Elections Cameroon takes a stance against the time-honoured practice of sharing food and gifts during electoral campaigns.
ELECAM member Madame Sadou nee Ladibawa told this reporter during a campaign rally by the ruling party in Belel sub-division, in the Adamawa, that the practice is proscribed.
She observed on the fringe of the rally, to judge for herself if the political parties campaigning for the September 30 poll are playing by the rules.
She said “distributing foodstuff and other basic needs to voters is tantamount to buying their consciences”. At this rally no food was shared out.
The practice of sharing food and gifts to rural peoples has been an age old technique employed by political parties during campaigns. Political analysts feel the practice blurs the sense of right and wrong of the largely uneducated voting public.
Last Monday during the grand launch of the CPDM campaigns in the Adamawa region, shoulder-high heaps of rice bags, soaps and other gifts were shared out at the villa of El Hadj Abbo Ousmanou. This certainly was a clear violation of the ELECAM prescription.
Observers say the politicians may not share out gifts during public rallies, but will surely do so under the cover of dark, in their vicious quest for votes.