Bisi Ogunwale, the young banker who made attempt to represent his people at the Kwara state house of assembly, has highlighted the role of money in getting the votes of delegates.
In his recently launched book, “Stepping Out”, Ogunwale gave an account of his experience when he decided to walk the path of partisan politics.
The banker who stepped out to occupy Oke-Ogun constituency seat in the Kwara assembly wanted to run a decent campaign that is not influenced in any way by money and mudslinging, but, he was wrong.
“The way our political system currently runs is such that contestants have to literally buy the delegates’ decision,” Ogunwale wrote.
“At the primary elections, if you are not ready to spend money, it is safe to assume that you have willingly pulled out of the race even when you haven’t.”
Documenting his experience, Ogunwale explained that the tradition sees you budget a special amount on paying, accommodating and feeding delegates on the days leading to the convention or primary elections.
He added that in most cases, candidates will gather the delegates loyal to their cause, collect their phones and gadgets, and have them shielded away from the public by accommodating them up in an undisclosed location.
“That you house, feed and pay a delegate doesn’t guarantee allegiance,” he explained. “Some aspirants have had to employ the fear factor to get value for money. I have heard of politicians who ensure that conspiring delegates swear an oath before leaving for the venue of the election.”
Some aspirants, according to Ogunwale, use thugs who are on standby to deal with anyone who does not vote for them after collecting their money.
“We were prepared to spend all that was necessary to coast us to victory,” he wrote.
He would also send ward coordinators to sniff around for information on how much his opponents were planning to pay each delegate so he could beat their offer.
To raise this money, Ogunwale and his team members started making calls to families and friends to funnel some cash towards the campaign.
Ogunwale, who eventually lost the election, holds a degree in finance and management from Cranfield University, United Kingdom.