It’s another season of political jamboree. Since politicians have been given the green light by INEC to go ahead with electioneering campaign from 18/11/2018, the whole place is already hyped by political activities. Politicians, characteristic of them, have started making promise, sic, campaign promises, giving the electorate reasons why they should give them their vote; reading out their programmes or campaign promises, If you like.
If a book was to be judged by its cover or the surface of an ocean were to determine its depths, then with those stupendous promises, we are about to enter a new era of bliss in Nigeria. But experience has proven that a book cover may not be a true reflection of its contents so that it should not be used to judge its contents; cover is packaging. The real content is inside. Also, the look of the ocean surface should not be used to determine its depth. Therefore, we should not allow fake promises to carry us away to where we did not intend going. We have heard it before, over and over again. While the politicians keep wising up, the real people that own the power – the electorate- keep growing in their gullibility. Maybe because the psyche of the people have been so bastardized by many years of hardship and manipulation, or because of the high degree of poverty to which they have been subjected by their political rulers
In as much as I am not campaigning for any political party or candidate (of course, you can be actively involved in politics without being a politician), some pertinent question you need to ask them, if you have the opportunity, are:
Let’s start with those that are already occupying political office in the National Assembly:
- Since you have been a member of the National Assembly, what are you contributions to your constituents/constituency or the people you are supposed to be representing?
- How many laudable projects can you point at in your constituency as directly sponsored by you?
- Whatever you have been able to do or achieve in your constituency, as our representative, is it or are they what we wanted or asked you to go and do for us
- Since we put you there to represent us about three years ago, how many times have you come back to report to us about the mandate we gave you?
- Are you aware that you are not there by yourself and for yourself?
- How have you spent our money (the constituency allowance) that you have been collecting?
- Now that you are asking us to return you to the National Assembly, what are you going to do there again?
I observed that many of them, after they got the people’s vote and found themselves in the National Assembly, we never felt their impact or saw them again. The only way we know they are still there or are still representing us is when we see them on television, or in very rare occasion, on newspaper; or very recently, when we started seeing their posters and billboards all around us again as usual. Well, maybe that’s our dividends from them – their well-fed faces being shown to us, telling us how they are faring sumptuously with our common wealth.
If you are satisfied with their achievements, why not, vote for them to continue with their achievement. If not, be wise, vote for someone else; test a new person, you never can tell, you may be voting for an angel…or….
But, if you are carried away by their posters that you can see every everywhere, mmmhhhh, then we have a long way to go. Yes, they can produce any quantity and quality of posters. They have the resources; but how does that affect your life, community and constituency positively?
Let’s be wise. Don’t vote for posters, vote for achievement and credibility.
For the fresher to the National Assembly:
The following questions are such that we would like for them to answer:
- What is your antecedent as a candidate? As one that is coming to represent us, what have you been able to achieve in your present state or office as a leader?
- How much have you been able to impart the lives of the people around you now?
- Why should we trust you with our mandate?
- What do you have to offer? Is it just your wealth that you have to showcase? What are you bringing to the table to make a difference?
- Are you going to run with our mandate or your own personal agenda?
- Are you going there to represent us or to rule over us?
- Are you going to use our collective wealth to make life better for us or you’re coming in to enrich yourself, your party and your sponsors with our common wealth?
- Are you going to be accountable to your people or when you get there you become lord and distant yourself from them?
Now, let’s come to you the electorate
If you’re asked, ‘Why do you want to vote for this fellow” what will your answer be?
What’s going to be your reason for voting for him/her?
There is something that is as constant as the Northern Star, these politicians know what they want – YOUR VOTE. To serve you? Mmmmmmmh. We can’t really say about that for all of them.
So, it appears to me that the problem is not really with the politicians. They know what they want. Then, who is the problem with? The problem is with us the electorate, who most of the time, do not really know what we want and so can be easily manipulated by the politicians. Their strategy has not changed much: keep the people in ignorance and poverty; dangle 5k in front of them as incentive to buy their vote during polling; during electioneering campaign, roll out the road construction machines that have been packed for the past three plus years and place them at strategic spots or do some road repairs such as grading; dish out some programmes that should have been in place ever since for the benefit of the people…and so forth…and unfortunately, the electorate allow themselves to be carried away by those things and subject themselves to another term of poverty and deprivation. What a vicious cycle.
TO BE CONTINUED…
Aghedo R. Uyi