Nigeria’s next election is by the corner and the country has already become a battle ground for our old, greedy and selfish politicians, who have nothing good to offer but rather keep recycling themselves for their own selfish interest. Despite signing the ‘Not Too Young To Run Act’ they refused to allow the youths run by selling the nomination and expression of interest forms at exorbitant rates. Where on earth will the youths get millions just to secure tickets without involving the so-called godfathers who are also not willing to let go? The most disgusting thing is that most youths are busy jubilating and celebrating the old politicians because of peanuts given to them from the money they embezzled from our treasury in exchange for their votes. As Prof. Wole Soyinka once said, “It is only in Nigeria where thieves will be regrouping to loot again and the youths whose future will be stolen will be celebrating it…”
What about the irregularities in the conduct of some party primary elections? We all witnessed how those corrupt politicians sold their conscience in exchange for ‘’Ghana must go’’, playing the politics of materialistic tendencies and aggrandizement. They pick their party representatives in horrible and terrible ways. This is a common phenomenon that has eaten deep into our system and it’s not only in Nigeria but in Africa as a whole.
We have so many young and credible youths who when given the opportunity will do better than these old hands but that can only be a mirage in Nigeria. However, an alliance of other political parties with a young, vibrant and credible candidate will break the jinx because as it seems now we only have three political parties in Nigeria, they are All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the other.
In 2015, during the presidential election, we were meant to believe that APC will bring change to this country and because we were tired of the past administration, we voted for APC. Where is the change today? A government that cannot increase its workers’ minimum wage until they embark on strike? There is so much poverty in the land. People are dying for lack of food. Most children can no longer attend school. We hear about killings and abduction of innocent citizens every day. People cannot walk freely on the roads without the fear of being kidnapped or shot. Crime is on the increase. Yet the government keeps telling us they are fighting corruption. How can you fight corruption when you are corrupt? You can’t give out what you don’t have.
Conclusively, it is imperative that we wake up from our slumber, get our voters card and vote out this old, recycled, greedy and corrupt politicians. Let’s say no to these lawmakers who have become law breakers. Let’s say no to insecurity, no to inadequate healthcare facilities, no to delay in salaries and pensions, no to recycled leaders, no to indiscriminate killings, no to detention of innocent citizens without trial, no to political godfatherism, no to political thuggery, no to nepotism and no to whatever that has held us down as a people. Saying nothing and doing nothing in the face of oppression is to die in nothingness. The time has come for us to lead our country to its glory and that time is now.
► Deborah Phillips wrote in from the Department of Mass Communication, Bayero University, Kano