By Hon. Banji Okunomo
It has been reported that the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirants in Ondo State are wooing delegates with .5m each ahead of the party’s governorship primary election which comes up on September 3, 2016.
It is now clear to the people that the APC government which brands itself as corruption free has only succeeded in deceiving Nigerians.
Reported in The Punch Newspaper of August 26, 2016 is that a whooping sum ranging from #300,000 to #500,000 is being planned to be expended on each delegate by each aspirant.
The staggering amount shows the level of corruption working within the APC and this portends great danger for our nurtured democracy.
Money politics is, no doubt, a symptom of a deep seated corruption characterising the government of APC.
To worsen this is the obvious fact that the sponsors of the aspirants are outside the State and they have the intention to hijack the economic destiny of the state and to fortify their empire.
The monetized governorship primary election of the APC where about 25 aspirants are wooing delegates with such huge sum of money is the highest display of corruption. This must be condemned in its entirety.
Such act is similar to what has been playing out in many APC controlled States. It is evident that such a primary election cannot produce the best material, as it were, as majority of the delegates would have sold their conscience for money bearing in mind the level of extreme poverty that has gripped the Nigerian citizenry in the last one and a half year of APC misrule.
The incessant postponement of the governorship primary of the APC is as a result of the need to buy more time for the money-bag aspirants to access many of the delegates who have been reportedly lodged in the best hotels in Lagos and Ibadan.
There is no question about the fact that nothing serious will come out of the governorship primary election of the APC in Ondo State.
Some of the aspirants who cried out against this money induced primary election are already doubting the credibility of the process which they have regrettably committed their resources to.
This is a strange development happening in the Nigerian political landscape after many years of diligently nurtured democratic governance by the PDP led national government.
This also poses a great threat to the nation’s nascent democracy. It would have been better if this unfortunate scenario is a figment of imagination.
Going by the report which stated that about 3000 delegates are already being wooed, with no less than 25 aspirants intending to participate in the governorship primary election, it implies that a minimum of 27.5 billion naira will be squandered in just one day if all the aspirants settle for the minimum of #300,000 per delegate.
At the same time, if the amount is set at #500,000 per delegate, it means that a total of 37.5 billion naira would also be lavished in a single on the delegates.
This is still an irreducible minimum estimate but it may be more than this amount because of the possibility of one delegate obtaining money from more than one aspirant.
This is not only embarrassing but a great challenge to the Buhari anti- corruption struggle and it calls to question the integrity of the Buhari APC led government.
We wish to urge the entire people of Ondo State not to sell their votes to the APC as it was done in Oyo, Osun and other APC states.
Giving their votes to the APC would amount to mortgaging the destiny of the State and of the generations of the people.
Our people must say no to APC and its deceits. APC is a house of commotion and we, the good people of Ondo State, should not have anything to do with them.