Former Minister of Sports and Youths Development, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has condemned the culture of extreme monetised politics and political processes by some political actors in the country.
Delivering a lecture at the 2022 annual Press Week of the Kwara State Correspondents Chapel, Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, on Wednesday in Ilorin, Bolaji described the development as the biggest threat to the nation’s democracy.
Bolaji, a Senatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for Kwara Central in the 2023 general elections, said that politicians have turned the political process into a business transaction in the country.
He observed that the development had brought out all manner of people canvassing for elective offices, warning that the trend, “if not curbed, is capable of making the electorate poorer and miserable in the long run.
“When politicians pay people to vote for them, the act has taken away the capability of the people to decide who governs them.
“It is the same as soldiers using guns to be in power, and politicians using the power of dollars to get to power.
“The monetisation of politics is a big threat to the nation’s democracy and political processes. Many people lose their conscience when money is involved,” he added.
He called on stakeholders in the country and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to act fast to halt the culture of money politics.
The former Minister further observed that the quality of journalism in the country was a reflection of the nation’s democracy, adding that journalism should be able to deepen the nation’s democracy.
“Journalists should be able to play their constitutional roles as enshrined in the nation’s Constitution.
“Media practitioners should be able to hold the government accountable for the inadequate provision of education, job opportunity, security, corrupt practices, and abuse of power,” he argued.
According to him, Journalists were expected to act as watchdogs, and as well help set the agenda for the 2023 general elections.
In his welcome address, Chairman of the Correspondents Chapel, Alhaji Hakeem Garba, charged journalists in the country to be good ambassadors of the profession and help to preserve and sustain the nation’s democracy by carrying out their duties effectively and unbiased.