Views may, and do, differ from one to another. Causes célèbres may, and do, result from the foregoing. Nonetheless, we have observed that the current Nigerian political water is deep and murky! We agree that most of the current political players can be as venomous as, or even more than, the death stalker scorpion! We are not oblivious of the truism that the 1999 Constitution (or is it Decree 24?) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was founded on fraudulence and undemocratic tenet! We know that Nigeria’s political turf has been ‘rigged’ to favour the ‘anointed’ few! We are aware that the warped governance system has been hijacked by the vermins that put us in a mess! These are realities those ensuring Nigerians’ stagnancy in mess want to perpetuate! We know these and more! These scenarios are very terrifying and discouraging! However, the bubble has burst! Many Nigerians are now, gradually, seeing through their tricks and lies! What is remaining is for political power – belonging to the people – to be retaken by these real owners!
Hence, reinforced advocacy is necessary for more enlightenment of the people (masses). It is also needed to reawaken interest in those loosing, or have outrightly lost, hope in Nigeria’s civil governance process. It is assumed that not everyone will be interested in, or capable of, contesting for elective positions. However, stakeholders in the ‘Nigeria Project’ must not leave it in the hands of those bringing disrepute to it! It has long got to the stage, according to Charles de Gaulle (1890–1970), when we, all, should “…..have come to the conclusion that politics are too serious a matter to be left to the politicians…..” as they are increasingly untrustworthy with our future! History has taught us that politicians, deliberately, do not learn from it! They only learn from ‘fear-inducing’ treatments! Get yourself acquainted with these treatments by asking political office-holders that electorates booted out of office! They will define them better! You may also dial back for answers in historical occurrences of 1688 England and 1789 France!
Let it be clearly stated that nobody – except themselves – can emancipate a people from the socio-politico-economic conundrum they find themselves! The fact in the last statement is time-tested! So, this matter constantly requires serious seriousness! Most politicians will never willingly implement policies (even if they are in their manifestoes) that will improve the lots of the ‘common man’! The former are only forced, sometimes, to do the needful and rightful, when they perceive that the latter possess the capability, and will, to punish them by voting, massively, against them during elections! This is the case, in most democracies, particularly where the electorates have secured power and are willing to effectively instil this fear in their politicians! Vote can still count if Nigerian electorates are determinedly insistent on making it so; or what is the main reason behind vote buying if it does not really count? It is time to punch debilitating holes in politicians’ various long-running “sakamanje” schemes. On Lagos’ streets and other places, “sakamanje” aptly means strategies developed for deception and duping. Politicians’ lies are same! What changes is the packaging strategy owing to factors like occasions, time and other exigencies!
Without mentioning names, if politicians’ manifestoes for contesting in the 1979, 1983, 1992/1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 elections are carefully examined (apart from the font characters and sizes adopted in preparing those documents) there will not be any significant difference in their content! Year in, year out, their “sakamanje” has been about poverty alleviation, infrastructural development, fighting corruption and the overhyped ‘fight’ against insecurity! After each round of election (selection?), the unpalatable situation in the country worsens because those that get into political offices are not asked questions by the electorates concerning their achievements based on pre-election promises. It has been a case of “nothing dey happen” for these politicians! This is a reason for the same people, who contributed to the sinking of Nigeria, to always dare to put themselves forward for elective political positions! Nigerians, (the masses), appear helpless in trying to get emancipated from manipulations by these crooks!
Nigeria’s civil rule is supposed to be a ‘participatory democracy’ but it is not, yet, truly so! If Nigerians want it to be so, then it must be earnestly made so by all and sundry. Those benefiting from the current lopsidedness in the polity only pay lip service to the enthronement of ‘participatory democracy’ – a concept they secretly abhor! Importantly, serious attention should be paid to how elective political office-holders are recruited at the level of Local Government Areas (LGAs). It may sound unbelievable, but it is real, that many people do not know, and/or are not even interested in, who the ward councillor of their place of domicile is! Increasing and strengthening political participation at these LGAs are very vital for achieving the seemingly elusive ‘participatory democracy’ including free and fair elections. Apart from securing reliable representatives at this level of governance, there is also a need for intense demand for political reforms that will assist in freeing this LGAs from the vice grip of overbearing state governors!
Similarly, it appears that the importance of states and national assemblies is still lost on many Nigerians! These entities are, collectively, the bastion of any democratic civil rule without which governance structure can be considered to be anything but democratic! This is why states and national assemblies are the first casualties of coup d’état by a political faction, military, or a dictator! People should get more interested in those they want as their representatives in those hallowed chambers. The mistake of huge political apathy of 1998/1999 that assisted the dregs of society in taking up the mantle of leadership in the country’s political space should be avoided! We have always maintained that there is no difference among almost all the current ‘political parties’ as presently constituted! Nevertheless, since the military constitution, being operated today, does not give any room for independent candidacy; then people with good intention should form and nurture new parties and/or simply take over and reform the current ones. We take a cue from a Nigerian colloquialism: “borrow yourself sense”. It is only a witless people that will not “borrow themselves sense” concerning those presently reinforcing grinding poverty and insecurity.