The Presidential Candidate of the Zenith Labour Party, Dr Olusegun Mimiko has said government must have a clear cut plan on election finance reforms to holistically tackle corruption in the country.
Mimiko, who spoke on AIT’s morning programme, Kakaaki on Wednesday, said fighting something as endemic as corruption in Nigeria requires a well spelt out coherent strategy.
He said “if election finance has been a major source of corruption, then there must be a clear cut plan on election finance reforms.
“Looking at the quantum of money spent on recent elections in Ekiti and Osun states and primaries across the country, it shows there’s nothing the present government is doing on election finance reforms.”
According to Mimiko, the general perception is that current efforts are selective if not vindictive and the current blatant monetisation of the electoral process reinforces such a perception, as the way the fight against corruption has been carried out by the present administration appears to be a disservice to the nation’s effort to curb corruption.
Mimiko, who is the immediate past governor of Ondo State added that if the government wants to faithfully fight corruption, and not use it as a political tool to intimidate political opponents, “election finance reforms and deepening of the cashless policy are powerful tools through which corruption can be fought.”
Also speaking on the herdsmen crisis, Mimiko said the claim in some quarters that nomadic cattle rearing is in the DNA of the Fulani is a class construct to keep the herders on the lowest rung of the prosperity ladder.
He said cattle rearing has become a modern business and that owners should be disposed to investing funds into the business instead of the highly unproductive, yet controversial method of exposing young people to the grueling and dangerous movement of animals across the length and breadth of the country for grazing.
“Those who claim that nomadism is in the DNA of cattle rearers have their children in colleges, home and abroad but justify their class dominating scheme by such untrue statements.
“Suffering, dangerous living, is not in the DNA of anybody and cattle herders ought to be encouraged to live more decent lives by cattle owners who should own and sustain modern ranches,” Mimiko said.
According to the Presidential contender, “government can only act by designing broad and specific policies to support and incentivize ranch owners.
“Land cannot continue to be an excuse, there are lands lying fallow, especially in the northern part of the country and there’s nothing that says ranches must be created all over the country. It is a big business, whoever wants to create ranches should look for how to source land.
“For example, you can create a ranch in the north and have a mega abattoir there, with effective transport system and a reliable refrigeration system.” He added.
Citing an example of what his government did in Ondo state to combat nomadic cattle rearing, Mimiko said; “in Ondo state we created agro business cities which served as ranches for rearing cattles and a source of employment for young people interested in agro business.”
He added that “it doesn’t cost limbs to create ranches.”