(By Yusuff Olayode Soputo)
“The citizens bellow for a free and fair election of Nigerian origin, unfortunately that does not exist; Nigerian elections have never gone without shedding blood of the uncultured citizens, even during the time of the most venerated Nigerian politicians. It seems we have not learnt from the previous misdeeds, we kept to antiquated political system from which we have not gained anything.“
WHAT is the essence of our shout all this while about the coming election when all our leaders, regardless of the party they belong, are arguably of the same thoughts? They think the same way. With All Progressives Congress (APC) misalliance with neo-Peoples Democratic Party (n-PDP), I can, without impeding second-thought, say we are working to preserve the status quo. You may change the name every second, how do you now want to change the ideology of those coming into your party, APC. Where are your acrimonious comments about Obasanjo, Babangida and Atiku before this time? They have been buried in the grave of reconciliation where antagonism is for self-interest alone, not because one truly deserves to be antagonised. Change indeed!
With apparent problems incapacitating the government, our leaders still find time to think of 2015 election. We are on the road combating problems created by them; they are indoor exchanging abuses with open letters. More surprising is the intervention of people whose actions invigorate sheer corruption in these political obscenities. They are in the dailies making condemnation of corrupt political office-holders; they have forgotten they were once in their shoes, more corrupt than those they are reproving.
They became human right activists after their political tenures when truly their aim is to gain admirations which will propel them to gain another political position come 2015. If you can condemn Nigerian government, if you can be the town crier of government’s mismanagement, people will start having interest in you forgetting your previous actions. This is why politicians become political critics after their tenure in office.
All these hues and cries reveal the country’s moral standard; they speak volume about the kind of nation Nigeria is, and the kind of citizens it breeds especially when a child, no matter the age, talks about his father in a dehumanising, derogatory and culturally undesirable manner, just the way Madam Iyabo Obasanjo did to his biological father. She should have corrected her father before now. She forgot to do so when she was a senator, when Nigeria was withstanding problems created by her family. Now she wants to gain undue admirations with her letter. I will not want to leave imperative issue for their family affair.
My questions: Do they, those making distractive, undue and sentimental noises about 2015, truly love the nation wholeheartedly? Do they sincerely have the masses in mind for all these attacking comments about the government? Are they not of the same agenda with those they are condemning? We are in a civilised century; our uproar about the government’s incompetence should not be egotistical, it should be in the interest of the state.
Today, it is embezzlement from government officials, who dare challenge them when our constitution shields them from judicial actions. Tomorrow, it may be exchange of words between the opposition and the incumbents. If not political fights, it must be ethnic war or religious disagreement. Remember, the grievances among these office-wanting politicians are not for the masses. This is why they reconcile after elections. They, politicians, still come together to discuss ways of getting contracts from political offices and how to maneuver the coming election after years of heart-rending opprobrium. You meet them in ceremonies sitting on the same platform, discussing how to gain effectively from politics.
But the masses who died for them gambled their dear lives for a valueless battle. To some, it is a must their much-loved politicians emerge; if the other case, they will resort to burning oppositions’ houses. Our people have long being inveighed into political intransigence that blood no longer scares them, they are ready to support any political move regardless of those whose lives are going to be irreparably battered. Theirs is a compulsory emergence. They are not concerned about the dying citizens.
I long formed the habit of questioning myself why the dailies are full of no good news especially when election is around. Just because of 2015 election, we hardly relax, Nigerian politicians are devising ways of sending the country to a journey of no return, all to quench their desire of wanting to remain in or gain political offices, come 2015.
The citizens bellow for a free and fair election of Nigerian origin, unfortunately that does not exist; Nigerian elections have never gone without shedding blood of the uncultured citizens, even during the time of the most venerated Nigerian politicians. It seems we have not learnt from the previous misdeeds, we kept to antiquated political system from which we have not gained anything.
Those who wished to be used as sacrificial lambs during elections are prepared, they have accepted to be used in election misconduct. Quite unfortunate, many youths find it very hard to stop fighting for politicians. Who is ready, among our politician, to shed the blood of their children for election? Their own children are overseas schooling, while undergraduates in Nigerian universities are used as miscreants during elections. Those youths who are used in fraudulent manipulation of elections suffer over-inflated school fees in tertiary institutions. Apart from students who are killed in political fights, some youths are now political prisoners in Kirikiri, Agodi and other prisons. Is that not an echoing lesson to some of us? Are parents, who leave their children in school during elections, not supposed to have learnt their lessons?
As some fight for second term, some monsters, sorry ministers, lobby for reinstatement, so also our President. He is strategising how to stay in office beyond 2015. Staying in office beyond 2015 should constitute no war, Sir, it should be on the demand of the masses whose interest you claimed occupied your mind.
The youths should remember the kind of country they are –the country that cares for no one. Why then should we be the tool for election rigging. What have we gained from yesteryears of democracy in Nigeria? If we start counting, we have witnessed 13 years of despotic, corrupt democratic dispensation characterised by mismanagement of tax-payers’ funds, judicial imbalance, unlawful bloodshed amidst other monstrosities. With all these, it is clear military dispensations outperformed democracy in all areas.
Our youths, who are supposed to be the future of the country, who are expected to correct the erring old men, are the brains behind higgledy-piggledy in the country. It is appropriate we say their actions are inflated by government’s negligence to the demands of youths. But a right-thinking Nigerian who believes the country is going to be great someday should not, because of a cup of palm wine and a passel of Indian hemp with a thousand naira, venture into hooliganism.
The masses should remember they are the grasses that suffer when two elephants fight. Politicians have nothing to lose, if they did not win elections, they are going to be compensated with ministerial posts; they become commissioners, chairmen of boards and other enviable posts. But you, a poor man from a poor family, wants to kill yourself on a valueless task. Yours is a sorry case.
• Supoto is an undergraduate of Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State.
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