Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
Former National Chairman of the Labour Party, Chief Dan Nwanyanwu, has revealed how some of the candidates and political parties spent as much as N20,000 to induce voters during the just concluded governorship election in Anambra State.
He added that in a bid to outsmart each other during the election, politicians and their agents engaged in vote buying spree not minding concerns for credibility and fair-play.
Nwanyanwu disclosed this as a guest speaker at the unveiling of a â€˜Good Governance Initiative tagged, Righteousness in Leadership Initiative (RILIN) in Abuja at the weekend.
He said part of the problem confronting the country and which has robbed it of good governance is the lack of morality and accountability in government.
In apparent reference to what transpired during the November 18, election, Nwanyanwu said some of the politicians have perfected act of manipulating the outcome of the election through vote buying to the extent that they no longer believed in popularity contest to win votes
â€œThey keep piling up money waiting for the election day so as to buy each vote with N5,000 as we witnessed recently in Anambra election. I want to be quoted, some parties paid N2,000 while another paid N5,000.
â€œIn fact, there were areas they paid N20,000 per vote. A particular political party paid N20,000 in an area considered as stronghold of a governorship candidate so that he get their votes,â€ he said..
The former LP chairman said the initiative to promote righteousness in government is coming at the right time when Nigeria needs good governance.
According to him, part of the problem we have as a country is that there is no transparency in governance and government business most times are shrouded in secrecy with corruption reigning supreme.
â€œSome have started making strategic plans on how to rig the 2019 elections. This is because there is no righteousness in what we are doing. So this initiative is apt and is coming at the right time that if you market it very well, it might touch the minds of most Nigerians. I am one of the believers if not an advocate of the fact that there must be some moral content in politics.
â€œPolitics in Nigeria has no moral content in politics. It is in Nigeria that politicians will agree on what to do but the next morning at 8: am they will change their minds.
â€œSo this initiative is apt to being about openness, transparency, accountability and good governance. In Nigeria today, unfortunately most people have been poor due to their insistence of righteousness while those elected to represent them and govern them are stocking money meant to improve their wellbeing,â€ he said.
While speaking on the aim of the initiative, the Lead Director and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of RILIN, Pastor Ifiok Sylvester Effiong, said the effort was conceived to promote the intrinsic values of righteousness, transparency, integrity, accountability in our leadership structure.
He said the initiative will go a long way to correct the socio-economic and socio-political malfeasance in the country.
â€œThis organisation will act as a veritable platform for generational shift, where God fearing leaders with morality and integrity will be trained, equipped and unleashed on the nation for quality leadership and good governanceâ€. He said.