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We must de-emphasise money in politics — Sonaiya

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A presidential aspirant, Prof. Oluremi Sonaiya, has called for the transformation of the nation’s politics, such that money will no longer play prominent roles.

Remi Sonaiya

Sonaiya, who is seeking the presidential ticket of the KOWA Party, made the call while speaking with newsmen in Lagos on Wednesday.

Reacting to INEC’s ban on the use of mobile phones by voters in polling booths during the Osun gubernatorial poll, she urged the commission to tackle the issue of money and vote buying head-on.

INEC had come up with the ban in order to reduce the risk of vote buying and selling.

“The ban is needed, but it is like attacking the symptoms and not really getting to treat the sickness; but of course, that is just scratching the surface.

“The real issue is how will we be able to change this money politics that we have been playing in Nigeria?

“It is a much broader issue and I think ultimately, it will have to do with making politics not so profitable.

“It is because people know that when they become senators, governors, they have access to huge sum of money.

“So, they don’t mind spending the money in order to get there, because they know they will surely get it back.

“For us as a country, it is unreasonable for a senator to earn over N25 million per month. So, these are the real issues we need to address,’’ Sonaiya said.

The aspirant, who is also a professor of African Language and Applied Linguistics, suggested the cutting down of salaries of political office holders.

“Public offices should not be made to look like a place to recoup money spent in politicking and campaigns.

“We must really de-emphasise that; but I think that we must run a system where people are paid reasonable salaries,’’ she said. (NAN)

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