Vote-buying, Threat to Nigeria’s Democracy – Political Scientist
Prof. Ra’uf Ayo-Dunmoye of Political Science Department, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria on Thursday identified “vote-buying” by political parties as a serious threat to Nigeria’s democracy.
He made the observation in a paper he presented during a public lecture organised by the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Zaria unit in collaboration with ABU Mass Communication Department held in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the lecture is: “The Role of Media and Political Parties toward ensuring credible, free and fear elections.”
Ra’uf-Dunmoye, who spoke on the role of political parties towards credible elections, said if what happened recently in Ikiti election was something to go by, such action would negatively affect the credibility of the nation’s democracy.
The Don said democracy allows people to select whoever they want to lead or represent them through the process of election without external influence, especially money or threat.
He observed that democracy was referred to as a universally recognised ideal based on values common to people everywhere, regardless of cultural, social, political and economic differences.
“Democracy is meant to protect and promote with dignity and fundamental rights of individual and instill social justice and social development.”
Ra’uf-Dunmoye stressed the need for political parties to step up efforts towards ensuring internal democracy through transparent primary elections to guarantee success of the forthcoming general elections.
He, however, lamented a situation where governors hijacked the leadership of parties and appoint their loyalists as candidates into different elective positions irrespective of whether they qualify or not.
In his paper entitled: “The Role of Media toward ensuring Credible, Free and Fair Elections”, Dr Yakubu Suleiman of ABU Mass Communication Department, observed that media had a greater role of enlightening and sensitising the public on the 2019 elections.
He frowned at a situation where journalists ask for money before publishing stories, lamenting that some editors collect inducements in the form contracts to get stories published.
Suleiman charged the media to be unbiased, corrupt-free and remain patriotic before, during and after the general elections for the good of all.
The ABU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, who was represented by Malam Sama’ila Shehu, Director, Public Affairs, said the lecture was timely in view of the forthcoming general elections.
While appreciating the efforts of the NUJ and Mass Communication Department for organising the programme, the VC urged them to sustain the collaboration for the benefit of both parties.
Ealier, the NUJ Chairman, Kaduna State Council, Alhaji Adamu Yusuf had said that there was perception that months preceding elections in Nigeria usually come with all kinds of disturbing reports.
He identified such disturbing reports to include; hate speeches, name calling, harassmen, killings, thuggery and intimidation among others.
“So, our gathering here today will no doubt find possible ways of preventing them. For an individual, group or nation to grow and develop, the enabling environment must be created.
“Such environment must be made free for all to serve, hence the need for these two major stakeholders in the country’s electoral process to come together.
“As one of the critical stakeholder in promoting democracy, be rest assured that the Nigerian Union of Journalists will promote free, fair and peaceful conduct of 2019 general elections,” he assured.
NAN reports that the occasion drew participants from across political parties, INEC representatives, lawyers, security agencies, traditional rulers and students among others