A lot of tension, accusation and counter-accusations have been flying around Nigeria, my country, about the scheduled 2015 general elections. I have been watching these with amusement and sometimes join in the debates about the permutations and combinations that would deliver the next set of political leaders. However, I have decided not to vote in the elections and here are three of the reasons why:-
- There is no difference in the political parties and they all lack clear-cut ideologies and blueprints on how to move this nation forward. More importantly for me, they all share a lack of vision. How many of them can paint a picture of Nigeria and Nigerians they envision in the next fifty years and how they intend to achieve that? The answer is: NONE. Not to talk of the ever-changing membership of the parties themselves (I didn’t mention a former foreign affairs minister to Gen. Abacha and a certain former aviation minister turned conspiracy-theorist)
- No country has ever fought two Civil wars and stayed intact (I stand to be corrected on this assertion). Nigeria is fighting a civil war of multi-faceted dimensions, yet the citizenry and the ruling elite have refused to acknowledge it, as if the refusal of a truth will make it seize existing. I have given up on Nigeria. I’m patiently waiting for Post-Nigeria. Will the United States of America’s prophecy of the end of Nigeria by 2015 come true? Who knows?
- Now for the main reason: I have lost faith in democracy as the best system of governance for blacks. Don’t get me wrong: I still believe in universal suffrage. However, one critical omission by the foreigners when they were shoving democracy down our throat was the ingraining in us that for democracy to work, the most critical aspect of it is a conscious and engaging followership. Now where can you find that in black Africa can you find a conscious and engaging followership? A potpourri of reasons ranging from colonisation, bad policies and deliberate subjugation by the elites have made blacks one of the most uneducated (and illiterate) and superstitious set of humans in the world. In Nigeria, you see them all around: the marijuana seller at your junction, the food-seller in the motor park and the cleaner in your favourite buka. These are the hoi-polloi who all have a single vote as you (yes, you. In case you don’t know, you are the exception, not the norm: You have internet access and can use it) and can be swayed easily by emotions of quick monetary gains, ethnicity and religion. How can such a set of people break away from the vicious cycle of inept governance unless another system of governance is instituted?
Now I must state that I do not advocate for a military government as they are part of our present predicament. I believe that blacks needs to find a system of governance that works for us; rather than take the system forced down our throats. What we need is for the African intellectuals to get out of the beer-parlours and the buttocks of politicians and think of a new system of governance that will work for blacks. This may involve borrowing different ideas from different cultures in different eras (personally, I would like indirect universal suffrage). Peppersouping and small-stouting will not save us from ourselves.
*goes back to his siddon look posture*
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