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If you are a sincere and patriotic Nigerian like Madam Oby Ezekwesili, and the political situation of this country isn’t tiring, frustrating and discouraging to you, perhaps you belong to one of the elite political class or you are probably enjoying from the current dysfunctionality that has bewildered this nation. You can only be benefitting from the crumbs that fall from the politicians’ tables for you to keep quiet, like all the things going on in Nigeria does not bother you.
I have been following and conscious of Nigeria’s Military and political activities since my teenage years. However, I voted officially for the first time in Nigeria in 2003 (the period that ushered in Obasanjo’s second term), and since that time; I have watched keenly the various political dispensations till now – Obasanjo (second term), Umaru Musa Yar’Adua (short reign), Goodluck Jonathan (Five Years reign) and currently, Muhammadu Buhari.
I know those of you by reason of age, would have had some other dispensations that I didn’t mention here, but permit me to base this short piece on what I know and have witnessed since I started participating in Nigeria’s political affairs, through my voting. I know Nigeria returned back to a proper Democratic system in 1999, and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was the political party that began this new dispensation. From 1999 till 2015 (16 years) before PDP’s ouster, I have tried to look for what changed – in terms of meaningful development in all sectors of the Nigerian fabric – education, health, economy, power; industry, name it!
Little or no development could be traceable in anyway. Let us take power for instance. I grew up knowing NEPA used to take light, and how we used to shout “Up Nepa”, whenever it’s been restored. Today, I still shout Up Nepa (though in my mind) whenever light is being restored. That tells you something profound, isn’t it? That problem is still there, ageing with Nigeria.
Most of the sectors of Nigeria’s economy hardly felt any touch of PDP’s sixteen years reign, except the agricultural sector that was revolutionized by Akinwunmi Adesina during Jonathan’s era. Most of the goodwill being enjoyed by All Progressives Congress (APC) in the agricultural sector today are the results of the great agricultural policies from the GEJ’s era. Apart from this fete, the only thing PDP succeeded in is entrenchment of corruption. PDP was excellent in replacing our democracy with ‘Lootocracy’ – a political system where the nation’s national wealth was being syphoned by a few politicians.
Then fast-forward to 2015, APC came with that ‘change mantra’, promising a state of El Dorado for all Nigerians if elected. President Muhammadu Buhari was packaged and sold to us and majority of the electorates fell for this APC scam. Almost three years into this administration, events and occurrences have shown that APC will not achieve much, even if given another sixteen years to administer Nigeria, simply because of the set of people that make up the party. Many have even argued that there is no clear difference between PDP and APC since most of the principalities currently in APC, were former aggrieved PDP demons.
But the point is this, Nigerians must be tired of these two parties and say no to them come 2019. If there is any reason Nigeria has failed to progress, it is all hinged on the kind of leadership it has and coming from these two parties. Many things have remained undone simply because those we have elected to represent us lack both the moral and political will to effect the necessary change. The Buhari administration for instance has failed to tackle the ravaging herdsmen problem simply because the perpetrators of this wickedness are his kinsmen and hence, the lack of the moral will to take the bold step in tackling the problem.
Look at this again. Nigeria just came out of a disastrous fuel scarcity that hindered many Nigerians from enjoying their great holidays. Those who are able to buy fuel spent so much on buying little to fuel their cars and power their generators. Fuel scarcity is a recurring problem in Nigeria; does it mean this cannot be permanently solved once and for all? Of course it can, but the political will to do so by our leaders isn’t there. They know just what to do to end the nation’s numerous problems, but they just are not doing it.
From the foregoing, it is clearly evident that President Buhari cannot deliver what he has promised Nigerians – not before 2019 when his first tenure will be over, or even if he is re-elected for the second term. The time is almost around the corner when they (politicians) will be moving around soliciting for votes in the next election; it is our responsibility to stop these people by not voting them again into power. We must once and for all break this vicious cycle of old politicians recycling themselves in every election and promising change when in actual fact, they don’t have anything to offer.
It is time to look for credible candidates with great ideas to steer the course of this country, rather than put our trust and confidence in these old set of politicians who are the major problems of this nation. If Buhari, with all the support he garnered during the last election can have such a disappointing outing, then there is no need to repose confidence in any other coming from that party, except someone with the requisite knowledge and ideas, who knows what Nigeria’s problem is and is willing and ready to tackle them head-on. We must be ready to disrupt this current political system, through our votes once again.
If it was possible for Nigerians to bring Muhammadu Buhari on board in 2015 through our votes, then we can do it again for fresh and new credible candidates across the nation. We can vote for responsible Senators and House of Representatives Members; those that will truly represent the interests of their people and the nation as a whole at the national level, and push the likes of Dino Melaye and the rest out of the Red and the Green chambers – all through our votes.
The office of the citizen is the highest office in the land; we can change the political narratives both at the national, the states and the local government levels. Campaigning against PDP and APC if they fail to present a credible alternatives in 2019 shouldn’t be Madam Oby Ezekwesili’s agenda alone but rather, it should be the agenda of all of us who are tired of the current political status quo, and want a fresh start, not necessarily a fresh change (as I perceive APC would want to bring in 2019), but a fresh start in the political landscape of Nigeria.