“You say, 'give me all that I can take right now and then I won't see you for the next four years'. How much is N4,000 or N5,000 for us to mortgage our future and condemn ourselves to probably 4 or 8 years of bad governance?" Sonaiya queried.
Professor Remi Sonaiya, a presidential candidate in Nigeria’s 2015 elections, has condemned vote buying.
Speaking at her book launch during the week, Sonaiya also lamented the high cost of running elections, maintaining that it could be cheaper.
She dissuaded the people from selling votes, noting that they are indirectly selling their future.
Her words: “You say, 'give me all that I can take right now and then I won't see you for the next four years'. How much is N4,000 or N5,000 for us to mortgage our future and condemn ourselves to probably 4 or 8 years of bad governance?”
According to her, a budget proposal that is targeted at spending billions of Naira on the 2019 elections, with much left to question on infrastructural development, would not work well in the interest of the country.
She said: “I personally don’t believe that we need to spend that much money. I believe that there can be cheaper ways of running an election.”
She stated that the country has pressing development needs on which money can be spent on, than organising elections.
“We are a country in need of infrastructures and services. Our schools and hospitals are in a terrible state and they are not getting that kind of money. It doesn’t sit well with me; there are areas where our needs are greater and bigger.”
Sonaiya, who has expressed intention to contest as President for the second time in the 2019 general election, blamed Nigerians for rotating and voting in old politicians.
She urged Nigerians to embrace fresh political ideologies and support new people for political positions in 2019.
“Will you keep voting for the same people who are keeping us malnourished, impoverished, terrorised? Are you going to do something differently? Are you going to consider that you have other options?” Sonaiya asked.
She continued, “We often ask those who are running what they would do differently, but I would like to turn that question on its head; what would Nigerians do differently?”