The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC), has called for an investigation into the alleged monetisation of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential primary election held on Saturday.
Chairman of IPAC, the umbrella body of all registered political parties in Nigeria, Yabagi Sani, made the call at a news conference held on Monday in Abuja.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar emerged winner of the keenly contested primary with 371 votes. Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State came second with 237 votes.
The process was allegedly heavily monetised with delegates to the convention being bribed by the aspirants.
Mr Sani said the alleged monetisation of the election was a sad development which needed to be investigated by the appropriate authorities and those found culpable should be arrested.
“One of the banes of our democracy is the calibre of candidates and their character because things are not done with due diligence.
“That is why we have people of questionable character in governance, leading to bad leadership.
“We feel that this time around, parties should be given the chance to go through a good process and be happy with what they are presenting to Nigerians.
“At the PDP convention, there were alleged bribery of delegates and various security agents, especially those who are supposed to ensure that corruption does not become the order of the day,’’ he said.
Mr Sani expressed the hope that the investigators would produce reports about the alleged monetisation and in fact arrest those that committed the act of bribery and corruption at the primary election.
He added that inducing delegates with money or other gifts was at the base of choosing bad leaders for the country.
Mr Sani also expressed worry that if aspirants were able to induce delegates at the party’s primary election, the country might not produce a credible leader at the 2023 general elections.
He charged anti-corruption agencies to thoroughly investigate the allegation and bring culprits to book.
The IPAC chairman advised aspirants and delegates of other political parties yet to conduct their presidential primary elections to shun bribery and corruption.
“If you give people money to secure a ticket, I am afraid that we will never get it right. This is because by so doing, we will not be able to get the right people to lead our country.
“If you corrupt the process, then it will be garbage in, garbage out.
“If the process was designed for the highest bidder, then you can imagine what will come out of the process. The people that emerge from the process will first recoup their investment before thinking about Nigerians,’’ he stressed.
Mr Sani urged parties to work towards producing candidates who are qualified and competent and who they could present to Nigerians.