POLITICIANS are suddenly awake. The smartest beings in existence think it is time they said a few words to the Nigerians. Power belongs to the people, it is time to wrest it from them democratically. The rituals of declarations, politicking and winning elections centre on politicians and their interests.
When would they be about the people? If it is not zoning, it is about the worthiness of individuals for positions because some groups think so. Nobody is talking about the people, millions of impoverished Nigerians with a pain-filled past, a peripheral present and a fractured future.
They yearned for years for democracy. In its 16th year, democracy has been everything except that it has not met the expectations for jobs, health, food, education, transportation and vitally, spaces for Nigerians to express themselves about their country.
People know less about their country. Politicians ensure issues are befuddled beyond debate. Politics are about power for individual interests that work against the common good. The effort at shutting others out of the political space is the quintessential definition of politics in these parts.
Promises are filling the air, but they are at best empty. Power is the air politicians breathe. They breathe better when they know people are too burdened with pressures of daily existence to bother about politicians. Power is everything. It gives them opportunity to decide who have access to national resources. With power, they can determine everything, almost everything.
What have promises changed in 16 years? Are today’s promises not garnished versions of ones made in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011? Statistics point to the depreciating quality of Nigerian life, with ordinary water-borne illnesses ravaging our people.
Billions of Naira, acquired through whatever means, is being splashed on the contests for power, it is a good investment with profit in record time. Across the country the story is the same, of the nation’s unprecedented generous attention to projects that have failed to improve the quality of our lives. Projects mired in the past are in forecasts for our future.
Nigerians have to vote wisely. Candidates must be those who can liberate the country from the shackles of those waiting to finish her off. The same vicious clan, whose interests are against the people, are scheming to warehouse power and the attendant resources that they think are for their selfish uses.
Debates about the future of Nigeria are important for the advancement of the larger society. The debates would produce more ideas, improve on existing ones and build towers of ideas from which Nigerians would improve their country.
Those with fleeting interests in Nigeria are dangerous – their ceaseless pillaging of Nigeria tells their story.