Nigeria’s new leaf | Dailytrust

Nigeria’s new leaf

Too many Nigerians are ambivalent about politics. This is in spite of the fact that in a country of mounting frustration and dysfunction, politics is among the juiciest ventures provided one is properly positioned under the sun.

It is common to hear many Nigerians sweepingly brand politics a dirty game. Because many Nigerians subscribe to one religion or the other, the overwhelming belief that some religions helped foster but are now battling to combat with little success is that politics is incompatible with faith.

The odious optics politics cups in Nigeria is because the version of politics many Nigerians experience here is the one tainted by perversion.

The experience of many Nigerians with politics in the country is of mudslinging, bitterness, and extremely dark arts permissible to grievous bodily harm and even death.

Thus, for many Nigerians, politics is a dirty game that deserves neither their time nor their attention. For fear of being tainted, they stay away.

That the stay away is the prayer of all those who make money out of the crises rocking Nigeria from all sides. That people who can bring much-needed change stay away is the greatest desire of those who benefit precisely because Nigeria is on its knees.

No thanks to Nigeria`s tortuous battle against corruption and its devastating presence in the lives of Nigerians, many of the people have no qualms branding  every Nigerian politician a thief who is only interested in lining his pockets. This mentality  has helped to deepen the disconnect between Nigerians and those who govern them.

There are also many Nigerians who do not believe that votes count during elections in the country. This largely wrong belief comes from a memory scarred  in  those days when INEC, Nigeria`s electoral umpire, conspired with the powers that be to veto the will of Nigerians.

So, all round, it appears there are problems with the mentality of Nigerians when it comes to elections. Many would sooner go elsewhere or remain stuck at home on election day than go out to vote. In the same vein, many would  rather sell their votes  to the highest bidder while nonchalantly shrugging of their  misdeeds by saying that votes don’t count. This mentality has always played into the hands of the vultures who somehow   find their way into the corridors of power and never leave.

Ahead of the 2023 general elections, it is more than obvious that there is a need to reeducate the Nigerian voter about productively approaching elections so as to express his choice but also,  and more importantly, as a way of ensuring that only good and responsible people  get into the corridors of power.

Nigerian political parties have lurched into a season of primaries during which they will  pick the candidates they will field during the next elections. Already, the signs are ominous.

There have been reports of delegates receiving huge sums of money in order to be swayed to vote for different candidates. There have also been reports of delegates  abducted on their way  to vote. There have also been reports of shootings and even deaths.

Nigeria must earnestly long for the days  when election-related violence are firmly contained.

 

Kenechukwu Obiezu keneobiezu@gmail.com

 

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