By Chinwengozi Udechukwu
Nigerian Politicians And Same Old Failed Promises (2019 General Election On My Mind)
Nigerian politicians have always surprised me. Truth be told, being a Nigerian is very hard. I don’t vote. Not because my vote won’t count, but because in Nigerian Politics I’m yet to see any politician worthy of my vote. Over the years, I have carefully observed the Nigerian Politics; I’m not satisfied with what I have seen. I believe there better ways elections can be conducted, and I’m not impressed by the caliber of politicians that run for political offices.
Personally, I would prefer a young vibrant individual to contest for any available political office. I don’t care about the party. I just want somebody who knows what he or she is doing. Truth be told, all the political parties in Nigeria have failed us. And also, Nigerians should know better. The politicians I have seen so far know nothing about serving a country. They are rulers not servants. In a democratic country you don’t rule, you serve. We need politician who know how to serve not rulers.
Investigative journalist, Kemi Olunloyo of HNNAfrica once said: “Nigerians are illiterate”. This statement angered many, me included. I later understood what she meant. We, Nigerians are really smart and some are well educated, yet we are illiterates. We have a lot of knowledge we don’t know how to use. We don’t ask questions when we are supposed to for fear of being tagged disrespectful. We know things are not the way it’s supposed to be, but we prefer to settle for the way things are presently, because it’s easier. We don’t think long term; we want things to start changing immediately. I’m not saying immediate change is not good, but there are things that take time to materialize.
Whenever I listen to most of these politicians being interviewed, the answers they give to the basic questions they are asked show how uninformed and unprepared they are. I wonder if they even have campaign advisers. One time, I was listening to a Nigerian/international artist, Falz, a great guy. He interviewed this young politician Mr Olasubomi Okeowo. A brilliant man but not well informed.
Falz asked, “As president of Nigeria, how can you change Nigeria from a consuming country to a producing country?” He answered, “what can Nigeria produce?” He later tried to do damage control on social media. He explained that he was talking about our capability to produce quality product. I was shocked. If you look all over this country you would see lots of things that are produced; shoes, clothes, foods, papers, etc even without adequate capital and access to good loans. And even if he didn’t notice these, the person asking the question is a producer. Although he does not produce physical products, he produces songs which are exported all over Africa and the world. So Nigeria has a lot she can produce, and has potential to produce more. The man is not aware of his country’s productive capabilities, he underestimates Nigeria. And I’m sure he’s not the only politician with this same opinion.
I’m looking forward for the day I, as an ordinary Nigerian citizen, not a journalist, a plain John Doe can ask an aspiring politician questions, no matter how silly the questions might be, about what I expect from him or her. I’m tired of these politicians promising same old thing to us every election period.
Nigerian Televisions stations should be able to organize debates in all 36 states and major towns in the country. Politicians should be able to explain their portfolios, also explain in details how they are going achieve their set developmental target.