Greeting, fellow Nigerians! There are pressing issues to discuss but first allow me to introduce myself. My name is Odera, but please call me Princess Pako. I am honored to be the Our Mumu Don Do ambassador for increased youth participation in good governance. This means that my role is to constantly share messages with the millennial generation on how we will retrieve the government power from those that have abused and misused it and take up the mandate to run a proper African democracy. I am a journalist by profession and a terribly patriotic Nigerian, which is why the issue of vote buying is particularly alarming for me.

Two weekends ago, we saw Our Mumu Don Do team led by AreaFada, working tirelessly in Osun to talk to the people on the negative effects of vote buying. We could feel their weariness when they came back with reports that it was falling on deaf ears. Why? Because the people are hungry. You cannot possibly logically reason with a person that is deafened by the resounding echo of a hungry stomach. Unfortunately, a large portion of the nation and registered voters, are easy targets for illegal agents seeking to entice them with 5 thousand naira or as little as 3 onions.

The trend of such blatant show of vote buying started with the elections held this year in Edo, Ondo, Anambra and Ekiti. And somehow the message is hardly penetrating on how dangerous this process is. Let’s break it down. First of all, as Nigerian citizens, we cannot ask for leaders with integrity if we do not have any ourselves. Selling your vote, without considering the track record or intentions of the politician is selling your own personal integrity because it is a crime. By partaking in what seems to be innocent illegal activity you have brought yourself to the same level of a criminal and a political looter.

Once you have sold your vote and integrity, you also sell your right to question whatever authority eventually gets in office. Realize also, that those large sums of money divvied up and shared in all the wards is public funds that should have been used to provide you hospitals and electricity. You are now complicit in destroying Nigeria even further and keeping us backwards.

The responsibility lays with us fellow Nigerians. If you are reading this, I’m sure you hold influence over at least one person in your environs. Sit them down and have a conversation with them. Explain to them that the money they get finishes before voting is even done and you will be stuck with a leader that will do nothing foryou for the next four years while you remain hungry until they are ready to buy your vote once again.

The election result was announced as inconclusive after reports of possible rigging and definite vote buying. Citizens across the nation will be watching Thursday’s rerun intently, to know if after getting these PVC’s, if INEC will allow the electoral process follow through and have our votes count. That will be my topic for next week. Stay tuned. Until then, I remain your humble Ambassador.

Princess Pako.

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