by Frederick Akinola
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Elections come around every four years, with the opportunity for citizens to democratically elect their leaders. It is the one time when the power goes back to the people. It is an opportunity for citizens to decide who will govern them. Sadly, in Nigeria, many have taken this civic duty for granted, selling votes for paltry sums of worn-out cash. A politician gives you money, and you vote for them. So people often wonder, why will a person sell their vote? The following are the reasons why:

Extreme Poverty

A lot of Nigerians are so poor that they can be enticed by the smallest amount of money to sell their vote. At that moment in time the outcome of the elections doesn’t really matter to them. They just want to get the money and eat, or feed their children. They are unaware of how powerful one vote is in the outcome of an election.


Most people are actually just too greedy. They might not be poor. But they just want more money. These people aren’t enticed with measly sums like the aforementioned. They search for the highest bidder with the sentiment that at least they have collected money from politicians. Money that ordinary wouldn’t have been given to them. They know how important their vote is. But they really don’t care.


Some people who sell their votes are ignorant about the entire electoral process. It has always been a transactional proceeding for them throughout the years. They are apathetic to democracy. They do not know how powerful their votes are. Neither do they know they can hold the government accountable. As far as they are concerned, election time is when politicians bring money to the people. The kind ones bring good things. The selfish ones do not come. These people are mostly uneducated and live in the rural areas.

Why You shouldn’t Sell Your Vote

A person could be tempted to sell their vote, because they could reason, even if I don’t sell it, does my vote matter? Why don’t I just get what I can get from it right now. See some reasons why you shouldn’t sell your vote:

It jeopardizes the chances of electing a good leader

When you sell your vote, you are indirectly supporting a bad leader. A good leader wouldn’t come to buy your votes. He would rather do something good for your community. He could build a school, hospital or provide water to show you he can do more if elected.

A politician who buys your vote doesn’t have good plans for you

Anyone who buys your vote doesn’t care about you. He just cares about your vote, and once they get it you won’t see them again until the next election cycle.

You encourage a pattern to continue

When you accept to sell your vote, the politicians will ensure they keep you poor so that next time you will be desperate to sell again. When you sell your vote, those younger than you will assume that’s the right thing to do and probably adopt your behaviour, birthing the next generation of vote sellers. 

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