No Nigerian is too young to run for an election, but the fact still remains that the precedent that was set at the initial stage, brings great discomfort and discouragement.
The Nigerian government must handle problems of election from grassroots. They must get rid of all obstacles that prevent the worthy from getting involved in politics.
The Ideal Election in Nigeria
In Nigeria, elections and electoral processes have been turned into a thing of mockery that, such have lost all forms of credibility in the heart of Nigerians; it is believed that the godfathers at the top decide who would take the seat of power at the end of the whole electoral show.
It is unfortunate that before 2016 till date, Nigeria still records low results of registered voters against actual voters: people register but do not eventually get to vote. Some people believe that they only stand a chance of putting their lives in harm’s way when they come out to vote. The dread of electoral mishap, water the spirit of voters.
On the other hand, politics and politicians have been tagged dirty in Nigeria –even if one is a member of the clergy, so far as he gets involved in politics, people lose faith in him; this is as a result of the huge influx of both young men and women into the political circle, the do-or-die affair when it comes to electoral processes and all the drama that precedes it.
If elections in Nigeria are not free and fair, or politicians and politics are not dirty? why do we witness post election crisis,snatching of ballot boxes during elections, assassinations, inter-party disputes, kidnapping, deaths, and so much more? It is obvious that,just like we have so many jobless people going into becoming pastors and evangelists in churches, so also do we have so many jobless and in-experienced people trooping to obtain a form in order to run for one political office or the other.
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Everything one does in life boils down to one obvious reason, interest. So many people get involved in politics, one way or the other, because of the money involved. In Nigerian politics, there is nothing like a red line or check and balancing. There is no subordinate or act of insubordination,everyman is above the law in Nigerian politics.
The Political Circle
In Nigeria, statistics show that political office holders are not just mostly men, but those who are either in their late sixties of early nineties. It is no new news that most politicians die in the process of carrying out their so called official duties. Research has proven that one can’t expect the same level of productivity from two different people who exist in two different time frames.
So also, Nigeria is a case study. In Nigeria, one does not expect the same level of productivity or intelligence from someone who is from an older generation and that from a younger generation. The world evolves, and as it does, old things degenerate, and the earth becomes hungry for new things: ideas, innovation, mindset, and many more.
The main reason why Nigeria is at its present level is simply because it rides on the back of the old generation politicians, and their archaic method of problem solving which haven’t done much. Time has made it mandatory that everything must be subjected to accorded research findings, but in Nigeria, things go as they come. Nigeria is in no way driven by research, and if so, Nigerians are yet to see results or experience change.
It was on the above note that some well–meaning Nigerians pushed the need for a change in some of our laws; it stipulates that one must attain a particular age range before they can run for certain political positions or offices. This has been a sore on the foot of so many Nigerian youths who are passionate towards driving the nation to an expected end. It took a lot to push the arms of power towards signing this bill in recent time. To some, this became a time in history when all Nigerians must rejoice, but to some, it is just a calculated attempt to rip Nigerians off, one more time.
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The fact is not about signing a bill into law but taking practical steps towards attainment of a goal or objective. The fact remains that former politicians have placed a foul precedent over Nigeria’s politics. It stinks so much that the so called corruption fighters of our time have directly or indirectly protected it, got involved or feigned ignorant about the ways of politics in Nigeria.
Presently, any young person that intends to get involved in Nigerian politics must start early to prepare himself (his guts for dirty politics); the preparations have nothing to do with education, but one must put himself under one godfather or political party. It doesn’t stop at that; one must pay his dues during elections: snatch ballot boxes, cause confusion, get involved in social media propaganda, kidnapping or killing, all in the name of climbing one political ladder or the other.
Not to forget that one must fortify himself with a native doctor or a pastor in disguise. Any political aspirant must learn the art of lying through their teeth, bribing intending voters, lunch or sponsor one foundation or the other, and buy over the media in order to sing their praises. So many politicians got their hands soiled before they got to wherever they are, but all in the name of power.
The Nigerian government must handle problems of election from grassroots. They must get rid of all obstacles that prevent the worthy from getting involved in politics. No Nigerian is too young to run for an election, but the fact still remains that the precedent that was set at the initial stage, brings great discomfort and discouragement.
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Presently, no Nigerian looks at an aspirant without expecting something; one cannot get votes without bribing the voters; it is mandatory that one eliminate his opponents at all cost before an election, and at the end, if a desperate politician doesn’t win, he either buys protesters, goes to court, instigates conflicts or indulge citizens in post election crisis.
It is a pity that so many hearts have been bought over to the extent that, some youths have sworn to die while fighting for a particular candidate or the other; it is not supposed, and no Nigerian youth should encourage such. No life is worth losing during elections.
It is high time the older generation stepped down in order to have the younger generation take over. No well-meaning Nigerian youth should be tagged too young to run an election. The young generation is well equipped with innovative capacity and technical know-how to drive our local governments, states, senatorial districts and the seat of the presidency.
It is high time the old system of government stepped back, leaving the floor for result oriented, technologically driven ideas and manpower to push the nation onward.
Written by Oluoma Udemezue.