APC’s Proposed N55m Forms: Democracy Should Not Be Sold… Hon. Kogi
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
A House of Assembly aspirant under the platform of Social Democratic Party, (SDP), Hon. Kogi Joseph has condemned the ruling APC for the high cost of presidential forms saying democracy should not be sold.
Hon. Kogi stated this when he spoke to 247ureports in Makurdi after a meeting of aspirants of the SDP extraction. He is contesting to represent his people of Kyan Constituency, in Vandeikya Local Government, at the Benue State House of Assembly come 2019.
Reacting to the proposal by the national executive council that the presidential forms be sold as much as N55million, and governorship N22 million, Kogi said such act will be a slap in the face of democracy and capable of heightening corruption.
He said if that happens, it will attest to the fact that most office holders in the country have gotten access to public funds and have used same to enrich themselves to the detriment of the rest of Nigerians.
“I think democracy should not be for sale. Most at times, people who bought political power take advantage of the position they have to siphon public funds, which would have been needed for development in our country.
“If the rulng party is pegging presidential form at 55 million, it simply tells you that a lot of persons somewhere have been able to have access to public funds and they have cornered this public funds to themselves.
He insisted that the whole process of getting political power must be democratized in such a way that persons who have genuine intentions of accessing power for developmental purposes should be paid more attention to than the issues of money.
He acknowledged that money is one of the elements of power, but said the welfare of the people as another element of power should be prioritized.
“I think that less emphasis should be placed on the monetary aspect of it while more consideration should be placed on other elements of power.
“This can be done by giving the electorates more information on deciding who is their own leader and also ensuring that the people with the right set of mind are thrown in positions where they can bring certain polices and decisions to the benefit of the people
Asked If such high price of forms has the tendency to breed corruption, Hon. Kogi states “of course quite sure. Where do you get that kind of money from?
“What most officers are paid is not enough to accumulate to such an amount of money to go about campaigning in all the state of the federation, 776 LGAs of the federation and also the wards.
“So certainly, somebody is getting money illegally from somewhere and by the time he gets into government, he will figure out certain ways he is going to recoup all he termed as investments and that takes us to the questions about the kind of development we will be having and issues of good governance.
“Coming from the developmental sector, one of my main interest into governance is to bring so much of my time into accountable governance where money for the people and projects will be used for the people and those projects while people make use of salaries they are been paid.
Speaking on the forthcoming primaries, Kogi said the SDP in Benue is set for a successful primaries just as he commended the state chairman the party, Engr John Enemari, for meeting and updating all aspirants on the platform with required information towards a ran our free primaries.