As the new election year (2019) draws close, as expected, we will see renewed efforts from the current government to respond rapidly to issues talked about by the masses and countless corn-eating, garri sipping, cute family portraits and other mass appealing activities by the Nigerian political class.

This is always expected. Just in case you aren’t aware, it is good for you to know so now before you start posting about how humble so and so is by eating regular food and taking family photos with high fives and whatnots.

You just might not have realized that these politicians use foreign consultants who study your behavior and come up with strategies that will make you go ‘awwwww’, becloud your reasoning and make you vote for their clients while they take fat cheques or heavy wire transfers and their clients sit on you and siphon money through fat budgets they hardly ever implement.

Once the local consultants study what works from the campaign of the other man, they tweak it a bit and play it on you and get the same result. They count on your stupidity and lack of sense of reasoning.

Yes. They do.
They are image experts and know just what to do to make their clients look good and wire him up as a choice into your head so that you throw in or sell out your support to them, idolizing them or better still, idolizing the smoke screen image they put up before you.

This has been the case in both the presidential and state government race.

What we don’t realize is that POWER truly belongs to the people and the more people they can fool, the more power they can have given up from the masses and over to them. They play you up and have you give away your power through your vote and blind loyalty and then they bring in their preferred candidates on different levels of governance and have them take your power too on those levels by brandishing party sentiments mixed with nonsensical emblems and money transfers where necessary.

It’s been a POWER PLAY all along. They play you up and take the power from you, get into office and underperform and when election year comes by, they whip up sentiments again and have you vote them in or those that they feel are loyal to them….sadly, many enjoy this abusive relationship or are too placid to notice.

Nigerians, when will we wake up?

Recently I have seen many people that supported politicians in the last election come out to say they wish they had never supported them. I remember using my social media walls to speak up in warning that Nigerians should not buy the ‘BS’ these politicians cook up but should rather evaluate their precedents and clearly stated intentions of the presidential and gubernatorial candidates. Many said to me ‘Philip, leave that thing…this particular candidate I support is a messiah’.

Today, most of them are condemning the same person they supported and raising their voices higher in condemnation while some are still too stunned or too proud to admit their wrong choice.

They totally forgot that power belongs to the people in their bid to give power to a superman they thought has all the power to ‘change’ Nigeria. Power belongs to the people, once the illusion they concoct is kept on the people, power is taken from the people.

As the next election year draws close, as usual, politicians have started politicking and throwing up sentiments in your faces. New emotional coats of paint will be painted white into your hearts and in no time, you are expected to forget the journey so far and get caught in the frenzy of campaigning for them and defending your preferred candidate while attacking those that support their opponent(s), forgetting that at the end of it all, these guys enjoy while you and your fellow masses you cuss out will be the ones with the repercussions.

Today, I make my stance clear. Any candidate that belongs to the past of Nigeria and that is not capable of moving Nigeria forward into a better reality is not my choice of candidate for the presidency. If a candidate can’t speak for himself or herself and put precedents before us of what he/she has achieved as well as give us a clear road map of what he/she will achieve for Nigeria as a president, he/she is not my president.

If any presidential hopeful thinks playing up on the sentiments of the people will work for him/her, then I must say, it depends on the number of people he/she can still fool this time around.

Dear Nigerians, it really is up to us. We are the ones that feel the repercussions of the bad choices of leadership. These guys are cushioned by the money they siphon while in government and hardly ever feel the result of their poor choices, lack of foresight and poor performance. We must wake up and guard the process of giving them power and also get to hold them accountable for their performance while in office by putting their campaign promises right before us and evaluating their performance in delivering those promises.

No, we must not make silly excuses for these ones. No one must allow anybody whip up sentiments from us, get into power and underperform and then come all humble again when it is election time to get our heads turned again. We must not also allow anyone ride on the winds of the poor performance of the government, get into power and do even worse.

We must guard the process. These people don’t even need our votes. Yes, until we find a credible way of conducting genuine elections, they won’t need our vote. All they need is to be popular amongst us and they will ride on that popularity to rig themselves into victory whether you vote or not.

So, we need to be careful who we make popular as a candidate via our social media handles and media appearances. We need to be careful who we allow the conversations tilt to in support as the election year draws close. All the powers that be need to see is who we talk fondly of most and that’d be all they need to rig them into power. They do so with the hope that there won’t be an outcry since the majority supports them.

Let’s be wiser this 2019.

If the current president wants to be re-elected, he must show us what he has done in his first tenure within and away from his campaign promises and also be able to show us what has been done with the budgets we hear so much about during senate hearings and seem to not see much in implementation.

If anybody that has previously been in government position wants to come back as our president, he/she must show us what he/she did previously in government and also face any allegation of fraud that may come up as well as show us a road map of what he or she would achieve in power and be ready to be held accountable within his/her first tenure of the promises made during campaign.

If any new candidate that has not been in power before wants to join the presidential race, he or she must show us antecedents/achievements from their place of business or service and a clear road map of what they want to achieve and be ready too to be held accountable if they underperform within a tenure.

That said, if you are a presidential hopeful and have no antecedents or true commitment to the betterment of the lives of Nigerians, YOU ARE NOT MY PRESIDENT.

If you think eating corn, sipping garri, taking family portraits and playing up antics that will make you look like an underdog while you grasp power and underperform, YOU ARE NOT MY PRESIDENT.

If you think congratulating music stars with huge fan base for awards they win or singles they release while we have a Nigerian whose robot is currently being sold by Apple that never got congratulated by you because he has no fan base you can look good to while you campaign, YOU ARE NOT MY PRESIDENT.

Whoever you are, if you have no clear intentions that will lead this country to a better place, reduce the cost of living and make citizens have a sense of belonging to a country they can fondly call home, YOU ARE NOT MY PRESIDENT.

Finally, if your vision can’t move this nation forward and to get on par with or even surpass developed nations in technology, education, governance, security, industries, etc, YOU ARE NOT MY PRESIDENT.

Nigerians, let’s open our eyes. Let’s understand that these guys need popularity even more than our votes. Let’s be careful who we make popular. They count on you to fill their stadiums. They count on you to use your social media walls to support their candidacy. They count on you to influence those who follow you to support them. It’s a power play. Be sure who you give that power to is the right candidate that should be your president.

ABOUT THE WRITER: Philip Asuquotes is a strategy consultant. He studied Mass Communication in the University of Nigeria Nsukka and has been active in the sphere of branding and brand communications. He is the convener of PAQ SESSION, a live innovation and thought leadership summit. He can be reached via [email protected] or @philasuquotes on Twitter and instagram.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here