The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says Nigeria’s democracy is being threatened by the predominance of money politics.
Mahmood Yakubu, INEC chairman, said this on Wednesday at a one-day colloquium on emerging issues that will shape the 2023 general election.
The event was organised by the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) in collaboration with the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) in Abuja.
Yakubu said there are three critical challenges ahead of the 2023 election, listing them as insecurity, fake news and money politics.
“My third area of concern is the influence of money on politics and is becoming more present and the risk is that ours may soon become a plutocracy for the rich rather than a democracy for the people,” NAN quoted him as saying.
“The way money is exchanging hands is a source of concern, yes, we have collaboration with ICPC and the EFCC and only recently we renewed our collaboration with the EFCC, saying that we are going to do something together.
“However, there are two dimensions to it, when you have willing connectors it becomes a bit more difficult to contain the situation.
“On the one hand, you have brilliant examples, we all saw this on the social media in Anambra when there was an attempt to bribe voters and the women refused to accept the money and voted their conscience.”
Yakubu said INEC is concerned about the security situation in the country as it prepares for the elections.
He, however, noted that the commission has been meeting with security agencies to address the challenges.
The chairman added that the commission would try as much as possible to be transparent during the elections in order not to give room for fake news.
“I believe that the antidote to fake news is more real good news, and greater openness and transparency, we will continue to be open and transparent,” he said.