Election not business, INEC chair berates money politics

The chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, has berated the deployment of money in elections, stressing that election is not a business venture but rather an application to serve the people.

This was as the electoral umpire listed the negative role that money plays in elections and electioneering.

Yakubu stated this at a ‘Stakeholders’ summit on addressing the influence of money in the 2023 general election’ held in Abuja on Monday.

He said money politics made the emergence of the right candidates for elective positions “extremely difficult”.

He added that it undermines fair electoral adjudication and impacts negatively on the conduct of INEC officials, among other things.

The INEC chair said, “It (money) renders the emergence of the right candidates for positions extremely difficult, undermines fair electoral adjudication, and destroys the professional and independent conduct of INEC officials and other public agencies involved in elections.

“Even more worrisome is the high prospect that criminal money may find its way into our elections through money laundering. Above all, the pernicious use of money tremendously increases the likelihood of election violence due to a ‘win at all costs’ mentality among contestants, who would have invested a fortune in election.

“Surely, election is not a business venture for profit. Instead, it is an application to serve the people with the understanding that they may prefer someone else on one occasion. But then, there would be an opportunity to reapply after four years. Citizens’ choices must never be subverted by the negative use of money.”

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