The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto, Matthew Kukah, has said that the lucrative nature of Nigeria’s political system explains why candidates want to win elections at all costs.
Kukah spoke last night during a program on Canales Televisión.
He said that the violence associated with elections was not unrelated to the reward system associated with politics.
The fierce cleric said: “It is the reward system in the political system that encourages violence because if you see the almost automatic change in the quality of life and opportunities that come to people who are holding public office or who win elections, you realize that rewards are a zero sum game. To be outside, as someone said, you lose the election, you could actually lose your life,” he said.
“So to the extent that we have a political system that rewards you directly, for example, if you voted for the wrong candidate, you may not have a path to your town; you may not have electricity in your village; you may not have drinking water.
“So the consequences of this create despair among Nigerians that ‘our man or our woman must win at all costs.’
“Otherwise, if politics were just about service, we wouldn’t have needed to fight about service. So all these people telling you ‘vote for us, we’ll work for you,’ history suggests something different,” said thecable.ng, an online platform that monitored the interview.