WHY NIGERIANS MUST TAKE A STAND BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS: THE WORLD IS LAUGHING AT US
In life there are no bystanders, every position is for a purpose, believe it or not. We are where we are to make a difference. Don’t ever believe there is nothing we can do as a people, there is always a lot of things we can do to change the narrative of this country.
From simply sharing an article which seeks to drive home a positive agenda, to writing one yourself if you can or mustering the street when the clarion call is made for a peaceful or non-violent rally to safe our homeland from ruin, we have a role to play.
The elections may be upon us today, but it is only a means to an end. All we have to do is to vote the candidates of our choice. The real battle begins after the elections.
Whether you vote or not in these upcoming elections, you have made a very decisive decision to elect someone or to deny another your vote. It is all well within your rights to vote or abstain, as voter apathy is not an electoral offence but one of the factors that decides every election. A typical example of this could be on how Donald Trump won the 2016 US presidential election.
In fact, ever since the elections, it has been widely reported that Hilary Clinton lost to Donald J. Trump due to apathy by a faction of the electorates, who deemed the elections a contest of two evils (Trump and Clinton). While some liberal supporters abstained, the GOP ranks came out in mass and the election was sealed in favour of Mr Trump. You can check aol.com for their piece titled; “how apathetic voters helped win Trump the election”. This only relates to us in the sense that, the choice to vote or not is our franchise to express, but please, by all means; vote.
Without paying too much attention to our various languages, ethnicities or faiths, we have to reason our unfortunate situation as a country and understand that the ‘world is mocking us’, and with a good reason. Barrack Obama, the former US President, as cited in a Paper presented by Ayamba I. Anthony, titled: ‘Whistleblowing in a depraved Nigerian economy: Challenges and Prospects’, in the 2008 asserted:
“I hear Nigeria makes the metaphorical claim as the giant of Africa. That claim, I make bold to say, is not only unfounded but absurd. Forgive my observation. That country’s claim of gianthood is only proven by the relative size of its population. Forty-eight years after bidding farewell to colonial rule, that nation is still struggling to get on its feet, like a toddler. Nigeria has clearly failed to be the beacon of hope for other African nations. Will the Nigerian people ever speak of their country as that where leaders make unselfish calculations that prepare them for the challenges of the global economy? Will they ever speak of a nation where every child, male and female, has the right to achieve his or her dream? So long as people are trapped in poverty, so long as there are evidences of gross marginalization of certain regions, so long as opportunities are open, but not for all, the dream of a true nation will remain out of reach”.
Ten years after the above remarks, Nigeria officially became the world’s poverty capital according to Brookings Institution. The statement reads;“at the end of May 2018, our trajectories suggest that Nigeria had about 87 million people in extreme poverty, compared with India’s 73 million. What is more, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute, while poverty in India continues to fall”.This is the statistics Theresa May alluded to when she called Nigeria home to the “Very poor people” in the world during her speech in Cape Town, South Africa in August 2018. It is interesting to note however, that the population of India is 1.324 billion people, as compared to Nigeria’s less than 200 million people. What a shame!
Meanwhile, before the above report by Brookings, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had earlier said, in the month of March 2018 that Nigerians are getting poorer, and there is a need for coherent and comprehensive economic reforms. This is according to Vanguard News of 25 June 2018. All these are coming at the backdrop of Nigeria being tagged a “fantastically corrupt” country in 2016 by former British Prime Minister, David Cameron during a conversation with some dignitaries including the Queen of England. The world is really laughing at us!
With that said, the most important role to play after exercising our civil rights as citizens is to hold public officers to account on all grounds of their electoral pledges or promises. The era of just getting through elections and thereafter business as usual is over. We are entering the epoch of accountability and the ‘people’s power’ must prevail.
This should be the longing of every Nigerian who wants to see the end of these embarrassments and mockery in the eyes of the world. To every Nigerian, who desires the end to ineptitudes in governance, which has given rise to darkness, poverty, insecurity, unemployment, grand corruption, decayed infrastructures, broken health and education systems, and a host of other malfeasants perpetuated by the business and political elites, in association with foreign entities operating within and outside the shores of this country, against the common interest of the Nigerian people, it is time to get active. We must take a stand; no administrator or administration is above the electorates. If we could vote them in, then we can as well vote them out or outrightly get them to resign.
We can’t afford to approach 2023 general elections still faced with these myriad crises, which is even worse than our position prior to 2015 general elections. We must rise above ethnic and religious bigotry or divide, to successfully defend our land against the common enemy. We must recognize the truth, which is that; collectively without ethnic or religious boundaries, we are the victims of the failed Nigerian system. Thus, the time to arise for Nigeria has already begun for some, and for some it begins now through this piece.
The question is; are you ready for the movement? Can you give your voice and time for the emancipation of Nigeria? There is no better time than now, be a patriot. Arise!
Patrick S. Jr
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