The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says the current democracy in Nigeria is being threatened by the predominance of money politics.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, said this at a one-day colloquim on Emerging Issues that will Shape the 2023 General Elections in Nigeria organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD). This was in collaboration with Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) on Wednesday, May 25, in Abuja.
Yakubu said that there were three critical challenges to be overcome in the conduct of the 2023 election; namely insecurity, fake news and money politics.
“My third area of concern is the influence of money on politics and is becoming more present; and the risk is that ours may soon become a plutocracy for the rich rather than a democracy for the people.
“The way money is exchanging hands is a source of concern. Yes, we have collaboration with ICPC and the EFCC and only recently we renewed our collaboration with the EFCC; saying that we are going to do something together.
“However , there are two dimensions to it. When you have willing connectors it becomes a bit more difficult to contain the situation.
“On the one hand, you have brilliant examples, we all saw this on the social media in Anambra when there was an attempt to bribe voters: and they women refused to accept the money and voted their conscience,” he said.
According to Yakubu, what political parties do is critical to what INEC does. This is what is called the primary election.
This, he said was because the candidates that emerged from the primary elections were the ones that would participate in the secondary election which INEC would conduct .
He said that the commission was working with anti-graft; and finance agencies to see how to curb the challenge of money politics.
He added that the commission was concerned about the security situation in the country; as it prepare for the 2023 general election because it was a major challenge.
Furthermore, Yakubu said that the INEC has been meeting with security agencies to tackle the challenges.