2019 elections and Nigeria’s future
Elections will be held in 2019. That simple statement of fact ought not to send shivers down the spines of anybody. But, it’s scary going by the way and manners elections usually take shape in this part of the world where most politicians regard it as a do-or-die affair. It is even more chaotic if a rising and promising young politician challenges an incumbent or powers from the old set-up.
However, one safe prediction for the 2019 elections is that, the biggest problems we face as a nation will not disappear overnight. Without mincing words, that will be the metaphor and emphasis for visionless politicians during the campaign. This is because politicians use all sorts of logic and promise to woo the electorate. Just like President Muhammadu Buhari has used restructuring, corruption fight, payments of N5,000 stipends to jobless youth, stable electricity and steady fuel pump price among others to water the pathway and win his ‘change’ election slogan in 2015. Therefore, Nigerians should not be surprised to see political parties fly all sorts of kites in the name of promises to better the lives of the people.
Since its inception, the promises and performance of Buhari’s administration put side by side will indicate that his best efforts have not been good enough. Perhaps, the reason Nigerians especially his staunch supporters are very uncomfortable and as such, lose faith in the government that was supposed to bring prosperity to the people. At present, the masses are not angry because it demands respect from the Buhari administration. But, because the political elite and those in leadership positions have run out of ideas about good governance and how to create jobs in the face of rapidly increasing unemployment and population boom. Such worries often give room for people to constantly refer to the first republic politicians’ who see good governance as the promise of higher morality compared with the debauched political leaders we see in today’s political arena who often make government absent and out of reach to the peoples’ aspirations. This is very sad.
The vacuum created between leaders and the led has made political parties shy away from having strong political structures and formation in grass-root politics. Buhari’s government whose change agenda has not proved the opposition otherwise should be mindful of the fact that, there are moments in history that calls for leadership, integrity and determination to improve the people’s welfare. More so, if history is a guide, the current happenings in the country and the inaction of the Buhari government are preparing the ground for the people to speak with their votes as they did in 2015. However, it is disheartening to note that many electorate taint their mind with greed, as they enlist in cash-for-vote. This ugly behaviour does not only jeopardize the people from enjoying democratic dividends but, it endangers the entire nation in the hands of corrupt politicians.
Before Buhari took the oath of office, many Nigerians were brimming with glamour as they thumbed their chest and crowed that once Buhari assumed power everything would rightly shape up and he would clean the country from all sorts of impunity. This is because of his unquestionable pedigree. In this respect, Nigerians believed then that there would be no-business as usual approach. But, today, Buhari’s ego is fading fast because his government has been spectacularly blundering and unproductive. In fact, the simplest sounding phrase “change” has become the hardest to understand. To many, change was just a campaign slogan once Buhari was safely ensconced in Aso Rock the ship-of-state took a detour. At the moment, it is lucid for all to see the momentous shift from keeping the campaign promises to playing old tricks in more crafty ways.
The effect of the above is particularly pathetic as Nigerians seem abandoned by the ruling party at the crossroads. Despite being one of the continents richest, but due to bad governments and corruption scandals Nigeria and its people are deeply illustrated by that flaw internationally. Yet, without any iota of shame, corruption ritual continues unabated as large chunk of the nation’s wealth is misappropriated and hallowed out to Western countries by cronyism and well-connected corrupt people under the Buhari administration and indeed past governments.
Ordinarily, in other civilized climes, things of such won’t be left without a drastic response to bring corrupt people to justice. As it is, all too often politicians who break their own rules or the laws of the land usually get away with a slap on the wrist. Sadly, almost every tongue confesses that Buhari may not be seen to be corrupt but there is every tendency that corruption seems to be thriving in his government. The question begging for answer is: Why is Buhari silent on everything negative about his government? Up and until this moment, the nation is yet to see any serious conviction in the fight against corruption except few people in the opposition that were teased and tickled.
Furthermore, we have seen more lip service in high places. And to particularly appease the oil producing states, the APC is currently preparing a pot-of-pottage. This time, the party is wooing Nigerians with devolution of powers, onshore and offshore ownership of oil wells among others. The other day, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo strongly advocated for state police. If for anything, these agitations seems less important to the President Muhammadu Buhari who see restructuring as anti-Nigeria project. Too often, however, it seems obvious that the focus of the ruling party is really not on the people but the political leaders themselves.
Indeed, Nigeria is blessed with a patient population, but it won’t continue eternally. However, the peoples hope to see Nigeria back from the brink of economic, political herdsmen, militants and secession crisis among others can only be achieved through the ballot box come 2019. That is why people should get ready to vote and therefore participate in leadership recruitment in this country.
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