OSUN STATE Governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola has explained that the culture of political violence and money politics have been the bane of credible elections since 1999. Aregbesola spoke just as the foremost political scientist, Prof. John Ayoade described zoning as an elite political doctrine, which practically “negates democratic principle”.
The governor and the professor spoke at the public presentation of a book, Nigeria’s Critical Elections: 2011 at the Ralph Bunche International Affairs Centre of the Howard University, Washington D.C. The book, which was edited by Professors John Ayoade and Adeoye Akinsanya, critically x-rayed the process of the 2011 general elections with a conclusion that Nigerian elections since democratic transition in 1999 “raise issues, which the system postponed rather than to resolve
Aregbesola explained that the electorate “are denied the right of free choice in the successive elections through a regime of violence” often unleashed to scare the voters at large.
The governor, who was a guest of honour at the book presentation, noted that money and political violence played a role in the 2011 general elections, noting that current Nigerian political parties “have no explicitly stated ideologies. What overshadows the activities of some political parties in this regard is that there are some other parties that employ violence and deploy cash and carry”.
He therefore cited a grievous example of how twelve of his agents were killed in the 2007 governorship election in Osun State, which he said culminated in the stealing of his mandate. “Besides twelve of my agents who were killed in the violence unleashed, my 80-year –old mother was chased out of my hometown ‘for giving birth to me’. I could have been killed too”, he said.