By Ayodele Adio
‘OYINBO kano! When will you be picking up your PVC?’
‘It’s in my possession already! But why ask?’
‘Well, you do know that elections are barely a year away and your vote could change the country!’
‘Come on! Not again!You have been guilty of living in the clouds for so long! When will you realise that the real clog in our nation’s wheel of progress is constitutional and not attitudinal? ‘Wake up and smell the coffee’!
‘Oga’! I’m fully awake! Ok, is it the constitution that encourages politicians to steal or misuse public funds? Let us call a spade what it is! It is our minds that must be renewed! Nothing is wrong with our constitution my brother.’
‘Obviously, you have been drinking from the same cup with the very people who want to maintain the status quo. They argue, albeit mischievously, that once people with the fear of God and a strong character get into public office, redemption is bound to come! Well, one only need look at the occupants of the highest offices in the land to squash that theory!
‘You have a point there oh! Even some ‘men of God’ in public offices now tell ‘white lies’!
‘My brother! Ours is a case of ‘the more things change, the more they remain the same.’
‘I, however, remain cautiously optimistic about a real game changer in 2019! Perhaps, the momentum the ‘not too young to run’ movement has garnered could propel young voters across the country to make a turning point decision at the polls.’
‘I wish I could share in your optimism! Sadly, all I see at the end of this tunnel is everything but light!’
‘That is too much pessimism! You have gone a bridge too far! A few of the ‘new kids on the block’ should excite you! Professor Kingsley Moghalu, Adamu Garba, Fela Durotoye and a couple of others!’
To be honest, I have deep respect for Professor Moghalu, and his capacity to deliver, particularly on the economy, is not in doubt! However, a dubious and ‘sickle-celled’ political arrangement called zoning has automatically shut the door on the geopolitical zone he hails from! This again is symptomatic of the structural malaise that continues to plague this country! ‘it is our turn’ will always be considered ahead of ‘capacity’!
‘Are you saying there are no competent people from every region in the country?’
‘Don’t be silly! This isn’t about a contest of competence amongst the geopolitical zones but about creating a level playing field where candidates will run on a track record of performance and not state of origin!’
‘So what exactly is your point?’
‘Listen! You must understand that the system has been rigged in favour of a political elite that care less about the next generation! All they care about is the next election! To think that ‘PVCs’ will rescue this country from gross ineptitude in 2019 is to attempt to cross the Atlantic on a bicycle!’
‘Now I’m utterly gutted and deflated! What then can we do?’
‘Pick your ‘PVCs’, vote but never stop challenging this system built on patronage! Ultimately, except we reform structurally, very little progress can be made!’