Israel Ajibola Famurewa (APC, Osun), a member of the House of Representatives, has warned of a dangerous dimension desperate politicians are taking vote-buying to with the introduction of oath-taking to compel patronage from the electorate.
The lawmaker also recalled an oversight by his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), which he said, underestimated the desperation by candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Ademola Adeleke, in the just concluded governorship election in Osun State.
Famurewa, who was the DG, campaign organization for the governor-elect of Osun State, Gboyega Oyetola, in a chat with journalists at the weekend, warned that Nigeria’s democracy is facing its most perilous time with the introduction of oath by desperate politicians who used it to compel loyalty from voters.
He said if the trend is not checked, the nation’s democracy will be at a greater risk of losing voters’ choice, which he described as the most important part of citizens franchise.
“We discovered one frightening development during the just-concluded governorship election in Osun State, and it’s a very sad commentary for our democracy; and it has to be checked urgently.
“We realized that desperate politicians were offering cash to voters and asking them to swear to an oath before they could get the money so that they wouldn’t take their money and vote their preferred candidate.
“One surprising incident occurred in my own poling unit where I know virtually everybody. On the morning of the elections, I went out calling on my people to come and vote, but they were stepping back after seeing me, saying that they had collected money from the other candidates.
“When I offered to give them the money so they could return same to those people, they said they were made to swear to an oath – I couldn’t find my voice to say anything.