PENDULUM BY DELE MOMODU
Fellow Nigerians, you would agree with me that the race for Nigeria’s Presidential election has started in earnest. Many aspirants have already removed their gloves and are crisscrossing the country and engaging in consultations with the influential stakeholders of their respective political parties and persons of political, business and social clout generally.
Exciting times are here again! However, let me advise those wanting to run for the most exalted political office in our country to kindly cool temper and not only do the right things, but reflect on their environment and the mood of the nation. I have noticed that most of the aspirants don’t think Nigeria can ever change. Similarly, they don’t even think the youths would ever have a say in what goes on in their country. And if they do, they do not believe that they should be given a chance or have a voice. They see and treat the young ones as being totally helpless and hopeless.
This attitude may well turn out to be their failing and downfall. As the saying goes, pride goeth before a fall. The arrogance of our politicians and their disdain and disrespect of the youths is distressing and disheartening, but it may also turn out to be a blessing when the young folks take matters into their own hands and demonstrate that they are a veritable force to be reckoned with.
Let me explain why our politicians often feel so cocky and self-assured. One. They know the power and influence of cash in the affairs of human beings everywhere in the world. So, Nigeria can’t be an exception. As a matter of fact, it is a crime to be poor in our dear beloved country. This is the reason many people prefer politics to their daily chores. They see politics as the fastest and shortest route to unimaginable wealth. But I believe many people feel that things have shifted in the right direction since Major General Muhammadu Buhari returned to power in 2015. He has made the young ones so angry to the extent that they can no longer ignore the shenanigans of politicians. We must therefore thank God for little mercies.
Out of bad situations, some good stuff often come out. Buhari has left us with no choice but to work harder than ever at sacking his ruling government from power. That this must be done by our concerted effort, just like we assisted him in sacking Goodluck Jonathan has become imperative and plainly obvious. For that reason, cash and power have taken a bit of a back seat. However, while this task may appear simple for now, I am under no illusion that sacking APC ignominiously from power would ever be an easy walkover. It will be an arduous objective to attain because APC holds the appurtenances of power tightly by the reins and is unwilling to let go without an almighty struggle and fearsome battle.
Two. The politicians understand the fact that most of our youths hardly show interest in political affairs. While many would sit endlessly on social media throwing verbal missiles, deservedly, at our leaders, they do nothing concrete about regime change. So, the politicians come round every election cycle to exploit the unfortunate lacuna created by the disinterest, lethargy, negativity and apathy of the youths in this respect. If anything must change, our youths must show more than mere cursory interest in politics and the electoral process. Anything short of this would continue to spell doom for our great nation. I believe that there is some awakening, but it must be turned into a groundswell of movements. The momentum must be heightened, and the volume turned up.
Three. The politicians understand that many young ones have little knowledge of the required structures and platforms which are very necessary and key for winning elections. They dissipate too much time, energy, and resources on political parties without prospects and end up becoming serial losers. If the truth must be told, it is virtually impossible to win a Presidential election from a local political party with no extensive national spread. I can place a huge bet on this with the knowledge that I will win every time. Practically all the younger aspirants expect automatic tickets from their little-known minnows of political parties. They do not even want competition from their contemporaries. They’ve conveniently abdicated their awesome collective power to the older politicians who know the game too well because of their individual and selfish interests and ambition. Ambition cannot be realised or fulfilled using the present format and template they have adopted of going it solo.
Fourth is a corollary of the third and arises from the lack of consensus on the part of the youths to come together, join forces and adopt one of their own as a formidable flag bearer. Everyone wants to have and secure an automatic ticket from a small and weak political party while the older foxes outsmart them by bonding together in the biggest political parties. When the youths are busy speaking in dulcet, still and staccato voices, the older ones are laughing heartily at the lack of basic knowledge of what it takes to win national elections. What our young Presidential hopefuls embark upon in a bid for the highest position in the land is only good to win localised elections in their constituencies.
Fifth is the search for saintly candidates by the younger ones while the older ones already understand the axiom and the reality that Leadership is about managing people and resources and not about being a perfect or virtuous man or woman. While some are busy groping in total darkness searching for non-existent candidates, the older brigade will quickly identify and settle for popular candidates even if their antecedents are not so glamorous or righteous. They know the game too well, that politics is first and foremost a popularity contest.
On this basis, it was possible for non-career politicians like Donald Trump of America and Moshood Abiola of Nigeria to win elections almost effortlessly. They had spent many decades building stupendous brands and the kind of popularity that would so rock solid that regular candidates would never be able to defeat. It would be foolhardy of any political party to field the typical politician in 2023 and hope to win against an incumbent political party. I have been persistently drumming this fact in the ears of whosoever cares to listen to my sermons or read my epistles. Let me give one quick example in our contemporary history.
Senator Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke of Osun State is easily a Governor in waiting in Osun State today because of his humongous popularity. All the attacks against his person have failed to weaken the love his people have for him. I have had this argument with a few of his opponents that PDP can’t afford to ignore such a popular candidate who is palpably loved even beyond his State. Even if he has his little weaknesses and foibles, like the rest of us mortals do, but they are not fatal or destructive. He comes from an impeccable pedigree of political and business family which more objective and discerning people can see.
In 2023, an opposition party must think outside the box and seek out very popular candidates with the right mindset to reunite Nigeria. I am of the opinion that power must shift to the South, and to a much younger man, or woman, by all peaceful means.
This is very reasonable and right to me after eight years of Buhari who would be close to 81 years by the time he bows out of power. While I will never disqualify any Nigerian from contesting on account of age, ethnicity, gender or religion, I will be proud to see some fresh candidates and a fresher President at the end of the exercise. Nigeria is already too polluted to field some odoriferous candidates in this next Presidential race. Anyone who would have to be spending more time than necessary defending his past would not augur well for a party and a country that desperately needs a new lease of life.
By 2023, June 12, 1993, the debacle would have been 30 years behind us.
It would be nice and beneficial to see that we’ve learnt some useful lessons, and we’ve made some substantial progress, since then. Right now, this is sadly not the case. It would be tragic if we fail to use the occasion to re-enact the Moshood Abiola magic using a similar template to that which propelled him to undoubtedly win the election. President Buhari may still have a chance to complete the type of revolutionary transition proffered by President Ibrahim Babangida, which produced that uncommon mandate, if he signs the new electoral reforms into law. It is a chance too great to be missed by any serious leader.
The main opposition Party must do everything within its power to think and act outside the box. No serious or discerning football team plays Brazilian style while playing Brazil. You must play a style Brazil is not used to. Politics is a numbers game. Only the youths can readily guarantee incredible numbers during elections. This is a truism anywhere in the world. Tried, tested, and successful when the youths know their force and power. They usually don’t vote because they can’t see candidates they adore or can relate within the race. You can’t blame them when they can’t connect to certain candidates whose antecedents are not attractive to them. This is the bitter truth. I sincerely pray that my own party, PDP, won’t take this week’s message lightly. I know what the young voters want to see in 2023. The End SARS event has opened their eyes to the enormous powers they wield, and they are most willing to test this newfound weapon during the next general elections…
Let’s keep our fingers crossed…
Pastor Paul Adefarasin’s Sermon of the Year
If there’s one sermon many Nigerians won’t forget in a jiffy, it is the sermon popularly known as the “PLAN B” by Pastor Paul Adefarasin of House on the Rock. I have always been an admirer of his style of preaching because I’m a big fan of practical preachers. I have good news for my readers today. Make no mistakes about it, please listen to Pastor Adefarasin and hearken to his admonition if you can afford it. We must all have a Plan B. I even recommend a Plan C and D if possible and affordable.
The world is in great turmoil today and it is as if the Third World War has descended upon us. COVID 19 and its many variants have turned the world upside down and we are all fighting invisible enemies.
Thus, the time has come to take practical steps to protect yourselves and loved ones and be ready to move in an instant, in a jiffy. Many countries, especially the Caribbean nations are now providing opportunities to make second citizenship possible for those from tough countries such as ours. As patriotic as I am, and as passionate about Africa as I know I am, I believe the world needs to move closer, for each and every one of us, as much as possible. The trauma of looking and applying for visas can be very devastating and sometimes humiliating. With Red Lists and international movement restrictions being the order of the day, it is imperative to indeed have a Plan B in this area, just as one must make serious alternative financial plans to secure our continued existence and those of our families..
This seems very simple and practicable! According to its CEO, Mrs Austin, Skydwellers Heaven is an exclusive Partnering Consultant of the Grenada National Resort Project in Africa. The Company is a one-stop shop for International Consultancy in all areas of Business with over 15 years’ experience selling International Real Estate Investment. It specialises in Residency and Citizenship by Investment and has experienced and knowledgeable staff with a network of trusted partners globally.
Feel free to visit their website at: www.skydweller.ca
And I must repeat, always make sure that you consult and seek the advice of your financial and legal advisers before taking any investment or business decision. It is important and necessary to do so.
You may thank the man of God who has opened many eyes to certain eventualities and possibilities. I feel that this may be one of them, if fully and properly considered…
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