Balarabe Musa says to win an election in Nigeria, you must either be a thief of be supported by one.
Musa argued that a single individual could not raise funds required for election campaigns single-handedly.
He blamed the socio-economic problems of the country on the political structure, where, he noted that 99 per cent of the people in the corridors of power were thieves.
“What is the quality of Nigeria’s leadership?" the elder statesman asked. "The quality of the Nigerian leadership is a thief (sic). Since the end of the Second Republic, how has it been possible in Nigeria to have a political leadership which is not made up of thieves? Of course, there are exception.
“I’m not saying that 100 per cent of the leadership in Nigeria is made up thieves, no, there are exceptions, but I doubt if there are up to one per cent who are clean…99 per cent are thieves.
“For example, how can you win on the basis of the Nigerian laws and the Nigerian culture; how can you be a Nigerian President without being a thief first? Because it is through stealing that you can make it. Both the political parties and election in Nigeria are based on money power and this money power is equal to corruption. So, this is what you have.
“We have a socio-economic and political system controlling all developments in the country and the political leadership produced by that system both of which are made up of people who regard self-interest first, public interest second, as opposed to public interest first and self-interest second. Now, how can you have order; how can you have development in a situation like this?
“I gave you the example of the President; nobody can be a President of Nigeria unless he is a thief or supported by thieves. I mean, the fact is clear. You know, the reasonable estimate of the cost of campaigning for presidency in Nigeria is billions. How can you acquire these billions?” he added.
Meanwhile, a founding member of the Arewa Consultative Forum, Tanko Yakassai has said that the 2015 elections which produced President Muhammadu Buhari as president was characterized by electoral fraud.
He said that unlike in the south where proper electoral conduct was adhered to, the north engaged in manipulative activities that notably included disenfranchising southerners in the region.