What do you expect when you cage some group of destitute and hungry men in the abyss of poverty? Bad eggs among the politicians invested so much in our sufferings. They drag us into poverty and bury us in destitution after breaking our hopes into pieces. They create artificial ignorance and force it into our minds. Political masters are the most wicked and selfish people in the world. They divide us so as not understand one another and form a single force that can seize the power from their hands. We don’t know that power is in our hands. We are the power!

Machiavellian style of punishing masses and forcing them to worship you is to give them so little that can’t satisfy them and push them to always beg you for more. In this way you can ask them to do everything you want and they will always do. This is the philosophy behind vote buying. The wicked among the politicians know this very well and bet on the ignorance of the masses. They take billions from us and give us hundreds. They force us into three years of poverty and artificial ignorance and approach us with empty promises in the fourth year.

The tragedy of our democracy is few people know how politicians manipulate us in this style, and since they are small in numbers they can’t control the direction of governance. This is why Frederick Nietschez is against democracy because it assumes that a destitute beggar forced into poverty looking for 1,000 naira to sell his rights is equal to a philosopher or an activist who knows his rights and can die for them. The greatest tragedy here is majority of men don’t reason well because they are hungry. Democracy gives room for those hungry men to dictate where nations can go since their numbers are higher than those few of men that escaped the rockets of artificial poverty thrown to them by politicians.

I have been asking myself, is it ethical for someone to stop vote buying by giving the voter similar or more than the amount given to him by vote buyers? Logically it is like stopping evil with evil. But what if we are left with only two options; evil and the lesser evil? If there is anything I hate in elections is to see highly corrupt and kleptomaniac politicians spreading money in the election day to buy the only right that a poor man has in a journey of four years full of falls and downs.

I was once interviewed in a local radio station on vote buying and the myth of wasted votes. I told them there is no way to stop vote buying when the political masters are enslaving people in four years in Machiavellian manner and spreading money to them in the last hours. The only solution is for the poor people to know that vote buyers are their enemies buying their rights to enslave them in years to come. Alas we can’t know this since the other weapon in their hands is for creating artificial ignorance for us.

I was domestic observer in the just concluded general election and I witnessed horrible things in Kano state. People, especially women, think election is an opportunity for them to haggle over prices. If your party’s price is higher than the other parties’ you can buy not only their votes but their movements too. In this case the incumbents have the power over the other candidates since their is likelihood his price would be higher. The most horrible thing was these bargains were done in front of security officers and INEC officials! Where did the law prohibiting vote buying go I can’t say.

A friend of mine who was INEC official in the election told me that many politicians approached and gave some of them money (read : bribed them) and this influenced the way they accredited voters. Card readers became worthless since they didn’t function in many poling units. I don’t know why INEC didn’t warn her officials from taking any amount of money from officials. I observed some of them were bribed with plates of food! The officials were as hungry as the voters. Vote buying was just a step one, the other step was INEC buying. I was there and I observed that.

The views expressed in this post are those of the author and in no way reflect those of Nigerian Diary