By Chukwuemeka Ezike
Plato is an ancient Greek Philosopher from centuries BC, whose philosophical influence still hold sway in the modern day.So, when he philosophised that the heavy price for apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men, and worse, by our supposed inferiors, he was not just stocking up quotes for use after his demise. Indeed, time and again, world over, this has been proven true.
Now it’s the politicking season again, an important period in the life of our dear nation. Though, today, we are seeing politicians covertly, overtly and systematically campaigning across ethnic, religious and regional divides-some doing their best to divide us along those lines, we will be doing ourselves an obvious disservice in believing that politics and governance are one and the same thing. It takes the aftermath of the elections to realise that the impact of bad leadership is not selective. It doesn’t discriminate against the Christian or Muslim, the Yoruba or Hausa or even the Idoma man in Agatu. It doesn’t even look at age, status or any other ‘lines’ that most of our politicians love so much.
So, the obvious question is, how do we rise above our own disinterest or even better, self-interests to serve the common interest? We must come to the reality of who we are as a people. Like Pythagoras, another philosopher cum mathematician advised, “Man, know thyself.” As Nigerians, we are different people with different orientations, identities, religions, etc. I was born as a Nigerian into a Christian Igbo family. It was not a choice of mine, but something to identify with. That is the organic nature of life! We are born into a certain identity that becomes part of our life. Our differences make us, who we are, make us unique. But despite these differences, we have common interests.
When I go on Twitter, I see different forms of interest pursued diligently by people who have enjoyed the dividend of being close to the corridor of power. Such individuals will sell a goat as cow. Do you understand what I mean? How do you, the common man, buy into the message of the few who have been well-fed by the institution that has milked the country? There are situations that have become troubling for us as a nation and have not helped to harness the potential of us as a people.
The need for a leader that addresses the nation’s challenges in a disruptive way is what we should all seek as Nigerians. Decades have been spent on recycling the leadership of ‘settlements’ or ‘I need to be President.’ It should be a thing of the past. It has not helped move the nation forward.
We in the tech industry seek a better form of leadership to enable what we do. Great leadership will boost the tech ecosystem on a global scale. If you study blockchain technology in Nigeria, it has been self-sustaining and the tech founders have remained persistent in building on innovation within an unfriendly ecosystem. This will be due to belief in the potential of the nation.
In this forthcoming election, every Nigerian should seek the kind of leadership that will enable the different stakeholders in this country build toward a nation that we can all be proud of. At this point, we need to be positioned for all, not just for the few who have the privilege of globe-throttling whenever they want.
When you go to common places like a marketplace where you find all tribes and religions, ask if the leadership of today has affected their lives differently. I am sure you will get a certain answer that goes to show the common citizen will always get the dividend of bad leadership served. It is a call from your fellow citizens to go about this election season asking yourself the right question. The few people from this party who go door-to-door and fly around are trying to get into the circles of power to feel good about themselves.
We have had enough of decades go by with promises made, repeatedly slammed in our faces and never delivered upon. How will Nigeria become a better nation if the people are not setting a course in that direction? As a people, we need to start demanding accountability from the leaders that we be put into positions. Let us not forget, they have demanded enough from us over the years, we have given but have received very little in return. We need to ask ourselves what we need to do differently to ensure that we are on the right track as a nation, this time.
For the 2023 elections, some of these politicians still believe that it is going to be business as usual and they are already forcing down non-existent ideologies, promises in well scripted manifestoes down your throats. They promise Eldorado itself and push ‘a superhero’ hero or heroes for the next four years. I implore you to ask yourself if that candidate is truly a superhero. How has he communicated his or her intentions to you? If a leader is communicating with only those that are seeking to keep an occultic form of fellowship, then you might end up voting a cultist into Aso Rock!
Why you are on the street facing reality on the ground. Those political influencers who talk more than they execute for any common interest will leave you behind and be settled in a position of power.
I’m from Nigeria’s tech community, and I think that with the right kind of leadership and a little bit of empathy, Nigeria will once again be able to play a big role in the world. Again, I say to you, don’t let anyone sell you on sentiments but focus on one with character towards nation-building. Due to inflation, every tribe and religion is paying more for items. This means that Nigeria is for Nigerians, and no one is safe from bad leadership except the few political operatives who rant on Twitter and elsewhere. Take the process of selecting a candidate for the 2022 elections seriously. This means a lot to the future of the nation.
With 90 million plus voters as declared by INEC, now is your time to take that voting decision process like a research project. Obey the call for a better nation.
Ensure you take the process of choosing your candidate very seriously. Not by sentiments or parades of beautiful uniforms sown by the milked wealth of the masses. However, through observations of practice and effective communication with the people they intend to serve, my hope is to see a greater Nigeria before my time elapses.
Chukwuemeka Ezike is a public affairs commentator who wears the dual caps of the Vice-President, Media and Publicity for the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), and Community Lead, Emurgo Africa.
Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of Vantage News Nigeria or any employee thereof.