It’s near another election year and the intrigues, tricks, alignments, realignments and fanfare begins 12 months before the real date of elections. The signs are all around us today; the fact that politicians who were perceptively daggers drawn enemies suddenly turned solemnly wedded couples bonded by bands of political interest on the altar of Partisan politics is one of the testimonies of these times.
The theatrics of the season carries all scripted effects; surprise, laughter, disappointment, suspense and tears. These effects are carefully ingredients in the whole interplay leading to the political party primaries and the main elections such that the audience gets swallowed in the fiction of the moments and unintendedly failing to ask critical questions on how these candidates can fit into the role for which they aspire.
These events happen so fast with petty compensations from politicians to keep the voting populace logically deficient to ask critical questions. This is one reason why there has always been voter’s remorse some years after every election. This is because the reality snatches the populace from the belly of fiction and in a flash, the voter realizes that he should have asked more questions desiring answers that are workable.
Should 2019 quest wear same voodoo politics like so many previous, then we may just have increased our risk of wearing the wrong shoe for another time. If this must be averted and the mesmerizing theatrics of political jabbers and jobbers must be contained, the citizenry, especially the few who fall within the educated bracket, the political parties and the fourth estate of the realm must play a central role at ensuring that the 2019 quest mold us a personality that we long desired to captain the ship of state to its desired destination.
The educated bracket in the country is relatively low compared to the size of its population which keeps me wondering how we have remained comfortable with a democratic system where the majority wins elections. Even the United States with better rating in terms of number of educated citizens to its population size did not completely will the ‘choice power’ of the ballot for the highest office of the land to share majority but rather planted it in the Electoral College. Having participated actively in all elections since our return to civil rule in 1999, it is a statement of fact that a lot more of our populace vote ‘blindly’; they are either voting for Parties even without knowing the candidates or voting a popular candidate even without knowing if he has the right skill set to run for that office.
As much as I will not want to completely indulge the educated bracket, more of these issues of blind voting occur more within the uneducated bracket who are in the majority and most times decide the faith of an entire Nation. There is a lot of work to do in the area of citizen awareness ahead of the 2019 elections; it though seems a tall wish as a higher percentage of people within this bracket who have the energy are rather preoccupied with other distractive socioreligious activities and have drawn the red tape to keep participatory politics out of their schedules and yet they desire a new order that will address their desire and make true their Nigerian Dream. No one will do this for us, we have to participate not just as arm chair social media critics, hailers or wailers but on ground agent of National transformation.
It is a collective understanding that the Political Parties presents candidates for elections as there is no law in effect which allows for independent participation in elections. For this reasons, the Political parties have a crucial role to play at ensuring they present the right candidates. If all political parties do due diligence in their internal democratic processes of electing credible candidates; then the problem of who emerges becomes a minimal national risk.
A first time observer of the United States election may mistake party internal election processes for the main election; it is as serious and hugely publicized like the main elections. Parties organize series of debates between their candidates and all registered members of the party are allowed to partake in the entire process and not like our faulty delegate system meant to enrich a few who become monstrously rich after such election conventions. We like to see aspirants within political parties go head to head severally on issues and their plans for the Nation; we also like to see more transparent processes that allow for every member of the party to participate at the final convention. The Political Parties as custodian of political gladiators must understand that elections are not casino games as its results have far reaching effects. By my last update, we currently have 64 Political parties, even though only very few are known; we who are educated must dominate this space and develop these parties to become an engine room which delivers credible candidates for elections.
The Fourth estate which is the most influential medium for social change and citizen awareness have unfortunately slumbered into a brown envelop factory where information, investigations and the news is priced. The socio media in today Nigeria seem to have arm twisted the main stream media in their state of slumber. The citizen are today more misinformed within the negative sphere than it has ever been in history. This is so because the main stream media who were princes of the war against bad governance and leadership are now on the supper table with their enemies. So what we see today is a main stream media discussing on how mangoes grow while a hundreds are being killed in some sections of the country; a main stream media that will silenced stories of incompetence and publish shouting headlines on mundane issues. The main stream media are to be seen as lamp bearers not angels of darkness; they have done this in the past; it used to be an industry that kept all segments of our population informed; now turned a willing prostitute. The Fourth estate must fall back to line and help in its primary objective of enlightenment. This must begin with helping to document full resume of aspirants; head to head with aspirants and organizing of debates for aspirants. Yes! Politicians will always find their ways but it is easier to identify colors while the sun still shines than when the moon comes. People must see aspirants for who they are with the language and frequency reach of our fourth estate. Late MKO Abiola’s victory and wide acceptability at the 1993 polls were due credits to the fourth estate and helped suppress falsehood and parochial mindedness.
The Fourth estate must build from its ash and make the 2019 quest worthwhile for all citizens.
Elections have consequences; it should not be a gamble or trade off; election is about the kind of military you want, the kind of economy you want, the kind of taxes you want, the kind of police you want, the kind of healthcare services you want, the kind of judiciary you want, the kind of social welfare scheme you want and many others; it’s about our entire being, our family and our neighbors for a four year period as stipulated. It’s not a chance you would want to waste; Wake Up, let’s make the 2019 quest a herald to actualizing the Nigerian dream.