If you are new to the drama and glamour that is the Nigerian Election just wait till 2019. Oh boy! are you in for a treat. The campaign jingles will be catchy and memorable, The Promises to serve will be grandiose and verbose, People will get arrested, others freed, the Media and Social Media houses will experience a content frenzy. The excitement of the FIFA World cup pales in comparison to the quest for leadership in this Nation. And yet, after the high that the process gives, all we are left with is the crushing disappointment of reality. This is due in part to what I call…
THE MESSIAH COMPLEX
For some time now the Nigerian people have been fond of searching for “The One”. The Political Saviour who will arrive and completely change the country’s fortunes overnight. The Religious sensibilities of the people will reach a peak every four years. It would seem that every Electoral candidate comes with the promise of performing miracles.
“I had no shoes” said President Goodluck Jonathan in the battle for 2011. It was a tale of Legend, a young boy whose lack of footwear could not hold him back from pursuing an education. We were intrigued to learn his secret. Four years of the most gruesome allegations of misappropriation later, a new warrior unsheathed his blade…
“I am going to kill corruption” said President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. We jumped at the opportunity. Finally, a man who killed vices with his bare hands. The change we needed became the change we never expected. The youths were reported to the colonial masters. “They want everything free”. It was an unkind critique of the human condition.
WHAT TO EXPECT
I eagerly anticipate the Miracles that will the claimed by the next set of aspirants, where every campaign banner will be photoshopped to the last hair, with quotes that illustrate a heaven within the reach of the people. If we have learnt one thing from our 58 years of independence, it is that the old ways do not work. Why then, would we continue to use them?
It would seem that the nation is aging in reverse. Personally, I would expect a leader to be the best representative of the people. If I had wanted someone to represent me, I would look for the strongest, the most intelligent, the most well spoken. A leader to me, is not a miracle worker, but one that inspires hope and gives a sense of direction. It is why we Africans idolize the Nelson Mandelas and Martin Luther Kings.
But maybe that’s just me. There is no escaping the conundrum. One must lead for others to follow, otherwise we all ply the roads with no direction. Would you rather drive your car into a ditch knowingly or unknowingly? My major gripe with the Nigerian people is that in the wake of religious and ethic disunity,
we have been so busy searching for answers that we forgot to ask questions. The only solution is inquiry. This time around,
Ask for debates, Ask for town hall meetings, Ask for manifestos. Your candidate, who is he? Who is she? Where are they from? What have they done? What do they wish to do? What qualifies them for public service? How can they help the nation?
Ask and ask again, otherwise your voters card is just a tool for your slavery. For another four years at least.