THE FUTURE STARTS TODAY- OLUMIDE ADEBAYO
Truly, there is no way we can focus on the future without looking into the past. But sometimes, it’s good to look into the past just to bring little experience in focusing on the future.
Stalked memories of the military era, and let me say the total presence of the generals that ruled them, Nigerians struggles with the possibility that their votes might influence electoral outcomes and bring real change.
Previous elections are weighed down by obvious malpractice and violence, discouraging even the most ardent believers in our democracy. But why not let us learn from the just concluded election in Anambra State and build back our hopes.
We Nigerians have become used to elections being decided before a single vote is cast, usually by a political godfather, but the narrative was changed in Anambra as real vote counts. Party primaries remain a shady arena, images of a successor being picked rather than elected is killing and frustrating for real. Thousands of lives lost just for electioneering process is another thing.
These and more are what scares Nigerian voters, who begins to question the logic in partaking in elections or even politics. Why risk your life to cast a ballot that will not count? Why register to vote when your entire polling unit will be set ablaze are questions that people started asking themselves and behold, those questions remained rhetorical cos there “Was” no one to give a lasting answer.
Yes, some Nigerians abstain from elections as an act of civic rebellion. But most do so out of resignation or disinterest. Most simply refuse to play a game they have been losing in decades.
Moreover, it is hard to argue that elections have promoted positive change in the country. Nearly every elected government has underperformed. Successive governments have failed to reduce poverty, build infrastructure, and maintain law & order. Instead, Nigeria seems to be regressing.
In reality, governance in Nigeria seems to be a zero-sum game producing leaders as winners and electorate as absolute losers but NOW IS THE TIME TO CHANGE THE NARRATIVE.
NIGERIAN YOUTHS ARISE!
There is no doubt that changing this narrative of voter apathy will be tough. But let’s believe electoral reforms would help encourage participation, but so would visible improvement in governance and socioeconomic outcomes. Nigerians need candidates that they can believe in and can inspire their confidence on a much larger scale.
There are Vibrant Youths that are up to the task. I normally site Asiwaju Ọlanrewaju Michael George (OMG) as an example as the type of persons Nigerians need to rescue the country from Political Slavery due to his visible achievement in investing on human capital, building infrastructures, affecting the society positively among others. I hope the good people of Ogun state won’t be too blind to see樂.
First thing, Nigerians need to admit the result of their actions. There must be general acceptance that the only power in a democracy lies in our ability to enforce our collective will. Despite the fact that Nigerians ought to hold leaders to account all the time, there is no better place to start than at the polling booth.
The need to be politically engaged has never been this urgent. In the last decades, we have witnessed flashes of good governance and paid the price for a lot of failure. We must persevere in the fight against apathy, and all those who benefit from it, lest we become our own worst enemies; because if politics doesn’t affect you, policies will.
Go out there and register for your PVC,the registration is a continuous process…. Remember that’s the only weapon you have to effect the change we so much desired.
Stop thinking Votes doesn’t count because, if it doesn’t, politicians won’t be buying your votes with tokens. Let’s start the foundation of good governance today so our children would have a dwelling place tomorrow.
Written by: Olumide Adebayo (McAnelka)