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February 16: An impotent Electorate?

N. F. Kenure

The Presidential elections in Nigeria are in less than two weeks and if I am being honest, I really do not know how to feel.

How long can one be hopeful? How long do you yearn in the quiet recesses of your mind (we are wary of loud wishfulness) that maybe this time it will be different, and then wake up to find it's more of the same old emptiness.

I do not have a PVC. I feel a little bit ashamed to say it, but I tried many times, okay- three times. I learnt pretty quickly, they do not want us to get it. After three days of joining queues only after writing my name on a list ( the first day I was number 343 at 8am) and being told they would only attend to the first 10 people. TEN PEOPLE! THE WHOLE DAY! Nigeria has a PhD in frustrating its citizens. There are too many accounts online of people who haven’t received their voter’s card because of the inadequacies of INEC staff.

Maybe I should have tried harder, instead of surrendering in a ‘y’all won’ stance after just three days.

 

Even if I’d succeeded and got the PVC, it's at the back of everyone's mind that our votes don't really count. That the powers that be, have it all preordained, and us mortals have no say in the outcome. That standing for hours under the ball of fire that is our sun is an absolute act of faith not grounded in reality. The universities are closed on strike and there’s no urgency to find a solution to their problems. It's not even a major topic in the campaign. This is Nigeria after all, who cares?

 

The two main contenders  are almost as tragic as a Sophie’s choice. I understand that any of the other independent candidates would be almost ineffective as presidents without the support of a majority party backing them in any of the senate houses. Right? Am I wrong? However, considering the rate at which the  Nigerian politicians change party lines like underwear, they would probably all slowly morph into the independent party, consolidating its place as mainstream. Still, I appreciate the presence of revitalising force, and would love to see the likes of Moghalu - real technocrats, with International experience- at the helm of our affairs. There is a place for the Soweres - firebrands and agitators, I’ll even take a  Durotoye even though I have no idea what he brings, my ignorance is on me. We are desperate for fresh ‘young’ blood, not just in the presidency but in every sphere of government. Especially as it seems like the small infusions we’ve managed in the the last couple of years have absorbed the staleness that permeates our polity.

 

The word ‘change’ doesn't  mean anything anymore. Nigeria needs a mental revolution, we have gone too far off course and a strong mind and hand to steer the country is sorely needed. If you have a voter's card, please try. That’s all that we can do. Whoever wins should try too. Abeg.

 


Posted:

Feb 5, 2019