2019: The Dangers of Sitting On The Fence. – By Chidiebere Nwobodo.

Next three months before the general election will determine the direction Nigeria will go in the next four years—possibly eight years. The decisions, indecisions, actions and inactions of us, will shape the future of Nigeria. Coming presidential election, is not just a contest between the PDP (Atiku Abubakar) and the APC (Mohammadu Buhari) but a referendum on the type of nation we desire to have in the next four years. This article is not for Buharideens or Atikulators—those who have taken sides already, but for those still sitting on the fence; playing ostrich. This write-up is a wake up call for Nigerians of voting age, who ignorantly believe that politics cum electioneering is left for politicians alone. Politics is not a dirty game. It became dirty because men of conscience and goodwill abandoned politics and leadership to cannibals, mega-kleptomaniacs and morally bankrupt opportunists; masquerading as politicians. It’s time to redefine standard once again and elevate yardstick of quality governance.

In the words of Aristotle, we are all political animals. Every decision of people in power effects you; whether directly or indirectly. This is the time to #GetInvolved. Goner are the days when we should allow gullible almajiris of the north or illiterate villagers of the south, who are at the mercy of selfish politicians, to determine the political destiny of this country. I am not implying that these set of Nigerians does have the right to express their franchise. But these groups of people are susceptible to vote-buying; they can easily sell their votes, as a result of extreme poverty and palpable ignorance. Those of us who are more informed should lead the way. Massive orientation is needed from us. We should enlighten our people on the power of their votes, and consequences of toying with them. We should see this election as a struggle between forces of darkness, anguish and angels of light and prosperity. It’s a fight between retrogressive tyrants and progressive democrats; clueless economic managers and tested wealth creators; unifying elements cum pan-Nigerian leaders and divisive ethno-religious bigots, etcetera.

It’s time to make a decision and defend it. Indecision is the worst form of decision. Only white lines sit in the middle of the road; every other road user take side—including animals. Most of the people that lost their jobs under Buhari’s clueless government, were the people that stayed indoors on the day of 2015 election; they were the people who claimed to be too busy to register for PVC, or even collect it after registration. Most of the people whose businesses and companies got crippled by harsh economic policies of this administration, never bothered to vote in 2015. These are hitherto millionaire importers that retrogressive foreign exchange policies of this regime have rendered paupers. Unfortunately, they were busy drinking beers, wines and watching football matches and movies on the very important day—when those that will make policies and take decisions on their behalves, were being elected. These hitherto business owners left almajiris and political thugs, illiterate villagers; who have never ran a business to “impose” unprepared and clueless leadership without clear-cut vision on them. They have paid a huge price for defaulting on their constitutional responsibility to vote and be voted for.

Before you tell me that vote will not count in 2019, I will remind you that it “counted” in 2015. And please we should not allow the rape of democracy that happened in Ekiti and Osun States to deter us. The APC brazenly rigged those elections, and subsequent ones to weaken our resolve for leadership change. It’s a mind game. Don’t tell me that Buhari is not Jonathan that he won’t handover if defeated—let us vote him out first. Buhari can only rig if we create room for that national tragedy through massive voter apathy. We have to lend our voices to the ongoing clarion call that our votes will count. The pressure on the INEC to respect the electoral wishes of Nigerians should intensify. It’s not enough to read only comments on social media between Atikulators and Buharideens; we are morally mandated to join the conversation and debate. One like or comment from you on a political post, can influence a vote. In coming days, Buhari’s presidency will sponsor myriad of propaganda, flawed narratives and contrived prejudices to cover its monumental failures in the last three and half years of its bad leadership. Don’t allow a lie to pass as truth because you’re not a member of the PDP or the APC—get involved. It is about our future and that of our children, and grandchildren generations.

Are you unemployed or underemployed? Did you lose your job as a result of regressive economic policies of this administration? Do you have a friend or relative that lost his or hers? Did you lose any of your friends, relatives and associates to gruesome killings ravaging the country? Has your business collapse in reaction to economic crisis? Has your purchasing power dwindled in the last three years? Has your rights being violated by lawlessness of this government? This is time to make that change. #GetInvolved!

Don’t be a spectacular this time. Don’t allow anyone to make you vote along ethno-religious faultlines because poverty has no tribe or religion. Unemployment has no political party. Epileptic power supply is being suffered by all—Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba. Be part of the change making process. Don’t be afraid that your candidate may not win; do your part first by voting and convincing others to vote the right candidates as president, governors, National and State Assembly members. Persuade at least ten people with PVCs to vote your candidate(s). Posterity will be harsh—not to those who made the wrong choice but those that sat on the fence when decisions that affected them and their children were being taken. My family and I, have decided to get involved. #AtikuObi Presidential Project is the way to go. In coming days, I will relish you with cogent reasons and proven facts why Atiku/Obi emerging presidency will herald drastic change we have been clamoring for.

Disclaimer: no one has bought me to campaign for him. Whatever I am doing, is out of my own volition, passion and sacrifices to create the Nigerian of my dream. I refuse to be a spectator and victim of other people’s decision. I have taken it upon myself to get involved. I am highly Atikulated!

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