It is disheartening to hear some people discredit a credible candidate or an aspirant on the ground that it will be difficult for him or her to emerge victorious in any election because to them he or she does not have a political structure to achieve that feat.
I then ask what is this almighty structure that is so great that without it, a promising candidate cannot win any election? Is it a mighty edifice that takes time to build or a tree that when planted, it takes time to germinate before growing to maturity and start bearing fruits or does it made up of animals that takes time to rear to consumption stage? Can this structure be something else other than human beings that can discern and choose between good and bad; a corrupt society and a decent one where equal opportunities are guaranteed, human life is valued, sound education is assured, social services are provided, infrastructures are built as a matter of obligation and not as a favour, discrimination on grounds of tribe, religion, color or creed is de-emphasized?
If the concept of election is anchored on voting and voting is done by human beings, I can then say that the almighty political structure is about human beings. If we realize this and appreciate the fact that one important feature of democracy is the concept of one adult one vote, we can then understand that at least for purposes of election, you and your “big man/corrupt politician” Neighbour are equal as to the weight of your vote on any Election Day. What matters is how you chose to exercise that your franchise. Will you wait for the “big man/corrupt politician” to take you as his structure and tell you to vote for a particular candidate even against your conscience by inducing you with money or material things or do you assess the candidates and vote the right one that you are convinced will deliver democracy dividends to you?
In the end the almighty political structure is not about trees, animals or buildings. The so-called structure is made up of human beings. It is about you and me. If you join your hands and I join mine, are we not building that almighty structure? Let’s stop discouraging ourselves by finding lazy excuses to accept the sorry state of things in Nigeria. Human beings vote and not trees, animals, or buildings. Forget about the illusory structure and go out and vote for the right candidate. Stay behind the polling station and witness the process till the end and ensure that the result as announced is transmitted online by the presiding officer or anyone designed to do so. Do not accept money to vote a wrong candidate. Democracy is about majority and majority of us are disappointed with the way Nigeria is going. Let us unleash that disappointment on the political class by choosing the best candidate in 2023.
Votes will count in this 2023 elections and this is why the “big” political parties are manipulating their primaries in order to produce corrupt and inept candidates so that whichever way, their type will still be in power to continue the pillaging of our treasury. Enough is enough. We should vote personalities this time and not political parties. Let’s look beyond party and look towards our future and that of our children. The new Electoral Act has reduced rigging to barest minimum. The only way they can rig is by sharing money. Let’s reject their money or if you must take it, do not be influenced by it. Vote right still. But going by the news that those who collected money and refused to vote for the aspirants are being asked or forced to return the money, it is better not to accept money.
Let’s join hands to build an egalitarian society, a country of our dream. It is possible; it is doable. Other countries even in Africa have done it. 2023 is our time. Let’s do it.
Chief Donald Ibebuike ESQ.