The Transition Monitoring Group(TMG) says the increasing use of money by politicians seeking elective positions is a sign of bad omen for Nigeria.
Mr Auwal Rafsanjani, the Chairman, TMG, said this when he spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
“The use of money openly by politicians seeking for votes from delegates goes to show that political actors are ready to influence the choice of the delegates.
“Already, if you look at the huge sums being spent across both parties for nomination forms, you will realise that it is set up to exclude those who don’t have huge funds most of which are likely stolen.
“There are laws guiding this process and political parties, aspirants and candidates should adhere to them.
“These actions should be in accordance with the relevant laws guiding these processes.
” The anti-graft agencies like the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) need to also investigate Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) filed by banks to ensure that they are in line with the Know Your Costumer (KYC) and Costumer Due Diligence (CDD) requirements,” he said.
Rafsanjani said that this would ensure that the sources of funds used by the policians were genuine.
“Already, we are experiencing a dollarisation of the economy due to ongoing primaries by politicians which ought not to be the case.
“Normal citizens and businesspersons can’t get dollars because the politicians have taken over the FOREX allocation to citizens.
“This dirty money in politics side-lines competent individuals who have the capacity to rule but have no funds or godfather(s) to provide them with these funds.
”Overtime, this creates what I will call a vicious cycle where politicians will spend money on campaigns and then get into office and recoup these funds,” he said.
Rafsanjani added: “Nobody will use thousands of dollars to bribe a delegate and not abuse office to get these funds back. It is a business and I’m the end, it is citizens who will suffer.
“This is also a good time to call on INEC to ensure that political parties submit their financial details as required by our constitution and relevant laws. We should be able to know what party x or party Y spends in an election cycle.
“This way, we will be able to ask questions.
“Finally, I will like to call on citizens to ensure that they vote competence ahead of money. They should look at the track record and capacity of candidates as against the money offered.”