NYAETOK2019: Sad Reality Of Vote-Buying 2

BACKGROUND:
I come from a little sleepy village that I choose to call "Nsiak Town". Being the light that God has placed, I decided to contribute my bit to the development of the area in several ways.

One of the projects I handled was constructing a reasonably-sized block of classrooms. Putting this project in perspective, the government had constructed a block of classroom at about N15million. I took on the project which was bigger than the government-constructed block of classrooms. Using parameters of government, it should have been valued at N20million, but being an architect and beating the 'inflated contact' index of government projects, I constructed the block of classrooms for a fraction of the price. All said, it was an expensive project.

When I was therefore on the ballot, I naturally expected that my village, in the least, would return, at the very least, 70% of a total voting strength of a little over a thousand votes.
So as not to take anything for granted, I had paid a visit to the village yesterday to consult then again so that today would be a formality.
To my shock and surprise, as I arrived today, I was informed that between the two major parties, while one was paying N1000 per vote, the other was paying N2000 per vote.
This came to me as rude shock.

For about a thousand votes, I was to cough out between N1-2million which would make me look good as result from my community. Though it was within my capacity to do so, I had thought hard about it and decided against vote-buying.
I therefore watched in utter dismay as people whose children I'vs been a benefactor to over the years - a community which I have assisted in more ways that any other person and a people to whom a lot of their problems had become a right for me to solve - conveniently forgot the past and went for the immediate money.

I By the time the ballot were counted, the result moved some of the voters to tears themselves as the height of betrayal dawned on them without tenable explanations to what had played out. Each person thought they could get away with collecting the money given in exchange for their votes and hoping the other person would vote for me, not knowing everyone had the same game plan.

This is the tragedy that has befallen our politics.
N1000-2000 per vote.
With a voting strength of over a million, one would need consecutively between 600 - 700 thousand votes to win which brings it to a total cost outlay of over a billion naira of vote-buying.
My village wasn't one of three battle ground locations. For such areas, the vote cost rise to over N5000 per vote.

With the above, we quickly sent messages to all our agents to cast their individual votes and stand down as our primary target was to be on the ballot which we've succeeded in doing.

For Nigeria, the real tragedy is the new culture where ballot box snatching is gradually giving way to the sophisticated vote-buying culture. We therefore have to, from today, re-think the future of the democracy of our country because 2023 would depend on either how impoverished we've made the people to become so as to reduce the value of each vote, or how much we've been able to loot the treasury to able to pay whatever they call as price for their votes.

The last option is to wage an aggressive campaign on the enlightenment of the people on the imperatives and inevitability of Social Governance as the way out of our current political quagmire.

I will congratulate the higher spender that will be declared winner,
Above all, let me welcome us to the beginning of the next phase of our SOCIAL GOVERNANCE 'war'. We have no need to wait for the announcement of the result as we knew the result trend the day after the presidental election (up for the highest bidder).

To our believers, we salute your resilience, courage, determination and patriotism.

Arc Nya-Etok Ezekiel.
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