In about 5 days, millions of Nigerians will leave their houses to queue up in voting centres to exercise their civic duty and cast their vote for their Presidential candidate. There are several presidential aspirants but if we're being pragmatic only two have a shot namely the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. So either we get taken to the Next Level or we become Atikulated.
Personally, I believe none of them should be running, why? Because they're septuagenarians. In most countries the retirement age for government jobs is 60 or 65 years and since ruling a country is a government job this rule should be extended to it. It takes energy, insight, a sound mind inter alia to run a country properly and successfully.
This same class of people have been ruling Nigeria since it went under military rule and then into civilian rule. Buhari ruled Nigeria as Head of State from 1983 to 1985 and Atiku served as Vice President from 1999 to 2007. Why are people who have ruled in their youth not leave space for other youths to come into power. Are they not tired? Buhari isn't of sound health or sound mind, the fact that he spent over 100 days in the UK for an undisclosed illness in 2017 is enough. To make matters worse as he's going around the country campaigning for APC, he's prone to tripping on himself and mixing up his words, calling other people presidential candidates and said he entered office in 2005.
Atiku seems to be of sound health but he has a series of controversies related to corruption such as how he wasn't allowed in the US but he went there last month. His American wife helped him launder some money, enriching himself through his position in Customs and he even admitted blatantly in a recent interview that he will enrich his friends if he becomes President.
The truth is that in Nigeria, we just have to choose between the lesser of two evils. With the way we do politics in Nigeria it's near impossible to have a "good President" because you know what they say "you can't polish a turd." Why do I say this? I believe government is the most lucrative enterprise in Nigeria, if you go into government and don't enrich yourself even your family will insult you whether in open or secret.
The system is bad and bad systems will always lead to bad or sub-par presidents. There are many well intentioned people who can turn Nigeria if they're given the chance to become President but there are many barriers such as money because I think the nomination form is about N45m and even Buhari said he couldn't afford it. In a country where a significant amount of people are poor this fee is extremely extravagant.
Another barrier is not being from the North, if you're not from the North and Muslim the chances of you ruling the country is very little, in our 58+ years of independence, there have been only few non-Northern rulers such as Azikiwe (who doesn't really count because he was a ceremonial head), Ironsi, Obasanjo and Jonathan.
When these sort of things happen in a multi party system, it leads to one or two parties having too much power as was the case with PDP until APC came along to shake up their monopoly but they're more or less still the same group of people. This can lead to voter apathy which is a big issue in Nigeria.
Many people especially young people have lost faith in the ruling class, they don't see the point in voting or even getting their PVC because they believe their vote doesn't count and the elections will be rigged. My barber even told me he is willing to sell his vote for 50k. I don't blame apathetic voters as the recent elections in Osun showed that when the the APC candidate supposedly lost to the PDP candidate in the gubernatorial elections some power moves were made and the elections were subsequently called off. When the get your PVC campaign was all over social media I asked myself one question "What's the point when the people you want to vote for are not even running?"
Another problem plaguing Nigeria is electoral violence and fear and intimidation tactics, one could argue that the Python Dance is one of such tactics. It is not news in Nigeria that there's violence before, during and after elections; a strong memory comes to mind of the violence that erupted in Kaduna state on my dad's birthday (18th April) when Buhari lost to Jonathan in the 2011 elections. Kaduna and a host of over states are hot beds for electoral violence and I don't see the point because the people they're killing themselves for will send their children abroad when elections are upon us as they wreak mindless havoc.
I know I'm a bit incoherent but I am kind of ranting so my apologies. At the end of the day as you vote, vote for someone who you think will create the Nigeria you want to see if you don't like Buhari or Atiku vote for someone else. Don't sell your vote for whatever reason, it's akin to selling your birth right like Esau did, don't be a political tool of havoc for people that won't send their children to vote, as you're voting on Saturday be cautious and stay safe.
WELL, THAT'S IT FROM ME GUYS, NOW...
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