Clearly Wole Soyinka was not endorsing PDP up there and I am not. Lately some commentators have been endorsing candidates especially on the Presidential level and I believe it speaks well of our democracy that this is happening.
Quite aptly, endorsements do elicit feedback from readers and I think that too is a good thing. At the end though, every one of us as responsible citizens of our country have a duty to vote our conscience, and that is the end game. When we enter that polling booth, it will be our destiny- the destiny of our country, our sons and daughters, our unborn –our ability to compete and win on the world stage that will be at stake. Make no mistake, it is the 21st century and the world is flat; our headache is not our fellow compatriots just down the street but that hungry and versatile man in the mega slums of India, and rural area of China competing for every penny injected into the global economy much as we are.
These elections will determine which type of education we give our children, our own life expectancy, whether we will live a good quality life in retirement and whether we can afford that vacation and other little pleasures of life including the company of our peers when the sun sets on our lives in those advanced years. It is these intangibles that our vote at the state and national levels in the next coming weeks will shape. Nothing short of disaster as such will be the case if we carry out this exercise without some logical basis: for in doing so is leaving our fate up to circumstance. If we fail to plan, then we have planned to fail. Here is my plan.
In unveiling my plans to vote, I must first set out the first principles on which they are based. Plans have underlining assumptions and/or principles. I presuppose the basic assumption for my plan to vote in 2011 is that I can vote, and my vote will count. The current administration promised it…I hope they are correct; otherwise, we better be ready of Armageddon. Tunisia and Egypt will be child’s play. The underlining principles in the specific order of ranking of importance are these:
- I believe like WS that Nigeria cannot afford the PDP at ANY level of governance. We have three fundamental institutional headaches one of which is the ruling People’s Democratic Party – PDP (the other being the Police and PHCN). Getting rid of one of these headaches will go a long way in cooling in the national temperature. PDP have somehow managed to surpass NPN (of the 2nd Republic) as the worst party in Nigerian history. This truly is a remarkable feat considering how destructive NPN was; and frankly speaking some people say PDP is the conclusion of the NPN project only perfected by an inclusion of the militaricians and government contractor class and the utter intra-level contamination of every strata of the Nigerian society with the culture of corruption achieved in the intervening period under IBB and Abacha. Some have likened the Poverty Development Party to a gang of armed robbers that robs a neighborhood that refuses to fight back of all assets; because this lacuna, the armed robbers then return to offer a pittance of the stolen property as survival allowances to the inhabitants of such neighborhood. Basically, PDP is a gang of kidnappers, armed robbers and criminals that plunder Nigeria and expects us to be grateful for the pittance they return in halfhearted executed programs and white elephant projects.
- Change in Nigeria will not come from the center. In fact, I believe it is time for Nigeria to deemphasize the importance of the center and the Imperial Presidency; however, if it the center will change it shall come from the legislature which can check the excesses of an overbearing executive. I believe the rubber stamp National Assembly has been deleterious to the existence of Nigeria since 1999, and we need more diversity of opinion in the People’s House. Hence, my voting focus will primarily be on getting the National Assembly and Governorship elections right…of course- NO PDP!
- As a proponent of fairness, justice and equity- and also a pragmatist, I realize the ethnic minorities of the South-South have for long been neglected and to bring security and peace to the Niger Delta will require a combination of several factors the least not being the political inclusion of the region. This may mean actively recruiting aspirants and advocating for good, capable Niger Deltans to be involved at the center. It will also mean for me, not actively canvassing against any Niger Deltan given the historical injustices meted out on the region.
Given the current shape and form of the field, these set of principles leave me with no option but to:
- Vote AGAINST the PDP in the down ballot i.e. State Assembly, Governorship and National Assembly elections. I will vote for any good candidate that is no part of the Poverty Development Party.
- Abstain from voting in the “first round” of Presidential Elections that holds on April 2, 2011. This is the best option, all things being equal: personally.
- Vote against the PDP if there is a “second round” of the Presidential Election
Of course, my third action violates my third and least important principle. However, it will still raise valid eye brows in some quarters especially of those who have followed most of writings and early warnings on the trouble brewing in the Delta since 2003 and how to fix it. Here are my reasons for voting against the candidacy of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in case the presidential election heads to the second round going by the constitutional requirement that requires plurality and sufficient geographical spread (24 states).
To lead a nation, you need one of: a competent leader with proven track record, a fresh one with proven judgment or a leader, whose vision is simply ingratiated and personalized that he epitomizes strength of character, or one that inspires convincing & competent followership and has the ability to deliver. Jonathan is none. I cannot in good conscience vote for such man. A vote for Jonathan is a vote for destroying a country that is badly in need of massive rehabilitation. Jonathan is dangerous...he is toxic!
My Problem with Jonathan is many- among these are:
- He is a party man. He has shown no inclination to buck the trend (during his ascension fight) e.g. do or die talk with OBJ, Bode George affair, Ekiti INEC affair even his fight to constitutionally succeed Yar’Adua was at best halfhearted and weak. He fiddled while Rome burned!
- He lacks delivery. At least, he should get himself a speech therapist…Nigeria can afford one! Indeed, to make matter worse his wife definitely needs a verbal quarantine. Madam Patience of “umblella” and “fellow widows” fame make her husband seem like a Nobel Laureate winner in linguistics. Lord have mercy!
- He has no track record- you cannot run a nation on good luck. What have GEJ done for you lately aside from opening a Facebook page and saying the right things lamely?
- He has shown no known competence and good judgment e.g. his mega-billion Anniversary celebration, bomb blasts and his immediate comments, handling of national insecurity (kidnapping and bombs are now national past time under his leadership)
- He is as desperate as they com e.g. the attempt to bribe Pastor Bakare, choosing Ojukwu’s wife as a special assistant while her ailing husband and Biafra hero was in London to somehow placate Ndigbo, and his seeming oral diarrhea whenever he mounts the podium with his mentor and party rascal – an ex-President we very well know about.
- He surrounds himself with mediocre - mention one notable appointment GEJ has made. He cannot even get respect of the only egg head minister he managed to recruit due to popular request, to run on the same platform with him –Dr. Akinyuli. The rest of his decrepit cabinet seems like a bunch of “has beens”. This man can’t identify talents even if it hits him on the head! It appears to me from the caliber of Ambassadors, Ministers and Special Assistants that the man appoints that he is afraid of superior arguments and technocrats.
- Purely put: he is an opportunist! He would look humble, say anything on Facebook and will do nothing! The records are there to prove it.
The seeming inability of the opposition to organize themselves and canvass votes at the grassroots only makes sitting out the first round of votes the best logical option. Once the field is narrowed between two persons, I think I will be better prepared to vote against the incumbent party which is a no brainer!
I feel the wind of change...I hope I'm right.
It thus seems like the richer the states, the more the Governorship aspirants. Only the great state of Lagos bucked this trend…Eko o ni baje! Guess we know now why many are “volunteering to serve”. When will African leaders stop this rent seeking attitude of “it is our time to chop”. Next week, I’ll be examining the poisoned chalice the opposition will be inheriting even if PDP is defeated. Whoever wins the elections have a mess on their hands.
African Disunion and their rant on Libya
Never amazes how quickly the inept and corrupt anti-people African leadership never seem to disappoint to show up their ugly neo-colonialist faces at the least opportune times. I have always maintained that since pre-historic periods, Africa have always managed to produce the most anti-people leadership that sees nothing with stifling knowledge and leading the collapse of empires, selling their own people for umbrellas to foreigners and foreign lands, and signing agreements that accepted colonialism on platter of gold! Today, this group will plunder, kill and subdue their own people in the name of nationalism like Ghadaffi and Charles Taylor. Nothing convinces me more today that African leaders require external adult supervision like the United Nations and International Criminal Court than the seeming support now being offered to Ghadaffi by his ilk in the African Union or whatever that moribund organization is called. It is of course not because African leaders reflect the African society and our intellectual or leadership capacity: most times they don’t. In fact, the African leadership like Mugabe and Mbasago of Equatorial Guinea are totally disconnected from the people; having sold their people’s resources and economy on the altar of either egoistic self aggrandizement (in the case of Mugabe) or corruption which often times involve profligate squandering in foreign lands while their people suffer like the goon of Malabo and Gabon! These are the folks that rise to the top in our societies and the African Union. It is time to put a stop to this culture of mediocrity- starting from Nigeria!