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Why politicians kill and rig elections in Nigeria

Mr. Oyibo Chukwu, a senatorial candidate for the Labour Party in the Enugu East Senatorial District, was assassinated in his car with five other party supporters three days before the most recent senatorial election, which was held on February 25. The gunmen are alleged to have set Mr. Chukwu's body on fire during the attack.

The last Presidential/National Assembly elections as well as the Governorship/State House of Assembly elections were marred by electoral violence, killings, rigging, intimidation of voters, suppression of votes and snatching of ballot boxes.

In Nigeria, politicians were so desperate to win elections that they would do anything to do so. They saw it as a life-or-death situation. Yet if running for public office is meant to serve the people, then do some Nigerian politicians go so far as to murder their rivals and hire political thugs to commit acts of violence against defenseless citizens and keep them from casting ballots? When these politicians take office, they immediately become liable only to themselves, spending public funds whatever they like with no one to hold them accountable.

Thus, many Nigerians have concluded that the scandalous perks of holding political office are the primary reason Nigerian politicians are determined to win elections at all costs. Elder statesmen, priests, community leaders, and traders who offered their opinions on the matter claimed that if the compensation was unappealing, there would be no reason for individuals to spend so much money on winning elections.

Pa Ayo Adebanjo, the leader of the pan-Yoruba socio-political movement Afenifere, was of the opinion that only avaricious and resentful politicians manipulate elections and commit murder in order to win office.

He asserted that "those who kill and maim in the name of politics are those who are desperate, unqualified, lack vision, and play politics for their own egotistical gain. If the APC is so confident in itself, why do they need to murder and maim people just to get into office? Just look at what transpired in Lagos during the most recent governorship election. The fact that they have been surviving off of rigging for so long while the humans are worn out makes it irritating.

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Labour Party National Assembly Nigeria Oyibo Chukwu State House of Assembly


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