Stay out of the murky waters of political propaganda. Do not let anyone sway your thoughts. Stick to what you know from the evidence you have gathered. The game of politics is a dirty game, my dear. It has always been so from the beginning. Everybody knows this. You cannot keep your hands clean as a politician, no matter how hard you try. When you are caught between a rock and a hard place, you will have to soil your hands a little to get out. These words are the creed I live by when it comes to politics. I have tried to stay out of politics as much as I can but like a man once said, We are all political animals. And that being said, I knew some of the politics had to flow into me and through me. I cannot ignore it because it affects my future.
I woke up this morning knowing this election day wasn’t my time yet. I was not going to vote. The lack of a PVC was just the nails my coffin needed to be sealed shut. I tried getting one but after the stress coupled with my great indecision, I gave up. Why bother to vote when I’m not even sure why I’m voting? The presidential race is torn between two candidates and I’m not sure if I should vote for any of them. Campaigns have been flying here and there for the past one year and it has basically been ‘throwing dirt at your opponent’ rather than giving us a concrete manifesto. On one hand, General. Muhammadu Buhari (GMB) campaigns with promises and an unclear manifesto while President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) and his cabinet try to run down Buhari’s campaign, all the while trying to use a smokescreen to cover his failed government. These campaigns have brought down the IQs of these men who are supposed to be national icons. The campaign bandwagon of each team throws daily filth at the other at any opportunity. I have seen the idiosyncrasies of Governor Fashola within this period. I have seen people switch teams from PDP to APC and vice versa. I may not have all the facts but then I will table the matter.
When GEJ got into office, Nigerians were basking in the euphoria of the luck he has and we were expecting it to translate to good governance. Hehehe… Things spiraled down so quickly we weren’t ‘hexperrinit’. GEJ was as clueless as they come and finally, we had an effeminate president. The man spread himself too thin in all angles and his decisions came back to bite him. More like his indecision because he was always reluctant to act to take concrete actions. The situation of the country is not helping too. With the terrorism and oil prices spiraling down, Nigeria was thrown into a state of chaos with an clueless president on standby. Now you would think a man like this would have a strong cabinet to back him up when he falters but no, he picked the most unhelpful cabinet to aid him. A cabinet filled with thieves and liars. It’s almost everyday that you hear that some copious amount of funds have suddenly vanished into thin air. Diezani Alison-Madueke seems to hold the abracadabra wand when it comes to this. One wave and it’s all gone and untraceable back to her. Our First Lady does not help his cause. The illiteracy this woman shows is more than baffling. Her statements and speeches give rise to the question whether she proffers any kind of solution in the gathering of First Ladies. A president with a strong and intelligent wife to back him will rarely step out of line because his wife can advise him. In our case, we are just left to win. The only positive she has is her staunch and undying support for her husband. I have watched GEJ is press conferences and I am scared for the country. It’s like a blind man leading another blind man. He speaks without any form of conviction and I find it hard to believe he knows what he’s saying. That being said, he has had a few positives during his tenure and has been an okay president despite all the errors. Let me not talk about Namadi Sambo because that would mean I have to start telling a ghost story.
But is the answer Buhari? Buhari is a man way past his prime trying to win the election as a consolation price for being an overlooked elder statesman for far too long. Buhari and his party have been shouting “Change! Change!!” like it’s going to happen in the blink of an eye. They have painted the concept so well that some Nigerians believe everything will just fall in place the moment Buhari wins. They have not given us a concrete manifesto. They have only mentioned things. I followed a bit of Obama’s first campaign and I was impressed. It is not just about pointing fingers at the opposition, tell us what you plan to do if you get there. We are all working for a better Nigeria so if you tell us your plans, it’s a win-win for everybody. The brunt of the APC’s firepower is the failed attempts of the incumbent government to stop the menacing scourge of the Boko Haram. The Chibok girls have been a thorn in the flesh of all Nigerians and the government has done nothing about. Now while this is valid, I have always wondered about the things which should be done. Nigeria is not so technological advanced where we can find those girls with drones and heat map signatures. This is a country that relies on word-of-mouth information and physical searches. It’s not like somebody can sit down and push buttons and get those girls found. Search attempts have been made and even the American government sent some envoys but all to no avail. So saying you will stop the Boko Haram sect without telling us your plans to stop them reeks of rotten fish. Do you have the Midas touch? I have always wondered if Buhari is able to lead the country. The man looks like he speaks at the prodding of the pitchforks of the leaders of the APC. His statements look well-rehearsed and if you listen carefully, you can hear Tinubu’s voice. It is a popular opinion somewhere that the plan is for Buhari to die in office so Osinbajo can take over and we all know Osinbajo dances to the tune of Tinubu’s lute. Buhari’s proposed cabinet is filled with people that ran away from the crumbling ship of the present government and not because they wanted change. In the end, it’s still the same circle of people leading, only they have a different mask on this time.
I would love to tell you about the other candidates for this presidential election but they are almost non-existent. It is a battle between two heavyweights and they are the onlooking grass. They may garner some votes but only from their family members. This is a two-man race. Now, whatever the outcome, it’s we the citizens that bear the brunt of it. These politicians will sit comfortably in their air-conditioned mansions while we are left to carry our cross. Electoral violence is something that we can avoid if we all use our heads and think about the nation. It makes no sense to hurt or kill your fellow man for choosing to vote for another person. Freedom of speech and the right to vote whoever you want are two essential rights of a citizen. Respect your fellow man. The final outcome should not cause any form of chaos too. In the end, the progress of the country starts with us. Learn to accept defeat and work together with the winner to create a better environment for everybody. And the electoral bodies should do their best to ensure a cheat-free election. Great scrutiny should be placed on the entire process today.
Go out and vote for the right candidate and may the man with the lesser quirks win. I have spoken my piece. But I’m just one man who can’t even vote because I have no PVC, how can I hope to sway the attention of an entire nation?