Have you heard that your vote is your power? Have you not heard it more than once? Is it not a slogan during electioneering periods that your vote is your right? And have you taken sufficient time to think about how true or false these statements are? Maybe now is that time to do the thinking. Never mind, the politicians do not need your votes to control the military. Do they? They do not need your votes to control the world’s resources, do they? Or was it not about Elections of a Saint?
As 2015 elections approach, Nigerians are still in the 1950s mode. Tribal affiliation and religious denomination dictate political sentiments. As could be reflected in the language of Muslim-Muslim, Christian-Christian, or Muslim-Christian ticket, Nigeria is far (for modesty sake, maybe nine hundred years) behind forging a national identity apart from religious or crude tribalism. It’s worrisome how we continue to form trust around clientele of spirituality, when the individuals wearing such garbs have blatantly not been able to show fruits of good social leadership. Arguments selling these candidates as good as those which market the Devil or Satan as alternative options. Right now, Nigeria is lost, and those who would have been its hope–the youth–are in the quandary between the known Devil and the revealed Satan.
To understand how things work is to begin to intrude into domains of power and reflect on how systems control everything, including the political machinery. Who would assume that their votes would not count and still risk the heat of the sun to go out there, and cast their vote? Maybe a few. Yet, the world in recent times is witnessing how careless leaders and followers alike are in their complicity. It is equally true that whole populations can become inured to Mr. Anikulapo’s Suffering and Smiling admonitions, that they do not even know what it means or take to heart, let alone think about a difference in degree of perception; don’t think it is a Jay-Z’s Empire State of mind.
Leaders in many places have transformed into deities of worship. Many of these even have audacity to prescribe and recommend ways of living life to the populace, with threats of imprisonment lurking in the open. Obedience is not a choice because power emanates from the barrels of hot steel.
Imagine one day that the governments in the world are able and willing to ask their control tools, the police and the military to go on a one-month vacation. How wonderful did I hear you say? That will be great to find the governor of a state who asks his law enforcement agencies to treat everyone equally (including their own family, etc.). But if wishes were horses… you know the rest of the story.
Often, our governments operate on the foolishness of the populace, and that, really is the juicy profit of governance. So, election periods are the best times when dictionaries sell best. Politicians wear out the populace with kingdom-come promises. And the next day, government shuts down. And on Sundays you must pray for the heavens to pour down the blessing. The mosques are not left behind. Blessing must flow everywhere and our votes are forgotten as the power that we were told would bring salvation from poverty, illiteracy and ignorance becomes a mirage–only to us.
Until Africans begin to groom leaders who can stand as genuine equals to their counterparts from anywhere in the world, the relations of unequal exchange will persist. For instance, many Nigerians die daily from seeking a better life outside of fatherland. Yet, Nigerian Leaders Dropped Corruption Charges Against a Dick Cheney. Well, it is still left to be seen what logic would deplore a charity which does not commence from home. After all, the Abacha dynasty received, alongside the British Empire, centenary awards, both for unparalleled, stealthy treasury cleanout and for bringing Hollywood’s violence down to the doorsteps of life-seeking, life-loving Nigerians.
Could Nigerians, as humans, just see President Goodluck Jonathan, Pastor Tunde Bakare (then it was; now it’s another pastor with a bigger ego, bigger pedigree, bigger grace, Yemi Osinbajo, a lawyer), Mohammadu Buhari and Sanni Abacha or (fmr.) President Olusegun Obasanjo ( Nigeria’s political Methuselah who picks fights with his children, symbolic and biological) for what they truly are are: human, not messiah? That will be the good thing to do. Otherwise, we will all be making Hitlers in Black skin. So it is safe to say that 2015 elections would might be lecture for Nigerian youth, from 2019 onward there better understanding among Nigerians, if Nigeria still exists then, that is, if it did not cease to exist with a Buhari or Jonathan era…