By Saminu Sani
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, says vote buying has left Nigerians in a state of unmitigated disaster.
Dogara said this on Monday, during a public hearing organized by the National Assembly on improving electoral processes in Nigeria.
According to him, the nation’s democracy has become stagnant – a situation he believes can only change for the better if sharp practices in elections are eliminated.
He said, “Vote buying and other sundry manipulation of the electoral process in Nigeria, has left our citizens in a state of unmitigated disaster.
“As a result, we have been married off to a mob, a mob that rules us by the example of their power, not by the dictates of law.
“A mob that rules by fiat as an inalienable truth, rather than by courage. A mob that accepts the status quo rather than challenge it.
“Mobs don’t grow others, they only destroy others in order to grow themselves.
“When we follow the mob, we do so because we must, not because we are receiving any sense of significance for our own lives from them.
“Our democracy is stagnated and will sadly, remain so until we eliminate all sharp elections which have the effect of throwing up the worst of us to lead the best of us”.
The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu, also addressed the issue.
He said the menace of vote buying needs to be eradicated first during primaries before it can be eradicated during main elections.