Experts have decried the huge funds that go into democratic processes and running of elections which they described as “outrageous and prohibitive.”
They made this known during the just concluded 23rd annual conference of certified national accountants organised by the Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN) in Abuja.
The experts spoke on the topic: “Financing Liberal Democracy: Alternatives and Best Option.”
The Dean, Post-Graduate School, Nile University, Abuja and the Lead Discussant at the event, Prof. Nuhu Yaqub, called for a return to the way politics was played in the first republic to save costs.
“We need to cultivate democratic culture of allowing individuals to determine who they want to relate with and how they want to relate with them.
“Best way of financing liberal democracy is to allow individuals to form their parties,” Yaqub said.
The don pointed out that the inordinate ambition of the capitalists in political circle to generate wealth was also creating some problems in the system.
He, however, noted that politicians incurred huge expenses as they had to pay advertisers, campaign consultants, speech writers and other crew of the campaign team.
Yaqub, was quoted in a statement, to have said there was a conspiracy by the political elite to keep the masses out of the political game.
Also, the Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja, Prof. Ladi Hamalai, said: “There is no end to upward progression in the total amount spent by government on elections.”
She urged the government to take another look at the way elections were being financed.
Hamalai, said the citizens should, however, be blamed for the present democratic problems, saying that “an ordinary Nigerian is apolitical by nature.”
Comrade Issa Aremu, a NEC member of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), noted that next year would mark the return of the nation to uninterrupted democracy for two decades.
“This democracy needs quality control. The cost of running elections is outrageous and very prohibitive,” Aremu said.