This may be my last write-up on the coming elections. Hard as this may seem, I think it is safer to equally observe after this one. There many other things we care about as Nigerians besides the elections; I want to spend a little more on other concerns.
I have no fears losing friends; one way or the other it happens but I am not willing to lose a friend under this particular circumstance. I have had this discussion with a close friend and I think it is important I lay it bare and move on to other things. Whether we like it or not, elections will come and go and we all will return to where we belong. Rich men will go back to the champagne table with fellow rich men keeping a few of us as their glorified errand boys tagged ‘PA’ and men of the lower class assemble again to start the agitation afresh. It looks like we have lost the essence of friendship and brotherhood in the defense of the party and/or candidate we support.
I am in the know that what has kept the agitation alive and meaningful is the unity of the common man; our ability to stand against the harsh realities of bad governance like we did way back June 12 of the mid 1990s protesting the annulment of the 1993 election. As we came together in January of 2012 defying economic status and class to protest the sudden criminal removal of the fuel subsidy without considerations for the attendant effects on the Nigerian people. For this reason, I consider it a duty to hold on to my friends irrespective of where their tents are currently pitched; very soon, we shall return to the nest to roost!
Ahead of the February elections, we seem to be torn between just 2 individuals pretending there are no other contestants. I for one, understanding that the office of the president is not a testing ground, if you have not built enough political profile to have your name ring a bell when touted around elections or spent time around political actors who are already established, It doesn’t sit right with me and I consider spending time reading through your profile a baseless academic exercise better put, a waste of time. One name that strikes me however is Tuned Kelani. I am guessing that’s the same camera guy from Mainframe productions. If yes, I think he’s only taking the mad rush of musicians and nollywood personalities into politics to the pinnacle.
Let me start by once again restating my opinion of the two main parties; PDP and APC. I will let other endorsing parties rest peacefully under the canopies of these two giants. APC, no doubt, is about the only vocal opposition party and one of her greatest asset is the hogwash PDP leadership. If PDP had been able to live up to the minimum standard, maybe we would have seen APC from another light. Breaking it down, there is no fundamental ideological difference between these two guys and we can correctly sum that numbers seem to be more important in the Nigerian political race over any other supposedly important issues.
I have tried to convey these thoughts with my tweets and Facebook posts. I can understand if the limited characters imposed by Twitter have made my thoughts shrouded in its brevity and other side attractions on Facebook could also have robbed my posts of its intent and import. I hope this one does justice to it.
A run through the profiles of political gladiators flexing muscle in and around the arena reveals they are individuals who have made several back and forth trips between the two main political parties. They come across as common renegades or disgruntled members who have left in search of greener political pasture. I can’t understand how Atiku Abubakar for instance has managed to defend his back and forth; not to talk of the clownish Femi Fani –Kayode. We may begin to ask some salient questions about this recycling process. This movement is actually not limited to APC and PDP; APGA, Labour Party and now, SDP are also guilty of these silly joke.
To therefore assume they speak the same language in an obviously different way and also parade individuals that seem to fit a particular situation isn’t out of place. This later trait plays a major role in distinguishing who should be taken seriously after all and that explains my choice of APC. It is only fair I tell you that before going any further.
For the coming elections, it is important we all stand somewhere for there won’t be a fence. We all are in agreement the country needs urgent attention, something I call this intervention and PDP crusaders call it continuity. We must however, if truly, what are paramount are the wellbeing of the country and the interest of the common man share an understanding that our agitations must not end with the elections. We must go a step further asking that promises be redeemed.
The bitter aspect in this twist is the fact that we seem not to understand that we are the true reasons for the wave of change and not the politicians. We need to turn the table around and call the shots; what the politicians have done in this case is to simply align with our collective call for a responsible and responsive leadership. They have now decided to give their campaign jingles and manifestos a colouration that blends with our demands and that still doesn’t make them a part of us. We are the masses and they are the elites, we can’t afford to forget that.
The Nigerian political stage has been so conditioned that it takes very rich individuals bulk of whom, considering the Nigerian style, are self-made rogues or someone who is willing to mingle with these individuals to run for an election. This in itself has created another debate around the integrity of individuals running for offices. I have challenged friends from the other side to tell me how to work around this scenario. I have also tried to ask for differences between an assumed looter and a convicted criminal of international dimension.
A number of my articles and posts have listed the many problems we are confronted with as a people and the obvious lack of ideas that has plagued the leadership; this is why when I see people on the side of President Goodluck, I try to pinch myself to consciousness. I am however not encouraged by the APC supporters who would rather resort to hauling insults when confronted with the questions of how. We can neither get better nor position the candidates as alternatives.
The allegations stacked against Dr. Goodluck and the PDP are there for all to see, so there is almost no need to spend time reading that out repeatedly; we should instead focus on the winning strategies and engage more in healthy polemics, at the end of the day, a healthy nation is that which we seek.
The true change we seek is that which secures the basic right of the common man and gives him hope. It is neither about Buhari nor Jonathan, it is about the collective resolve to put a leadership in place and follow through with the demands even after the elections. We must continue to keep the instruments of negotiation and be united as a people should the new government falter. This is the only way to bring about that change, the only way to build a Nigerian brand we can be proud of.
Finally, let me appeal to all well-meaning Nigerians to carefully assess facts before them before making the decision to vote whoever they are voting. I would implore you go the Buhari way, that is the closest to the right step in bringing about change. All the propaganda around religious violence, corruption and missing certificates has not been established; they are mere diversionary tactics, don’t be deceived. On the other hand, the crises of leadership and its far reaching implication on us can’t be defended as we stand. Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has shown beyond reasonable doubt the task ahead is far too herculean. His desperation as shown by the harassment of innocent citizens by the DSS and the Police further confirms he is not the kind of man we need running the affairs of this country. We need a more matured, tested and disciplined individual.
The leadership of every nation is a reflection of the people; we can’t continue to have someone portray us as clueless or unintelligent.
Whatever happens after the elections, we will remain Nigerians and I promise to remain your friend. We also after this don’t have to be in a rush, days and months after the elections, we will know whether or not we have made the right decisions.
God bless Nigeria.