Does It Concern You?

Political apathy has been the bedrock of Nigeria's agony, facilitated by tribal stereotypes and illiteracy, it has pushed the country into the hands of incompetent wolves in sheep clothing that do little else than embezzling public funds and delivering underdevelopment. See why it might concern you through this chronical, historical analysis of why you must vote

On the 8th of June 1998, the country of Nigeria was thrown into pandemonium; while some sections of the country mourned the inexplicable death of what was to be the last dictatorial leadership in the country's history, several sections of the country were ecstatic, perseverance in prayer had finally borne fruit. Simply put, General Sani Abacha was dead. His death would bring an end to a tumultuous period that included three democratically-elected governments and several military coups (bloody and peaceful) in the nation's history.

His successor, Abdulsalami Abubakar, would go on to surprise several critics and organize an election, accept the results and hand over power. Under his temporal leadership, the country would go on to adopt a modified version of the 1979 Constitution, an exact replica of the foremost nation in the world then, The United States of America. So, due to perceived injustice to the South Western zone of the country in the previously conducted election, the nation elected a former military head of state in 1999, with the popular People's Democratic Party (PDP) gaining the majority in the two Chambers of the legislator, it also controlled many of the 36 states, later that year, The newly-elected president would choose the winner of the just concluded Adamawa State governorship election to be his second-in-command.

The new government was on its way; it was "democratic," it was "Authentic," and it was "Credible." After all, it was modeled after the most successful nation in modern history and their strong belief in democracy; what could go wrong. Democracy, they said, gave power back to millions of Nigerians who had been oppressed for many years under the dictatorial military regimes, time for the people to take control (the ruling party had its name for a reason), but democracy was very subjective and precarious, it depended in no small basis on the capabilities of strong and functioning institutions, The Court of Law, The Rule of Law, The Legislator, an independent electoral body and a functioning Public service sector, The various checks and balances and most importantly the capability of the millions of voters.

The latter, which is controlled by the amount of literacy spread across the nation, for democracy to work, it had to have voters who, unlike natural human inclination, had the ability to resist subjective tendencies and sentiments, in favor of the general well-being of the entire nation, in this new democratic nation; however, the reverse was the case most of the public servants, politicians and voters were controlled first of all by a deeply-ingrained vigor towards tribal sentiments. Even the supposedly educated elites fell into this trap, and of course, the politicians were happy to exploit it absolutely. So Campaigns weren't based on developmental strategies or ideological manifestoes but on hot takes filled with half-truths without contexts and stereotypical speeches, but we struggled on through a weak, manipulatable electoral body and massive electoral malpractice, severe underdevelopment, a one-sided archaic educational system, through massive electoral embarrassment and heartless public funds embezzlements, through vote buying and through it all we kept suffering and smiling, managing to win the envied prize of "the happiest people on the planet," the four-year tenure came and went, and it got worse, this wasn't democracy, but we didn't care, in a country of more than 120 million citizens, more than half of eligible voters failed to participate or sold their votes, the government was a scam.

In 2007, despite strong attempts by the ruling president to extend his now-ending tenure, the country elected a new president, a soft-looking, easy-going former Governor with a seven-point agenda; he had a hat-wearing south southerner as his vice, with the former vice president left to lick his wounds of defeat and to plot his way to the summit again, (he is still plotting till date). The new president was ill, and despite receiving the very best medical care known to man at the time, he succumbed to the cold hands of death and was replaced by his vice, the former Bayelsa State Governor. Jonathan would go on to clinch the PDP ticket, beating "you know who" in the primaries, and then defeat his nemesis in the general election to become the third elected president in the fourth republic.

During the 20th century, the country had several problems, including education, human rights subjugation, and embezzlement of public funds, but insecurity was relatively unheard of; but then, as we crossed into the 2010s, it started creeping out, a fundamentalist group in the North East would camp inside a large forest and perpetuate the vilest events in the nation's history, suicide bombing? Check

Public slaughter? Check Kidnapping? Check. On the night of the 14th of April, 2014, more than 200 school girls were kidnapped from their school in a famous event now known as the Chibok girls kidnapping. The full-scale war on terror began, and the nation's security system was called into question worldwide. The very next year, a coalition of the ruling party's biggest rivals would come together and form a party that could now match the ruling party in terms of grassroots politics and political structure. They elected the president's nemesis as their candidate (leaving "you know who" in the mud again), and quite suddenly, the newly rebranded party had a strong arguing point; the current president was academia and a petty, weak civilian; he probably doesn't have enough balls to do the needful to protect innocent lives and property perishing away in the hands of this insurgency group. We bring you this immaculate, incorruptible savior with a huge military background, something you'll need. The internal struggles in the ruling party led to several key members defecting to this rebranded party and would ultimately cost them the 2015 general elections.

Unlike the natural Nigerian political inclinations, the ruling president surrendered power peacefully, and the nation had a new leader now seven years later; after several experiences under this government, the farce fight against corruption, the continuous dilapidation of the economy and the currency, the government has also failed in its foremost promise of protecting lives and property, the insecurity now is so glaring and obvious, it overwhelms the security details of the country.

Insurgency? Check Kidnapping? Check Secessionists? Check Herdsmen? Check

So as we head into this next election, most of the eligible voters have now felt the pangs of inflation, the boredom of ASUU strikes, the cold hands of Medically preventable deaths, the intimidations of kidnappers, and the general fear of closing your eyes. It does concern us now; if this government did achieve anything, it is it's an involuntary wake-up call on the citizens to get up and shape this country; we have to show that through a non-functional public sector, a poverty-stricken nation, the never-ending shackles of godfatherism, and untrustworthy electoral system and a system of education that flatters to deceive, subjugating critical thinking, creativity, and progress while extolling nothing more than memory tests, we can rise above such challenges and sincerely for the first time in history truly choose our leaders, and hold them accountable, rise above petty tribal and religious sentiments and practice the democracy we copied for the first time. It is not about voting for a particular candidate; generally, it's about proving that we can make something happen and keep these politicians on their toes, so don't say "he doesn't have any chance of winning."

Democracy, despite all its obvious flaws, when practiced right, achieves something no other system of government does; truly handing power to the masses. So Nwanne, go and get your PVC; no matter the frustration and time-wasting, it is better than 1 dollar = 1 thousand Naira.

Selah #Oscar...

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