Verbatim #2

“Vote buying has always been with us, but “trading on the floor of the political stock market” (as my friend and oga, Richard Akinnola II laconically puts it) reduced when the democratic process was supplanted by ballot snatching.

Citizens vote didn’t matter, so politicians resorted to snatching ballots and stuffing them with fake ballot papers. Now, the successive electoral reforms embarked upon since 2007 have made ballot snatching unfashionable and our politicians – both of the so-called conservative and progressive ilk- have returned to the bad old way.

They returned to the old way in Edo state in 2016 and shortly after in Ondo state; and a few months ago in Anambra state.

Today, in Ekiti state, the three-syllabic phrase, “See and Buy”, has been added to our political lexicon. What’s this “see and buy”? Append your inked thumb to the ballot, step outside the polling unit and show the political stock broker (read candidate’s agent) the inked ballot and collect your N2k, N3k or N5k, then return to the polling unit and drop your ballot in the box.

Politicians have ways of subverting electoral reforms with state resources and we have seen this subversion in the states listed above and seeing it in Ekiti today. The monies used to bribe voters today are obviously stolen from the coffers of the state and subnational state.”

— Abdul Mahmud , Nigerian lawyer

Leave a Reply