I am guilty. You are as well. In fact, we all are guilty of this self-destruct crime.
Yes, we are! Are we not the ones who complain and do nothing? Are we not benign lot who can bear anything that comes our way? Have you forgotten that we are the ones whose livid hearts can be placated with ad-hominem phrases such as ‘Good people, Great nation’?
Don’t be quick to forget that we are the same people beaten and battered yet smile as if all is well. Guess why they call us good people? We are a people of great might and endurance, who will always keep mum in the face of tyranny and oppression. Answer me, are we not?
Why then do we complain as if we don’t deserve we get? Why do we rave and rage about leaders who only live to plunder our treasury? Why do we loath politicians and other sycophants who take us for a ride when we actually gave them the power to do so? Why do we sit hand-in-cheek and expect the gods to change our fortunes as a nation. Haven’t we had enough of this?
As the 2011 elections beckons our politicians are at their best again. These purveyors of sweet–lies and larger than life promises are coming at us from all corners. Their mission, as we have always known is to cajole us into giving them our power (votes). They want to ride on our backs to actualize their in-ordinate ambitions. I ask you, will you let them again?
Will you let them steal our votes and subject us to another four years of gloom? Will you let them leverage on our political apathy as a license to oppress us. Will you watch them infringe our rights to choose who governs us just because we think politics is a dirty game? Will you?
I ask you students of defunct ivory towers, who complain of libraries without books and teachers obsolete knowledge? I ask you, the true Nigerians, who bellyache daily about bad roads, epileptic power supply and a crumbling economy. Have you not had enough?
A famous Chinese proverb says “Insanity begins when we do things the same way and expect different results”, nothing will change in this country until we change our approach. Until you and I see our selves as active players in the scheme of things, our lives will get harder.
With the elections just months away, it is our opportunity for change the game. It is time to convert our pains, anger and frustrations into votes. It is the only way to kick out the bad heads in our government quarters.
Ignore the politician with a counterfeit smile on that bill board asking you to join him in nation building. Pay no heed to that radio jingle singing praises of a ‘bad man’ as a man of the people. Flip beyond the pages portraying a liar as a saint in that newspaper and magazine. It is our turn to push them aside.
Enough of this docility. Enough of blabbing without acting, this is the moment we have been waiting for. We can stir a revolution without guns and swords. We can birth the change we have always craved if we insist that things must be done the right way.
If you and I troop to the polling booths to cast our votes and ensure that those votes count, there will be no room for rigging. We will be able to dislodge ballot box snatchers and their acolytes when we refuse to leave the polling stations until the entire results are collated
Freedom is expensive but the rewards are immeasurable. Maxim Gorky knew the cost and importance of freedom when he said “The only people who deserve freedom are those who are ready to fight for it everyday”.
If we want freedom from the hands of desperate politicians, who are only interested in taking their chunk of the national cake baked from the sweat and blood of innocent citizens, then we must be ready to fight. Nobody has to die; we will just use our will power and votes to wrestle ourselves out of their grips.
In the words of Karl Marx, “political apathy cannot be cured by political isolation” Nigerians must show more than just a passive interest in the politics of the land. We are the ones who wear the shoes and know where it hurts. We are the ones who risk death when we ply the death traps we have as roads. We are the ones who bear the brunt when doctors and lecturers down tools. We are the jabbers of poverty living below one dollar a day. We are the jaded citizens who desire change.
Sacrifice is the cost of the change we seek. The sacrifice required to effect change begins with registration as eligible voters. We must all make efforts to ensure that we register in the ongoing voters registration exercise. As we have seen in Ghana, South Africa, Edo, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo, the will of the people can prevail through the ballot box. Get out the vote, it is the first step in birthing the change we seek.