2019: What Nigeria should do to get the right leader

We need to be a truly multi –party system country as our constitution suggests.Such action would strip these two overbearing parties their seizure of political power. They have been one of the sources of political violence and instability in the country. We should be tired of their political bickering between each other. It’s time for other worthy candidates under other political parties aside these two (PDP and APC) to get noticed and elected. We want candidates we can screen based on their competency and not party affiliate.

By EveEden

In a year time, Nigeria would be through with the next anticipated general election. The 2019 general election by this time would be a discourse among citizens and media outlets. We would go back to the usual rite of counting our always repeatedly election flaws. Rigging, disorganization, lack of electoral materials, deaths, injuries, political instability and other usual election stories that we have acclimatized ourselves with. Moreover, some states within the country have already conducted their gubernatorial election before the four- year span for the general election. Also, some states would be conducting their governorship election before the end of the year (2018). So, the word election is always trendy in this nation. It is always a constant occurrence for us in this part of the world.

Any Nigerian can testify that even before the next election is slated, political candidates have already begun fanning the wave of election. It’s almost as a leader is elected; that’s the time the leader instantly begins to declare interest for the next election without even having time to lead in the present tenure.  It is in our country that we see present leader struggling with those who have not tasted power in political leadership. For them, they have to make hay while the sun shines, such that there is no time that we can term ‘leading era’ for the elected leader to deliver promises.  For us here, surplus attention is given to political parties, electioneering, politicking rather than candidates, governance or leadership.

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As well, it is in Nigeria that present leaders give mandate to a contesting candidate and join in electioneering for a candidate for obvious personal reasons. Such reason is not far-fetched for money, same political affiliations, to give orders, control political affairs, continual of leadership and political ideologies indirectly. In my country, electing a leader is not about evaluating the candidate but a quest among political parties. The electorates have been beguiled into believing that you vote for the party and not the candidate. In essence the medium (party) is the message (candidate) and not otherwise or a 50: 50 consideration. That is, the party is the candidate. As a communicator scholar, I can now agree more with Mcluhan theory. The medium is truly the message judging by what is visible in my nation. Mcluhan Marshell theory explains that it is the medium, channel or source that determines if and how powerful, useful or convincing a message or content would be. It is similar with those African adages that suggest that a child’s attitude is a hint into knowing the kind of home such child comes from.

Conversely, I believe that totally using a candidate’s political affiliation to win an election is not ideal. Aside the medium (party) the message (individual) should also matter. What happens when bad cocks’ starts gaining entrance to a Saint-party since they know that the image of the party would conceal their ill nature?  At least in this country cross-carpeting is a usual thing among candidates. They are aware that being in the most liked or branded party is a sure bet to the throne of power. It is this bad habit of always placing more emphasis in parties other than candidates that made the Peoples Democratic Party to have monopoly of presidential leaders for sixteen years. Presently, as another party is power, we garnish our teeth and want to give PDP such monopoly back. What if a candidate more awry with what APC (All Progressives Congress) presented us with suffices from PDP in the next presidential election? For us, the personality of the individual is not questionable as long as the party is the most popular, branded or among the fore-fathers of political leadership. 

We have states governed by APC candidates making progress while some headed by PDP is worsening daily.  For instance, Lagos state which is the centre of our national development is governed by APC candidate. Same promising future is experienced in Enugu state and the state is led by a PDP candidate. Likewise, we have states where both of these party’s candidates are nothing but bench-warmer leaders and we wish for neutral candidates. 

This party conscious culture among us has made us to be two- party system when constitutionally we should be a multi-party system. We have over 45 political parties duly registered; yet power flows only between two parties. Then what is the gain of having so many parties wasting resources to get registered and embark on campaigns? When we can determine at the beginning the party that wears the crown but only decide to play along.  It is pretence. It is time for us to give equal priority to candidates as we give to parties. From the Christian adage that says: “a good wine cannot come from a bad vine and otherwise”, shows that both components (candidate and party) should be considered. What if our national savior is predestined to come from parties’ aside APC and PDP? Our medium (party) conscious nature would blindfold us into not electing our national savior.  Evaluating candidates aside their party identities would create platforms for the country to really experience change of leadership. At least everyone should be aware that Nigeria does not experience change of leadership but recycling of leadership. It’s been the same old folks juggling themselves among parties, wearing different masks and preaching same lies of a good fruitful Nigeria. How can such happen when the same person who led eight years back is still in power? We should expect nothing than a stunned or stagnant growth.

We need to be a truly multi –party system country as our constitution suggests.  Such action would strip these two overbearing parties their seizure of political power.  They have been one of the sources of political violence and instability in the country. We should be tired of their political bickering between each other. It’s time for other worthy candidates under other political parties aside these two (PDP and APC) to get noticed and elected. We want candidates we can screen based on their competency and not party affiliate

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