Professor Rose Aziza of Deltas State University has advised that the Nigerian political system should do everything thing humanly possible to discourage money politics in order to encourage the youths to come and contribute their quota towards the development of the country stating that the youths have a lot to offer.
Professor Aziza who was the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor of administration in the university and presently a classroom lecturer said that money politics was still on ground in Nigeria.
She also advocated that more women should be given political positions in the country maintaining that Nigeria should stop running a patriarchial system of government.
She was speaking on Monday in Warri during a Niger Delta town hall meeting organised by National Point/foreword communications limited with support from the Wole Soyinka Center for investigative journalism and MacArthur Foundation with the theme of ensuring electoral accountability and inclusive governance
Stating that money politics should be steadily discouraged in Nigeria, she asked “Where can you get a youth who is ready to pay 100 million naira for expression of interest, you have not talked about how much he is going to use to mobilize people and do the campaign.
“That one alone is scary and like we have said in the programme, when you tell them to go and look for 100 million Naira then you are indirectly saying that they must look for godfathers and then the godfathers will be the ones to direct and run the government by proxy.
“If you want the youths to participate, all those money matters must be reviewed infact I do not see any reason why a youth who wants to participate in politics should go and look for even 1 million Naira.
“No it is wrong and I also think for us to get the main thing because Nigeria is blessed with focus-driven and intelligent youths but because of this money matter you disenfranchise them, you cannot make them inclusive in your government because they don’t have the money to run the politics.
“I must tap their initiatives and their God-given resource and de-emphasis money if we want to move the country forward.
Maintaining that the country is still running a patriarchial system where men dominated, she advised that more women should be given a chance asking ” All the men that have been fingered for stealing billions in this country, why have they not been sanctioned?
“Why is it that women’s own will be on top of the matter? Like I said I’m not exonerating anybody but I think that we should focus on the fact that one bad egg doesn’t mean that the entire crate of eggs is spoilt. There are women who have made their marks and women should be given more chances to contribute their quota to the development of the society.
“For me, good governance is a collective responsibility if we want inclusive governance then all the stakeholders must have a role to play. You cannot leave it for one person or one sector to decide. We must all participate and we all have a role to play. She concluded.
Also speaking on Beatrice Itubo Labour Party Governoship Candidate in Rivers State in the 2023 general elections represented by Irene Atevure Misan labour party deputy women leader Delta South maintained that the only way INEC will get it right in this country is by transmitting results immediately as they come.
She said “The only way out is for INEC to keep to the promise they gave to Nigerians. If they had transmitted the resulted immediately in the last presidential election as they promised, it would have gone a long way in helping our electoral system because people would have had no need to steal ballot boxes and result sheets, intimidating people and causing harm to those that refused to do their bidding.
Also, Professor Godini Darah who applauded the organisers of the meeting promised to make sure that such meetings come to limelight adding that he as the chairman of PANDEF Delta State will involve the forum so that more of the meetings will be held.
The renowned scholar in Oral Literature, Folklore, and Cultural Sciences however called on the Niger Delta Governors to develop that region stating that it is not every time that the federal government will be blamed.
He asked that the 3% PIA money should start rolling in adding that it is really taking time.
He said “The governors of Niger Delta should develop the region. That is their responsibility. They are the ones that have power. You and I don’t have the power to do so. We should insist that they do the right thing for their people. They have a plan they called BRACED for the whole region. It is a common plan like ECOWAS. They should implement it and lives will change.
“We cannot blame the federal government all the time. I was explaining how the federal government is oppressing us but the state government themselves let them hold meetings every month then you will see the difference instead of running to Abuja.
“We as PANDEF are opposed to 3% we went for 10%. There was even a 5% compromise even that didn’t fly.
As it is now, let them implement the 3%, let’s take it from there and see how useful it is.
On the amnesty programme, he said “It was not a means of shutting up the people of the Niger Delta. The people who qualified for amnesty are Niger Delta people and because of their own level of struggle that is why the federal government even backed down.
“Amnesty is a compensation for them but it is not a development project. It is not for constructing roads or for building schools. It is just the individuals that participated in the struggle who are pacified with amnesty.
“I have promised the organizers of this event that PANDEF will collaborate with them to have more frequent interactions for more understanding because many of us don’t even understand the issues, you want to get angry with one politician or one Governor.
Let us have frequent meetings like this so that we can understand our region and know how to tackle our problems.
Ibiba DonPedro and Constance Meju the organizers of the town hall meeting had hinted that the meeting became necessary especially for the people of Niger Delta so that there will be a re-appraisal of what happened in the 2023 general elections and to think of the way forward.