In Nigeria, politicians use poverty and ignorance as instruments of achieving; loyalty, support and even votes during elections from masses, this is regardless of how they treated these masses while in power or before declaration of interest in political leadership. It’s a belief that “The strong is never strong enough to maintain himself in power unless he utilises trusted and well-respected members of the lower class”.
It’s apparent in Nigeria that, whenever elections draw nearer, politicians recruit trusted members of societies to manipulate people’s beliefs and perceptions about politics, and sadly, this time around the recruited personalities include journalists, religious scholars, traditional rulers and even the hungry educated class who teach in higher institutions of learning.
Mass quality education being a core instrument of achieving a progressive democratic leadership as it gives citizens insight as regards to who is to vote for or not and also empower citizens to say no to anti-people policies of government is neglected and often considered as valueless.
Everyone is aware of how politicians these days inject nonpartisan and impartial journalists who are known for doing justice to their profession of finding out facts and communicating them to public and as well hold politicians accountable into politics by appointing them as; media aides, members of campaign committees or their social media forums’ handlers.
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Religious scholars also, instead of guiding people on how to strengthen their relationship with the Almighty God, are engaged in advertising some politicians while criticising others in their public gatherings.
The worst part of it is that, when these politicians get into power, they develop authoritarian and oppressive tactics to subjugate and antagonise all and sundry irrespective of whether one supported them during election or not.
I will suggest that we have knowledge and experience about how these politicians ruled before and their capacities, let us use it as a barometer for choosing who to vote for, not on the basis of other people’s opinion.
Zaharaddeen Muhammad Azare could be reached through email@example.com