BY TINUOLA OYINLOLA ASHA

Everything in Nigeria is bewildering. Yes, everything. Most especially, Politics. For instance, why are morally bankrupt, unrefined people with questionable characters holding sway while the enlightened, respected and respectable individuals (for example Professors) could only be collating officers for INEC…counting results that would make small-minded half-illiterates rulers over them?

There’s little or no iota of morality & decency in Nigerian politics. This makes it difficult for morally upright, respectable and enlightened individuals to get involved. From all indications, we as a nation are not concerned about the credibility & competence of the candidates …we are only concerned about our stomachs and pockets…some few nairas and cups of rice will make us support any confirmed rogues and retired looters.

In this nation of ours, credible people with the tenacity and the sincerity of purpose to achieve commendable things, & who genuinely loves and wants to serve this country in various elective capacities, are not encouraged or supported by majority of the people. Whereas, rogues and looters who doesn’t have the moral antecedents to occupy political offices, are loved and celebrated by many for little financial benefits.

Sadly, whoever is sane & bold enough to criticise these recycled politicians with questionable characters are bullied into silence (if you let them) by the same oppressed masses…who are, in most cases, the youths whose futures, hopes and aspirations have been taken away from them by the same rogues they’re defending. I find it really perplexing that those who doesn’t feel a pinch of hardship of the masses are the ones expected to decide the fate of a suffering masses.

I always get stumped with the level of unfair advantage. Our politics is deeply rooted in God-fatherism and money politics. If you are not financially buoyant and/or have a God-father, your political career is as good as non existent. In 2015, a certain half-illiterate Cattle-rearer who has contested for the highest office many times, finally won the presidential elections, thanks to a carefully packaged ruse… He was sold to us as Mr integrity and a Messiah by a Lagos God-father. During that period, so many were made to believe that he was ‘Prophet Moses’ who will lead us to the promised land. No thanks to the God-father for the empty promises and the packaging.

It is safe to conclude that, in present day Nigeria, we don’t have political leaders with genuine national interests at heart. What we have are political dealers who see elective offices as an avenue to milk the whole nation, state or local government dry, and this is why someone who wanted to serve would not see the need to bribe the masses with some money & some few cups of rice just for them to vote for him or her. And because they’re all morally bankrupt by default, it’s a ‘business’ that they’re ready to ‘invest’ as many millions as they can, just to bribe the masses in exchange for votes. And like all business ventures, with time they’re expected to recover their investment if elected… by looting the treasury.

To give a general idea of where we still are politically, the recent governorship primaries in Lagos is a perfect example. It is totally devoid of ideology, bcos its the same party anyway. But what is glaring is that, the least of their concerns were about the interest of the masses. It was generally about the interests of a God-father whose personal interests supersedes that of the masses.

Fellow Nigerian youths, we are all in this present mess because of the mistakes our parents made, when they voted along ethnic & religious lines. Elections is close again, are we still going to repeat the same old mistakes?! Surely, the recycled politicians will still come to us and feed us with many lies and empty promises, but this time around let’s ask for credibility and competency… not some few cups of rice and money. This way we will encourage respected and respectable individuals with the required wherewithal to move our country forward, and ultimately better our lot in life..

Enough of ‘padi padi government’ as the Abami eda (peace be on to him) called it. We the youths are the primary victims of these looters and rogues, and they will continue to mess with our collective future as long as we are supporting them and giving them our mandates. By the way, why can’t we have the likes of Peter obi and Prof Osinbajo as the presidential candidates?! Why must they be good only as ceremonial VPs …glorified errand boys for clueless leaders?! Sadly, this is a country where enlightened, respected and respectable individuals only serve as appendages to the unrefined people with questionable characters.

We deserve better.