For a candidate to win election in Nigeria, they must be prepared to spend lots of money. Money has long dominated our elections, and the problem is worsening. People spent unlimited amounts of money during campaigns and before or during election, in order to win the posts they are contesting for.
The major problem with money politics is that politicians tend to invest by spending in the campaigns and expect profit in return. This can also affect public policy and spending priorities. Politics in Nigeria becomes business in which the contestant invests during campaign, and later recoups after winning the election.
Immediately they land in office, their agenda changes. They set out to take back what they spent during campaign, including the profit, before their tenure ends. And as we know, the ‘profit’ is usually many times more than the ‘investment’.
History shows that Nigeria was not like this before. Our past leaders went into politics to serve for development of the nation and not to just steal money and properties of the country and enrich themselves. These are the type of leaders that we need in Nigeria today.
The most terrible problem with money politics is that it causes unemployment in the mind of our youth. It also affects development of the nation, because people take politics as business not something that will help in developing the country. It causes crises and violence, among other problems. Therefore we should do all we can to fight this problem. This is especially important as we approach the general elections in 2015.