigns.
The major problem with money politics is that politicians tend to invest by spending in the campaigns and expect profit in return. Politics then becomes a business in which the contestant invests during campaign and later recoups after winning the election. Upon winning election, they set out to take back what they spent during campaign, including the profits before their tenure expires. They see the masses as people who have collected monies upfront and are not beholden to them at all. Whatever they manage to do at all is to hoodwink the masses as the next election approaches.
The politicians use the opportunity to share around money and bribe anyone bribable in order to deceive the masses and the gullible ones amongst them assume that is the best of they can expect from their leaders.
The most terrible problem with money politics is that it causes unemployment, low self-esteem in the mind of our youths. It also affects the development of the state, because people take politics as an enterprise and not something that will help in developing the state.
Taking a critical look at the present situation in Imo, it shows that we are very far left behind – morally, socially,
economically as well as politically and it is time to start thinking of ways out of this problem.
History shows that the state was not always like this before, our past leaders went into politics in those days to serve for the development of the state, not to just steal money and properties of our beloved state and enrich themselves.
These are the types of individual administrators and representatives that we need to search for today in Imo today to move the state foward.
To avoid brazen money politics, it is necessary for the government to become the major source of funding for elections. Where both the rich and poor will have equal opportunity to contest, as long as they qualify with other measurable indexes that don’t allow candidates to usurp the entire strengths of an electoral contest.
Because when going by who is richer, many qualified, reputable and credible aspirants will never get the opportunity to be elected. That will also overshadow the importance of letting the best candidates emerge. Few doubt that extraordinary Ndi Imo of ordinary means must have a meaningful ability to compete for elective office.
A structured robust public funding program will open the door for qualified aspirants, who might not have personal wealth or high-powered connections, by giving them the means to launch a competitive campaign.
When private wealth is employed to finance political campaigns, political equality is put at risk. Paying for electoral campaigns with individual donations places wealthy aspirants in a position to exercise greater political influence than those with fewer resources.
In conclusion, we should do all we can to fight against money politics, because it will never lead us to success or produce competent and credible candidates to serve us. This is the right time the electorates have to be educated to take the money and vote their conscience, now that the 2019 general election is just week away around the corner.
As things stand now, our only way out is to vote for individual credible and competent candidates we know and trust can deliver. It should not matter what party platform they are running from.
Vote for Duruebube Owerri Federal constituency. Owerri People’s choice for representation at the green chamber of the NASS.