By Whiskeys Ogbo
One of the things Igede people should watch for and be prepared to resist if we will ever move forward as a people and never to continue to succumb to mediocrity is the politics of lies and money. Tackling these issues is what I considered very vital to the survival of Igede nation and her people now. Whether APC, APGA, SDP or PDP any politician that comes to lie or come to use money to induce delegates during their primary should be seen as our common enemy.
There are other issues bothering Igede people that have also contributed to their dismal political and economic position today but I do not want to go into them now since I intend to take this matter step by step.
In my previous editions, I discussed the problem of lack of unity and boldness. I feel Igede people are not united and bold enough to wrestle power from the hands of mediocre. I also urged for violent free approach to electioneering matters and the need to be fair and just in asking for votes. No man is more than Igede people and no person can say without him or her there is no one else.
Having said this, it is important to state that there is this ugly thing call money politics that have been destroying Igede people over the years. And as we prepare for the next round of election I know this will raise its ugly head again. I urge Igede people to be mindful of it. Money, no doubt plays a pivotal role in our body politics. But, when it becomes a deciding factor, the people are bound to fail. One thing is needed, Igede must avoid money politics if we want to go far and be recognized as people in this country.
Again, it is a time for lies, lies and lies. Some are going to come home and tell you they are the governor anointed. They are the President anointed. When you hear these lies run from them. These are lies that always fly around when election period comes around. Igede people must avoid such lies and those who spread them.
I think anybody who proclaims to be the governor’s candidate should be seen as anti people’s candidate. This is because in a democracy, no elected office from the councilor to senator is held for either the governor or the president. All these offices are held in trust for the people who elected them. In other words, a councilor, House of assemble member, House of reps member and a senator are elected to represent their people and not the governor. Some governors are even battling to save their career and will not have time to save anyone. Lies like these come from idle individuals who do not know how to market themselves in the face of their glaring failures. If a person is capable why must he or she invoke the governor’s name before winning election?
Back home, money politics is a situation where a politician gives people money or a material thing that is equivalent to that amount of money in order to get their votes. When a politician gives you money in order to get your vote, the politician is simply telling you how your welfare means nothing at the end of the day. It is also the type of politics that encourages the use of money to buy people before and during the election. The implication of this type of politics is that only people with big money will be elected into leadership position, whether they are good or not. Money politics is the most damaging form of politics.
Incidentally, one of these ugly episodes that make people collect money for votes is hunger. There is hunger and I am aware of that. But one thing we should also know is that the issue of hunger in Nigeria is a creation of our leaders to keep themselves perpetually in power. At the end of which they use money to buy you and your votes. When you collect money for votes you are like Esau who sold his birthright for a pot of food.
In other climes, money goes into media work in order for a politician to sell him or herself to the electorates. Anything beyond that is no longer an acceptable norm. From the primary election period to the general election period, money is channeled only to publicity and logistics and not in bribing people as we experience in Nigeria. To be continued
*Awo Whiskeys Ogbo is a writer and media consultant, based in makurdi