Nigeria Decides 2019
By Idede Oseyande
Way back in 2017 when politicians started positioning themselves for the 2019 general elections, I watched closely the juxtaposition of characters across the political spectrum. In general terms, juxtaposition allows for comparisons and contrasts to be made but truth be told, there is zero contrast among the major political parties and players in Nigeria.
We all very well know by now that the same characters are constantly changing or switching party costumes. Anyway, not to digress, vote buying and voters’ apathy again stood out in my observation as the chronic malaise afflicting our political system.
It is not mere rumours that some politicians secured their candidacy through the sheer enormity of their intimidating war chest, thereby making party faithful that doesn’t want them despondent, as they manoeuvre the system to their own advantage literally unchallenged. Party members who felt shortchanged publicly made known their disdain for the super-rich politicians, and disgust for the enshrined system that alienated them.
Also, the public who make up the electorates fear that they have no say in the forthcoming elections. “Whether you vote or not, they know how they will emerge”, is a common refrain on the streets. Those with moral conscience now use this as an excuse to justify their apathy towards the forthcoming elections. “We know that the election results will be tampered with, and since they already have their winners, there is no need for me to come out to vote”, they would say. This is not good for our democracy!
On the other hand, those that feel the society has completely lost all sense of morality will declare; “whether I vote or not, they will rig it, so let them pay me for voting for them. At least, I am making the rigging easier for them and also getting my share.”
Now those that sell their votes and those that don’t come out to vote are different sides of the same coin. None is beneficial to our democracy. But the curious question we should ask is this: “if votes don’t count, why do politicians pay for them?”. This alone should send a very strong message that votes actually do count.
Our indifference, lackadaisical, and ‘I don’t give a damn’ attitude, makes it easy for these unscrupulous politicians to manoeuvre the system as they like.
If we trooped out to vote en masse, and patiently wait to see our votes counted in the various polling units across the country, we will discover that power will return to the people instantly and we will begin to have our country back. But if we continue to hide our heads in the sand, playing the ostrich, then I am sorry to say, the hour of redemption for ourselves and for our children will still be far away.
As Election Day draws near, get your PVCs, and make up your mind to vote candidates that represent your highest sense of right, good! Resist the temptation of vote selling, and also don’t leave vote’s supervision to hoodlums and ‘area boys’.
Our country already suffers leadership deficit, but reasonable countrymen and women like yourself, need not contribute to it by being indifferent to our electioneering processes.
To save Nigeria is our collective responsibility.
We must all play our part.
IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.