Olu Falae, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), says the 2019 elections was a charade.
Speaking in an interview with the Sun Newspaper published on Sunday, the 1999 presidential candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) said there was no election in Nigeria but a charade and political market where votes were been bought openly by politicians.
According to him, politicians no longer focus their attention on manifestoes. He said the politics being played now is not focused on service.
He said: “We will never have a democracy if we continue this way. Now, the question is once you have over-monetized politics, what will be the basis of choice of leader? The more money you have and given out, the brighter your chances. So, it’s no longer politics of service. What we have is what I call monetics; this is what we are playing now, not politics.
“Do you hear about any manifesto anymore? In the past, every political party will tell you what they will do for the country or for their people in education, health, culture, infrastructure, etc., if you vote for them. Not anymore. Many of them that are contesting, ask them of the manifesto, they won’t understand what you are talking about. All that matters is money.
“Of course, money is always important for everything that is important. In anything good, some money is required, for food, housing, education, etc., we know, but the way they are going about it now is disgusting; it’s sickening. Of course, you know that I ran for the presidency. When I ran for the office of the president in 1999, I spent money, I raised almost N600million in Eko Le Meridian Hotel in Lagos in public and we spent that money on logistics, advertisement on radio and television; we printed posters, went on political rallies, funded people going to canvass and all that.
“You need money for logistics, but not money for buying voters. There is a big difference; not billions for bribing INEC officials, police people, and security officials. That is where the money goes now and the political leaders; they simply take the money and pocket it. So, as I said what we have now is no longer politics but monetics, for the higher bidder rather than for those with the passion to serve.”
Falae blamed the politicians desperate desire to win as the cause for illegal activities during the last elections.
He said: “They want to win by all means, so it is the desperation not to lose the election that is driving them to do the unimaginable; the unthinkable things that we are witnessing today. So, the question is: why are we so desperate? Why are they so desperate as if, when you don’t win the election the world will come to an end?
“The issue is the desperation in Nigeria politics and I suspect that the desperation is due to the fact that it (politics) is now viewed solely as a business venture. It is a situation like: I am investing my money and I cannot afford to lose. They are ready to borrow and borrow more or even print more money where they can and spend it and win the election and recoup the money after.”
He also expressed concern about Nigeria’s rising debt profile, which now stands at N24.4 trillion according to the Debt Management Board, stating that “We are mortgaging the future. That is the truth of the matter, and to the extent that this debt is a substantially foreign debt, you must earn the foreign exchange to be able to service the debt and to repay it eventually. So, if you don’t do that, as I said, you are just mortgaging the future. It means you are making the future more difficult than the present.”