The much anticipated Ekiti 2018 gubernatorial election has come and gone. However, what happened on Saturday, July 14 was a public show of shame and impunity by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC). The brigandage at the polls could not have been better captured than the Sunday Punch’s front page headline, “Fayemi wins as APC, PDP woo voters with cash. APC doles out #5000. PDP, state give #7000 per voters”.
The election was heavily monetised by the two political parties to outsmart each other and it seems the highest bidder won. What happened in Ekiti on Saturday was a terrible template that will be implemented by these two political parties in upcoming elections and it shows the Nigerian voter have been illegally disenfranchised. The APC by its conduct in Ekiti on Saturday shows there is no difference between the nation’s ruling party and the opposition PDP. The much touted change has turned to be a hoax.
The conduct of these parties also shows that politicians deliberately keep Nigerians in abject poverty to achieve their inordinate aims. The sixteen-year reign of the PDP was used to impoverish Nigerians while the APC has continued from where it stopped. The security agencies especially the Nigerian Police Force by its conduct at the polls have once again shown how heavily compromised and partisan they are as they were parties to the “see and buy” voting process at the various polling units.
The long term effect of this is that voters have sold away their development and wellbeing for peanuts. As it is said, nothing is free in Freetown. Fayemi, the newly elected Governor will have to recoup the money spent on the election while the ruling PDP too will have to recoup its own within the remaining few months left for them to spend in office.
The verdict is simple. Democracy in Nigeria is under massive threat if votes can be bought like shares on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. The earlier our political parties stop this impunity, the better for our democracy.