Buhari may have pulled a masterstroke against vote buying

Buhari may have pulled a masterstroke against vote buying

Nigeria's President, Muhammadu Buhari. (Photo by ThisDay)

By instructing the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to redesign the Naira, imposing a deadline for the swap of old notes, particularly targeting the N500 ($1.09) and N1,000 ($2.17) notes, coupled with setting a ceiling on the amount that can be withdrawn from the bank, President Muhammadu Buhari may have pulled a master-stroke against the vote buying epidemic that had characterized Nigeria’s elective politics for years.

Buhari remains adamant on following the supreme Court order issued on February 3, 2023, to stay the swap of the old Naira notes. It now appears that Buhari is intent on delivering to Nigerians a credible election and one way of achieving this is by controlling the influence of money on voter decisions and by extension, electoral outcomes.

Political commentators in Nigeria argue that the N500 and N1,000 currency notes are the ones that have always been given out to the electorate during election campaigns with a view of inducing voters, popularly known as, vote buying.

The rationing of the amount of money one can withdraw from the bank or automatic teller machine is feeding into a hypothesis that there is a direct correlation between the volume of money in circulation and scale of voter bribery.

With the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) almost having nothing to show with regard to how they have used the new Electoral Law to tighten their control over money in elections, President Buhari may have had everything figured out.

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