By Bimbo Akindunbi
Nigerians have been advised not to blame political leaders for not fulfilling majority of their electioneering campaigns, but rather, hold the followers and voters who put much pressure on them responsible for the political problems in the country.
A legal practitioner, Mrs Jumoke Anifowose, made this assertion in an interview with The Hope, in her office, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.
She noted that the idea of politics nowadays, is quite different from what it used to be, saying it was service then, but now, it is self-service.
Anifowose, a chieftain of All Progressives Congress (APC), decried a situation whereby followers and voters now use money as a yardstick to elect people into political offices.
Her words: “The only difference is that people are now conscious of money now, than it used to be.
“In those days, there was no question of spending money on elections unnecessarily.
“But now, if you want to be the governor of a state, you must be thinking of having billions of naira to spend. Also, if you want to be a member of the House of Assembly, House of Representatives or Senate, you must be thinking of half a billion.
She identified monetary aspect as the main problem affecting the politics of today.
“The followers and voters are causing every problem happening now, not even the leaders, not even the politicians.
“I mean money is the bane of politics in Nigeria, which was not the case during the time of our late political fathers.
“Then, people were ready to put money into party politics. Members were contributing weekly, monthly, to the purse of the party. And even members that were elected at that time were contributing to the purse. So, there was nobody who could come and harass anybody.
“Unlike today, the followers and voters are on the necks of politicians asking for one thing or the other, not knowing that they are debarring them from doing their work, from doing the social work they sent them to go and do in their various constituencies.
“If you do not give the followers and voters money, go to their homes to distribute rice and other materials, they see you as miserly,” she stressed.
According to her, there is no governor, member of House of Assembly, House of Representatives or Senate that would not want to impact or do very well, but when people are too much on their necks, they lose focus.
She said, “When people put too much pressure on these politicians to do this or that for them, that their fathers are in the hospitals, that they need childrens’ school fees.
“So, in the process, what they normally should do in providing all the necessary things e.g the equipment, the gadgets in the hospitals and social amenities, they lose concentrations.
“These people have forgotten that there is nobody that would have spent so much on election and would not want to recupe, even if he or she is Mr. or madam angel.
“And when you are asking for bogus amount from the politicians, where do you want them to see the money, except they steal. That is exactly what is affecting our governance.”
Anifowose, therefore advised the people of the country to sit down, think and reason that they should work hard for whatever they needed, so the people they elected in offices to represent then can work for them and provide sociall services like education, hospitals, water and light.