Nigeria is in an intensive care unit and needs urgent treatment. The elections in 2023 will either make or break us as a people. While you have the right to do what you want, keep in mind that your actions should be in the best interests of Nigeria as a whole.
From the beginning of democracy, the road has been topsy-turvy. Thanks to all who have contributed in different measures to get the country where it is today, though not without pains and tears. We have gone to the polls at various times to vote individuals into various elected posts on the platforms of various political parties, particularly the frontline ones, the PDP and APC. The PDP’s logo is an “umbrella,” while the APC’s is a “broom.”
During the PDP’s 16-year reign, we realized that the umbrella only covered a few people, their relatives, and cronies. Because the majority of Nigerians felt left out and battered by “the rain of life,” they bought into the change mantra given by APC via social media propaganda demagoguery. Unfortunately, they’ve used the broom to sweep away our unity, economy, security, education, infrastructure, health care etc. They’ve enthroned corruption, nepotism, sectarianism, religious bigotry ethnocentricism and so on.
Are you happy?
Are you happy that for the past 23 years of democratic rule, a specific group has rotated in the citadel of power without carrying the masses along? They quarrel and call each other names on national television, then meet to play golf, dine and wine, and attend their children’s graduations from foreign institutions. When the country heats up or the masses become agitated because of their ineptitude, they jet off to the US, UK, Germany, Austria, Dubai, or wherever they have mansions, cross their legs with juice or wine by their sides, and watch us kill ourselves on television.
Are you satisfied that some of our graduates who have nothing to do still rely on their parents’ pensions, which are sometimes not paid? Are you pleased that our university students have been confined to their homes for the past five months as a result of the ASUU strike, with no guarantee of resumption? Are you pleased that a single man has taken billions of naira from our treasury and nothing is done about it? May I ask, are we cursed or we are the cause?
In 2020, young people in Lagos protested the Special Anti-Robbery Squad’s (SARS) continuous use of torture and other ill-treatment to execute, punish, and obtain information from suspects. During the rally, some innocent people were killed and injured. Today, some who participated in the protest are lobbying for people who are most likely responsible for what happened to their colleagues. Some graduates who have been unemployed for years are preparing to work as political thugs in order to maintain or support the continuity of those who have sunk or squandered their future.
I grieve as I watch, read, and listen with dismay to how people, particularly youths from Southern Kaduna, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Borno, Imo, Zamfara, and Niger, quarrel on social media about PDP and APC loyalties. I weep! Have you soon forgotten the past? What happened to our ancestral/farmlands? What happened to our fathers, mothers, sons and daughters who are IDPs in their homelands? What happened to our Institutions? Is there any government presence in your area? Has anyone been arrested or prosecuted for the killings going on in your locality? May I ask, are we cursed or we are the cause?
The president Nigerians need
Nigerians have experienced a lot since the country’s democratic transition in 1999. Instead of a president who is nepotistic, ethnocentric, and bigoted, Nigerians need a leader who is on ground, has the fear of God, proven record, impeccable character, knowledgeable, intelligent, physically fit, and able to unite the nation and make Nigeria a safe haven.
Nigerians need a president who will create a variety of work opportunities for them to survive; a good and qualitative primary and secondary education system; a well-funded university education system; a good and qualitative health care system; good and motorable road infrastructure; affordable housing; a stable power supply; cheap but high-quality food; and the security of their lives and property.
Nigerians need a president that will put an end to the activities of terrorist groups such as ISWAP, Boko Haram, bandits, herdsmen, kidnappers, and other criminals terrorizing innocent citizens. Also, the country needs a president that will fight corruption to a standstill without partiality, a president that will put the right peg in the right hole when appointing the ministers and heads of government parastatals. A president that will create equal opportunities for all the citizens irrespective of whether they are from affluent homes or poor family backgrounds; someone that will respect the rule of law, encourage criticism and peaceful protests.
Enough of voting for selfish politicians, money bags or candidates imposed by godfathers or political jobbers; some of these politicians when elected only carry out the bidding of their godfathers, they are selfish and lack integrity. This must stop. Our mumu don do!
Get your PVCs and vote wisely a team that is academically, socially, economically, religiously and humanly oriented.
Fr. Paul Danbaki Jatau, Ph.D is a Lecturer in the Department of Biblical Theology, Catholic Institute of West Africa, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. He can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org.