2019: A chance for redemption

One of the good things that can happen to any man is to have a second chance to make amends on his mistakes and get things right. Such a second chance affords any rational mind the opportunity to make up for the errors of the past. For whatever error or occurrence that holds no opportunity for its redemption, would leave whoever is involved with a lifetime feeling of pain and regret.

The year 2019 holds a lot for every citizen of Nigeria. It is a time the country will walk into another round of elections with litany of promises from aspirants vying for one political position or another. We must not forget in hurry, the ways in which the present government has affected us individually or generally, either good or bad while we ponder on giving our support to whomever we consider to be worthy to represent us at various levels come 2019.

It is no doubt that successive governments have failed in lifting the country out of its pitiable situation. Virtually all sectors are gasping for breath and it appears the country is headed nowhere, hence many of its citizens are disenchanted and have lost confidence in the country. We all feel happy each time crime suspects are apprehended and paraded by the police. But have we ever bothered to know why many youths of the country take to crime? What genuine efforts do governments make to ensure the youths are meaningfully engaged in ventures that benefit them and the country at large?

A youth, after spending four to five years in the university and one year for the compulsory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) exercise, thereafter may stay close to five years without any job.  Not because he or she does not qualify for jobs, but you find out that even when there are chances of getting the job, another who may even be incompetent for the job will be taken due to the fact that such individual has a link to that job. In most cases, all hope of the family is upon the young graduate to elevate the family. Some would humble themselves, drop their certificates in the box and move into streets to hawk wares or do other menial jobs, to at least be able to feed. Some others may not consider this path as an option and these are the ones that take to crime, sometimes, out of frustration and anger against the society.

An idle mind, it is said is a devil’s workshop. Therefore, creating jobs remains the most potent way of fighting crime, rather than delighting in clamping citizens into gulags. Nigerian is blessed with abundant mineral resources which other countries across the world survive on. This country produces petroleum, yet encounters scarcity of petroleum products. During these periods of scarcity, people ridiculously queue up, sleep and wake in various petrol stations, waiting for their turn to buy petroleum products. This is alien to most other countries that even buy petroleum from Nigeria. We have seen the good, the bad and the ugly in the country

One thing common about most Nigerian politicians has been their deceitful nature. And until Nigerians tackle this common feature, the country may not record any progress. A fool is not the individual who makes a mistake and learns never to allow it repeat, but that person who makes mistakes that hurt him and returns to repeat them over and over. We cannot afford to be fooled again come 2019.

We have yet another chance to make a difference as we approach 2019. Apart from the usual election malpractices tagged rigging, the masses have the power to make sure that only credible candidates win the elections. It is amazing and equally ridiculous how some politicians reason, but worst of all is how we the masses accept their deceit and at various levels. How come some politicians remember only when the election is around the corner that their people need water, food and health care, and therefore hurriedly engage in empty humanitarian exercises, only to varnish the moment they grab the mandate.

Before we accept and be convinced that a candidate truly is humane based on his recent philanthropy, we should look at his past history to know if he had been doing such, before giving him the mandate. One thing among others that I love about the present Imo State Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, is the fact that, from his record, he has been a philanthropist before his ascension into the higher office of being the governor of Imo State. A rich child or those who are said to have been born with silver spoon in their mouth cannot understand this. They cannot understand what it means to live without food and no hope for the food. You needed to be educated like every other child and there was no body to give you a helping hand and so on. Then suddenly, a man surfaces from somewhere and picks you up, wipes away your tears and becomes everything to you. After God, I think, those children enjoying free education under Rochas Foundation, see Okorocha as next to God.

We must learn from our past experiences and make amends by having our minds reoriented towards making the right choices of candidates in 2019. This reorientation of the mind should also spread to our people living in the rural areas as one vote can make a positive or negative difference. It is unfortunate that some tabloids, some Facebook political attackers and some social media bloggers are the ones spreading non existing hates among some politicians that they made us believe they are in serious enmity with one another when all indications are still pointing to the political saying, that in politics, there is no permanent enemy, but permanent interest. This happened recently, during the event marking the 75th birthday ceremony of Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu. These politicians were seen raising one another’s hands in excitement and hugging one another. The same thing happened when Iwuanyanwu dedicated his son.

The individuals who spread these falsehood and hate may be contracted to do the job of media representation but due to over zealousness and in a bid to please their master and retain the job, they go beyond the limit. We are here once again for the usual drama that plays out during campaigns ahead of elections. The degree of insult we receive on our God’s given wisdom and intelligence during campaigns are overbearing. When last did you eat plantain, roasted yam and corn with these politicians that did eat all those food with us, not minding if it is in the street, around the gutter?
Let’s choose our leaders wisely for a better tomorrow.

Opuruchi is graphic designer.



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