Over the last few months, both the print and electronic media have been going on and on about the forthcoming general elections. This is a good development because the next election presents a chance for change. Change from the way things used to be from independence to the present day.
In Nigeria, election period is greeted with non-chalance because there is widespread apathy among the electorate and this has been identified as a major challenge in the electioneering process in Nigeria. Many citizens have lost hope in the “project Nigeria” because everything seems to be the way it is since independence. Corruption is still endemic; maladministration persist; tribalism and sectionalism are still ingrained; mismanagement of the economy continues unabated; partisanship still exist; nepotism is pervasive; political intolerance and violence have become the order of the day; and election malpractices remains unaddressed.
The citizens are disinterested because their votes do not count, the leaders are dishonest looking after themselves rather than the ordinary people, Nigerians have been let down by their representatives etc. Politicians on the other hand are not making effort to regain the confidence of the electorate. Many of them want to maintain the status quo because it favors embezzlement of public funds, unaccountability and perpetuation. In my opinion, the idea of transition from one government to another is mainly to bring about change thereby making life more interesting for the citizens. Unfortunately, the Nigerian situation has been same old, same old. The system does not give room for young, selfless and dynamic leaders who can bring about the desired change. Politicians, policies and positions have been recycled from time to time by the power blocs in Nigeria . These people hold their fellow countrymen and women to ransom because of their selfish gains. It is amazing how men could be so greedy for power that they would put fellow human beings at a disadvantage in order to acquire wealth and power. Worse still, they are not satisfied with the ill-gotten power and possessions despite impoverishing Nigerians since independence. Its high time politicians of yesteryears paved the way for new breeds of politicians who are passionate about moving Nigeria forward and changing her fortunes from bad to good.
Truly, one cannot teach an old dog new tricks and that is why Nigeria needs individuals with fresh thinking and ideas to get her out of the doldrums. Most Nigerian leaders are like leopards that cannot change its spots. Will they ever give others the chance even though it’s out of character? Nigerians do not expect a change in the character of their leaders but rather the replacement of bad leaders with good ones. It is said that lightning never strikes in the same place twice but Nigeria is an exception. The country has been experiencing the same problem from one republic to the other.
Nonetheless, the next general election is presenting another chance for change and it behooves all Nigerians of voting age to vote and stand by their votes. We must not allow unscrupulous politicians to continue to rig our future. Here is another opportunity to take our chances and work towards the Nigeria of our dreams. Our failure to make wise choices in the past has cost the nation a lot besides Nigerians have paid dearly for picking wrong choices. Need we remind ourselves about the suffering of over 50 years? We must enforce our rights to choose fresh crop of leaders who would govern us and put the interest of the common man first.