Political scams involves making ambiguous promises or claims to electorates by people seeking elective positions in order to get their votes without the political will or the personal conviction to fulfill them.
How this scam works
They understand that in a democracy, the winner of an election is determined by the majority, and in order to get their attention, sympathy and votes, they resort to making promises such as uninterrupted power supply, immediate reduction in our currency’s exchange rate, availability of adequate security of lives and properties, quality and accessible healthcare, good roads, world class education, reduction or total elimination of unemployment, increase in workers minimum wage etc. which usually sounds very appealing, but in most cases they either lack the political will to achieve such promises or are just "Instrumental" leaders who use power and influence primarily in the pursuit of private (personal, close family, cohorts) goals.
Political scammers are aware of problems and issues plaguing the different sections of the country such as the insurgency in the North East, Farmers and Herders clashes in the middle belt region, kidnapping in the South East and South West etc. and they offer to provide lasting solutions to such problems in a desperate bid to get power.
Sometimes, in order to further deceive their supporters, they go a step further in sharing small sums of money, food items , toiletries etc. and promise more to come if elected.
- They make mouthwatering & appealing promises without a well thought out or researched blueprint for fulfilling such promises.
- They offer money for votes
- They are desperate to clinch power by any means possible, hence they employ the use of violence or election malpractice during elections.
- They are of questionable characters, sometimes, they may have been involved in corruption scandals etc.
- They live an extravagant lifestyle, which may imply extravagance with public funds.
How to protect yourself
- By registering to vote in elections and ensuring that the votes count:
- In Nigeria, all citizens that 18years and above are eligible to vote candidates of their choice in elections, but before you can vote, you need to register and collect your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
- Conduct a proper research on the candidates seeking elective positions to know their educational background, intellectual capacity, criminal background etc.
- Engage the candidates in debates, on real issues concerning the economy, security, power, agriculture, health etc. and other issues affecting everyone in a bid to ascertain the preparedness of the candidates.
- DO NOT receive money or other gift items from politicians in exchange for votes
- DO NOT help politicians in rigging elections
- DO NOT vote for candidates based on your Religion or Ethnic bias as this doesn’t guarantee performance
Have you been scammed?
If you have voted for political scammers, watch out for the warning signs stated above and avoid the reoccurrence in the forthcoming elections.
Formulate pressure groups, movements, civil society organizations to keep the candidates or the government in power in check or to pressure them into implementing good policies or scrapping unproductive ones.
Create political parties to form credible opposition so the people can have options to choose from.
Engage in mass protests under the bounds on the law to show grievances.
There’s a constitutional right of citizens to recall elected officials who have been seen to not represent the interests of the people.
We encourage you to report scams to us via the report scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.
We also provide guidance on protecting yourself from scams and where to get help.
Spread the word to your friends and family to protect them