A political party, the National Rescue Movement (NRM), on Monday attributed Nigeria’s socio-economic woes, especially poverty and insecurity, to money politics.
National Chairman of the party, Sen. Saidu Dansadau, made the observation at the party’s launch of ‘Not-Too-Poor-To-Run’ campaign ahead of 2019 general elections.
Dansadau said that the socio-economic challenges bedevilling the country were as a result of bad leadership by people who bought their way into offices.
“Nigeria has never had a state of hopelessness like we are experiencing; we have never gone through insecurity like we are having now.
“The rate of poverty has made people to align toward selling their votes as the rate of buying is alarming.
“In order to arrest this situation, it is the belief of NRM that money politics is substantially responsible for all these predicaments that we are going through in Nigeria.
“So, that is why we said in our party, money is not the primary issue, what is primary and fundamental is the security of people, honesty of people and commitment of the people to serve their fatherland.’’
Dansadau said that though the Not-Too-Young-To-Run bill had been signed, its existence was being threatened because Nigerian youths who now had the right to run didn’t have money.
He said that the price to contest for election in the country, especially in the two major parties, were exorbitant, making it difficult for youths to succeed.
He said that for the major parties, sale of nomination form was about N25 million, adding that by this, the bill was of no consequence because to contest for governorship, one had to have N10 million.
The party chairman said that the amount was N5 million to contest for the Senate and N1 million for the state House of Assembly.
“What we are going through today as a nation is a product of money politics; politics in this country has been turned into a business enterprise.
“People sell their houses; some of them borrow money with 100 per cent interest and immediately they are elected, they don’t remember the people anymore.
“All they care about is how they will recover their money and recoup the house that they sold.
“All these are part of the problems that we have been having as a nation.
“In order to rescue this country, we have to make sure that we don’t make money the primary factor in our political parties.’’ he said.
Dansadau stated that in the face of various political activities ahead of the 2019 elections, permutations had started as politicians and political parties strategised to either gain power or retain it.
He said that while money bags were busy spreading money here and there, the young emerging leaders were left with nothing but their dreams and sincere aspirations.
He said that the biggest challenge facing them was lack of financial wherewithal for political consultations and campaigns.
Dansadau said that the reason why great minds with incredible leadership skills always shied away from politics was because they thought they did not have the finances needed to face the money bags in the system.
The chairman said that it was such situation that prompted NRM into launching Not-Too-Poor-To-Run campaign as a response to the Not-Too-Young-To-Run law to empower youths to contest.
This, he said, would activate the capacities of young people, including people with disabilities irrespective of their financial backgrounds, to come out.
He said that NRM decided to fish out young and credible Nigerians and support them to contest election to be able to provide good governance in the country.
He said that this was because everything was about good governance by electing credible people who actually had passion for service, and all socio-economic challenges would become things of the past.
The chairman said that the trend could only be reversed by entrenching credible people into office “and these people don’t have to have money’’, adding that the policy would alienate the money factor in politics.
On his part, Director, Media and Publicity of the party, Mr Isa Husaini, said that the initiative sought to provide a platform within the party for young aspiring leaders ahead of 2019.
Husaini said that this was by granting nomination forms and tickets in all electoral categories for a token or free of charge to all aspirants in the 2019 elections.
He said that the initiative became necessary because if governance continued to remain in the hands of money bags, the hope of achieving a better Nigeria would remain an illusion.
“This is because humble, true and sincere Nigerians will never have the chance to serve their country politically.’’
Husaini explained that NRM was not just a political party, but a movement and a platform for re-invention of Nigeria’s wheel of progress, unity and mutual respect which the people of the country once shared.