By Ogwazu Nnamdi
As political campaigns and declarations rent the air across Nigeria States with some blowing their horns in favour of preferred candidates while others mount the vehicles/motorcycles displaying skills to applaud of numerous on the open field that I pinched myself. This is purely in utter disbelief that there exists nothing new in the displays outside the considerations that the men who rode in 2011 may have only succeeded in showing the very old vehicle/Motorcycle used. The realization made me undertake an inner review of our Politicians and their saintly work during electioneering period.
Though, some flashes of thought seem to suggest that my efforts at understanding the situation may have been fixed on my present conclusion that the next four and more years belong to a thinking generation. It certainly not those who would be swept off by the ranting of the present Political class with little or no figures to show that the veracity of what they seem to preach. This seemed to me more as the thrust of Prof Chukwuma Soludo’s current debate published in Vanguard in relation to Buhari vs President Goodluck Jonathan, and which some persons may have taken from the sideline and name calling.
The period we are faced presently may either make or mar us as a nation and possibly distort the pace of the black race and in effect, create bigger pockets for the nations that overtime thought it wise that someday in man’s history a time would arrived when crude oil may command less attraction.
Today, I have watched numerous campaign across Political Parties with less issues to digest, hope pushed to the alter of no return with the advertised road to paradise pointing in the direction of no verifiable statistics. I am amused but with my tongue in cheek over what to say or do in a matter where talking may have succeeded in giving one a tag of talkative.
Indeed, those who pushed the idea of demographics as a compass to righting assumed wrong especially when it points to the Youths as holding the magic wand in determining who leads may have rushed too far in a matter that stretches beyond numbers. Have you looked at the Campaign venues to appreciate what it takes to gather the same youths who may have appeared in seven different campaigns with only the poster/banner and branded T-shirts as the distinguishing factor.
A recent discussion with set of youths held me captive for some hours as persons who I had believed that their educational attainment may help to push newer frontiers in our democratic evolution vowed to move with any candidate who would place some currencies on the table. Also, some vehemently opposed my desire for a Nigeria where peoples’ power counted, and acts of corruption treated with greater denigration. Theirs were for a continuation of the existing situation until they have grabbed assumed portion and possibly big enough to muscle the tiny voices of Nigerians pushed to the walls. This situation would probably rubbish the statistics of higher youthful population and more, when the price tag on the recruits ranges from five hundred to one thousand Naira. You can imagine the price!
More so, I ran into another group who had great challenge appreciating the emergence of men whose sources of wealth may have been subject of Anti-graft discuss but today call the shots in Politics as god-fathers or Players on the Political turf that one begins to wonder if actually we understood the signs of the time with severally adjusted oil benchmark, and the growing unemployment market that seems to suggest a nation on the path to Golgotha.
The women are not exempted from the growing trend as some may have turned themselves into full time Politicians hopping from one campaign vehicle to the other, clutching their hand fans and often on their branded wrappers. They cared less on the programmes of the Candidates and not even the attendant effect on the coming generations who happens to be the children.
Equally, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) published names of Candidates for National Assembly from different Political Parties with majority flying the kite of School Certificate. Now! I ask, why do the Federal Civil Service create categories of workers with the School Certificate holders placed at the lower rung of the ladder but, in Politics where Intellectual capacity is of importance we choose to paddle with School certificate. On the other hand, if we accept that men with higher degrees could come up with solutions to complex problems, why did we jettison same in this case of Politicians? Yet, they have consistently fixed large sum for their upkeep in annual budget even when there is a decline in oil revenue and the risk of austerity stares us in the face.
Now that our goose laying the golden egg have tumbled in the global market to a little above forty (40 +) dollars and yet we had different approvals on projects whose completion period may have been advertised? How do we get ourselves out of this entanglement? Where lies the fate of our coming generations in an event that oil continues the slump in price amid the greater demand to service our lust for luxury.
There is the contentious issue of salary backlog among States Chief Executives especially with some spanning for upward of 4 months and yet these men paid heavily to sign-off delegates during the Party congress and yet, could not pay the Civil/Public servant their rightful salary.
Frankly, we must appreciate what national development sign-post before we can address the Monster. Also, we should know the position of truth among the ruling class before we can swim along or distrust consumes us.
The Politics of 2015 should be reserved for creative minds and giant thinkers whose value- bank grows on daily basis. We must get men and Women whose capacities could give us a new economic frame fitted on stronger foundation. Yes! Men and women who would not chicken out in the present contest but, simulates situation that would create higher value for the nation.
It is certainly a time to elect roboust men and women in our executive and Legislature, and who would not accept necessarily any excuse but pointing to the future with dates.
(Nnamdi is An Owerri based Journalist and National Commentator, he can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org)