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HomeOpinionPDP Primaries And The Shame Of A Nation By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN

PDP Primaries And The Shame Of A Nation By Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN

It is no longer news that primary elections of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party conducted to choose its candidates nationwide were heavily monetized and brazenly corrupted. The embarrassment to us as a nation is the open display of corruption by an opposition party that is seeking to take over power.

In many parts of the country, reports monitored through the media are indicative of wanton disregard for rules, corruption of delegates and voters and imposition of candidates by godfathers.
In Kaduna State, Mr. Adamu Namadi, who is the son of the former Vice President of Nigeria, confessed to bribing delegates with the sum of N2m each to elect him as PDP candidate for election into the House of Representatives for Kaduna North federal constituency. When he lost the election to a higher bidder, he engaged unorthodox means through vigilantes and hunters, to recover his money.

The embarrassing part of this story is that Mr Namadi confirmed that leaders and major stakeholders of the PDP were well aware of this ugly practice and they even endorsed it.
In Ondo State, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, a PDP aspirant for the Senate who lost his primary election, was reported to have demanded for the return of cars and hotel money that he gave to party leaders in Ondo State to facilitate his victory.
Mr. Tanko Rossi Sabo, a delegate from Sanga LGA of Kaduna State, openly displayed bundles of Naira notes that he received as a delegate to the just concluded PDP Presidential primary election. He shared the loot with members of his community. In the 22 days of his assignment as a delegate to the PPD presidential primary election, he was able to cough out about N30m from the bribe that he collected from aspirants.
These monumental acts of corruption is being executed by a political party that is asking Nigerians to entrust their future in its hands.
 It is incredible that none of the security agencies have found it worthy to interrogate the open display of bribery and corruption by politicians and their supporters.
In an attempt to stem this ugly tide, the National Assembly recently amended the Electoral Act to empower INEC to prosecute electoral offences. Under and by virtue of section 121 of the Electoral Act, 2022, any person who directly or indirectly corruptly makes any gift, loan, offer, promise, procurement or agreement to or for any person, in order to induce such person to procure or to endeavour to procure the return of any person as a member of a legislative house or to an elective office or the vote of any voter at any election, commits an offence punishable with a fine or imprisonment.
As we approach the 2023 general elections, INEC bears the responsibility to sanitize the electoral space to eradicate unwanted conduct that may undermine the credibility  of the electoral process.
The Commission needs to live up to the expectation of Nigerians by living up to its statutory responsibilities. Nigeria cannot afford to pamper this growing army of corrupt  aspirants, delegates and voters. 
If these are the leaders to occupy public office in our country, then the hope of a better nation will continue to be a pipe dream, I dare say.
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN
Lekki, Lagos.

Source saharareporters

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