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For many decades, many Nigerians have continued to blindly trust politicians and leaders who appear at every election curve to tell them the things they love to hear. Time and time again, these cruel politicians have continued to unapologetically smash their hopes and aspirations without consequences and the Nigerian situation has only continued to get worse.
Nigerian politicians have consistently failed to deliver on the many promises they make over time. A careful look at the campaign promises that have been dished out from political podiums since the 1979 elections shows that the themes and promises are the same: that of constant electricity, bringing about food sufficiency, pipe-borne water, the building of roads, coupled with the provision of quality education and healthcare, job creation, fighting corruption, providing security and many other issues. They have continued to consistently fail to deliver on these promises and with the 2023 general elections just days away, the promises are back.
What Nigerians have failed to realise over this long period is that they have been listening to politicians who are very unsincere about the problems they are assuring them of their abilities to fix. In their selfish quest to acquire votes, these politicians have consistently borrowed from this scam playbook by unleashing these same promises to Nigerians, sometimes garnishing them with their oratory prowess. Nigerians out of innocence, gullibility, or both, have continued to buy these promises, hook, line, and sinker during every electioneering period, yet, they have always had to confront the same exact kind of despondency.
Nigeria’s problem from 1966 till date has been a result of a faulty system and not essentially that of personnel. The structure of the country has been the problem and not actually the President of the country. The answer to most of the problems that have been confronting Nigeria is a simple political restructuring to take power from the corrupt elitist group as enshrined in the military-imposed constitution and return it to the Nigerian populace.
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What Nigerians must now know is that any politician who is currently running for President promising them an eldorado ahead of the 2023 elections without first insisting that the country must be restructured is a liar and mischievously greedy individual that should never be trusted for any reason.
With barely three weeks to the elections, the former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi seems to have gained popularity on social media. In one of the trendy videos he made years ago, he described Nigeria as a motionless car with a knocked-out engine. According to him, rather than fitting the immobile car with a new engine, they have continued to change the drivers in a forlorn effort to get the car to move. This description was not only apt and succinct, but it was also arguably the most profound metaphor any politician dead or alive has ever used to characterise the Nigerian situation.
What has remained unclear to many critical-thinking Nigerians who truly understand the problem, is how come this same man is today in the race as a prospective driver to move a motionless car with a knocked-out engine. Having understood that the problem is that of an engine and not that of a driver, how come he is offering himself to drive the same vehicle?
The Nigerian problem has been that of structure and not that of personnel. Quite a number of Nigerian leaders who have made it to Aso rock never went there with wicked intentions. Most of them change when they come to the full realisation that their driving skills cannot move a car with a bad engine and rather than open up to the Nigerian people who employed them, they resort to looting, nepotism, and all manner of wickedness before passing down the baton to the next available driver. If Nigerians are tired of their predicament, they should boycott the upcoming elections and demand that the country be restructured before they employ another driver. Voting another President into the same office regardless of whom the person is tantamount to endorsing the bad state of the country because it will never change under the current circumstances.
From the onset, two countries that did not have anything in common were merged into a single entity. Nigeria has been a ‘State held together at gunpoint’, since then.
It has been over a century since Nigeria started existing and everyone can see that it has not worked. Anyone adamant about keeping it so, no doubt, reaps from the agony and frustration of the people of a failed State. It is high time Nigerians understood that most of these politicians do not care about the well-being of the citizens or the development of the country.
Electing another President without discarding the current structure of the country is an ignorant window dressing; the sore will only fester. The problems will remain and continue to grow worse while politicians continue to dish out new rounds of similar promises which they do not intend to fulfill.
Some will wonder why this call is coming now when the presidential election is just weeks away. Well, the truth is that this has to be done before an election because the election itself is a distraction. It is a destination to nowhere; to a darker wilderness. It is being used to renew the life of a slavish Constitution, the same reason that the revered Yoruba elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo had said there should not be any elections before a new Constitution. It is rather sad that against this voice of wisdom, Nigerian politicians are bent on rail-roading their hapless citizens into an election simply because they need it to renew their wicked mandate to continue to hold the country down.
Nigerian politicians are very mischievous human beings who have mastered the art of creating soundbites and colourful proclamations to deceive their citizens. By now, Nigerians should have come to the full realisation that the average politician is a chameleon who changes his or her persona during and after elections and hence should never be trusted. Some of these politicians already know this truth, yet, out of their wicked lust for power, they lie shamelessly to Nigerians without remorse.
Nigerians should as a matter of urgency insist on not voting in the upcoming elections until the country is restructured. This set of politicians should never be trusted to restructure the country when they get to Aso Rock because the pecks of office and the power they will wield will never allow them ever contemplate it. Nigerians must insist that it is now or never. In 2015, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) made the restricting mantra a major campaign tool, almost eight years after they deceived Nigerians to acquire power, the country has still not been restructured. This should serve as a lesson to Nigerians.
Finally, Nigerians must understand that the present structure of the country does not tackle poverty; it just creates jobs for politicians. It does not solve energy, power, or water crisis, rather it only encourages impunity at the highest places. It doesn’t enforce rule of law, it only encourages members of the elitist class and politicians to abuse power. They must insist that this present structure must go to usher in a new system. Nigeria needs to be tinkered with, based on enduring political and constitutional settlements that will transform the country and revigorate the giant which has been in a state of comatose for ages.