BY FAVOUR NNABUGWU
ABUJA—Politicians who are determined to rig the forthcoming election have begun the process of importing mercenary voters from neighbouring states and countries.
Edo State governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, disclosed this at the 8th Daily Trust Dialogue, entitled ‘The Challenges of Good Governance in Africa,” in Abuja Thrusady.
He said: “Now that they have seen that it is a bit difficult for them to manipulate the process the way they did in 2007, they now have mercenary voters whom they import from neighbouring states or countries.
“I had to be around my state to police them, so I’m rushing back to Edo State to continue my policing.
“The foundation of rigging is at the level of voters registration and l know that the Chairman of INEC has done his best this time around to ensure that machines don’t migrate from one local government or the other and thus ensured that every voting unit has its own machine. That is a remarkable departure from the past.
“The Nigerian political class must recognize that they have no choice, some of us have already made up our mind that we will be on the side of the people whether in government or out of government. Nigeria must be free, the people vote must count and anybody who is thinking he can rig and go home must be a joker.”
Oshiomhole noted that politicians mobilized their supporters during voters’ registration, adding that beside ensuring that their supporters had the tool of franchise through the voters’ cards, politicians often explored crooked means to register “multitude voters” with fictitious names, including names of family members leaving in the towns and cities or even dead ones.
He said riggers should understand and recognize that a good number of Nigerians had staked their lives to entrench genuine democracy in the country, adding that any attempt to disregard the efforts made to enthrone democracy in Nigeria would not work this time around.
He commended the efforts of INEC at conducting a credible voters’ registration, despite hitches here and there.
Oshiomole also noted that the cankerworms of corruption was more prevalent in the private sector than in the public sector.
He said: “The real problem of governance at least in Nigeria is more in the private sector than the public sector and because the public sector draws its inspiration from the private sector, they brought forward what they learn whilst in the private sector.
“The whole vocabulary of accountability, transparency, due process, openness, fairness, and commitment to ethics, a lot of us here acquire them from series of economic summit that were also dominated by bankers and private sector executives”
“Some of the shining light from the private sector, including the banking sector, that oil the private sector practice the opposite of what they have learnt. Who could ever imagine elsewhere in the world that a family sets up a bank and they convince the public that the bank is quoted in the stock exchange and that the bank is regulated by rules and the banks audited by auditors who are also from the private sector have done their job?
“We now know that those bank executives can actually appoint a house help, and dress her up as a corporate entity, lend depositors’ fund to her, enrich her and turn to the public sector to mobilise state funds and then persuade the public with the support of Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, and the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, that everything is fine and that the public should entrust their money to them.
“Corporate governance should not be limited to government. Corporate governance is about governance of regulatory agencies. Nobody in the private sector should pose as an angel. Those things that cannot be contemplated overseas are happening here and in the private sector.
“This is the only country where the fee of the consultants that add little or no value to companies can be as high as 6 percent or even 8 percent. If a company raises a N100billion from the capital market, and N6billion of that money goes to the private pocket of a consultant, it is only in Nigeria that those can happen.”