As the general elections in Nigeria draw closer, i advise the electorate of Ndigbo and Nigeria in general to vote for individuals and not political parties which as we all know are mostly bereft of manifestos and ideologies.
By embracing fanatic partisanship, we have become perfect examples of protagonists of the polarity of our political system. By voting blindly for party’s bereft of ideology, ethics and morality, we are not acting intelligently; rather we are brainwashed into blindly and gullibly following a personal prejudice and escalating and fuelling an increasingly corrupt, counter productive and fraudulent system.
While i can’t give you advice on who you should or shouldn’t vote for, the simplest way to send a message that enough is enough to our visionless parties that keep throwing up and foisting the wrong choices on us, is to vote for change by going outside your party to vote individual capable and competent candidates in whatever party they are running. What is important is that you vote en-masse for a candidate you trust that can deliver. A candidate who you know can serve and protect your interest.
Moreover, if the candidates in your party do not whet your political appetite, what else can you do but go outside your party to shop for the best?
The party political system has become a form of institutionalized zombie like cultism. We are encouraged by the media, by our friends and family, and more broadly by our society, to pick a party and to support it without question. We are encouraged to deride everything about the other parties and see candidates from those parties as electoral untouchables never to be considered.
At a primitive level, by showing our parties that we regard our democracy in the same way that we treat football or a religious war, we are encouraging our elected representatives to behave as members of their respective teams or religions rather than as individuals elected to represent their overall constituencies; we are encouraging them to polarize the political system along party lines in a vicious cycle that further encourages polarization in the electorate.
There are idiots and self-motivated egotists in all parties, but there are also smart, intelligent, passionate and well motivated individuals in all parties. When we display blind zombie like allegiance to a political party, we are choosing not to seek competent and capable politicians, but rather to pick the most vocal, deep pocketed individual our party selective system throws up to ensure that we outdo the other camp, in a game where victory is determined purely by biomass. With this way of selecting candidates, it becomes natural to overlook a politician’s weaknesses and elect our own partys bigot or idiot rather than the passionate, competent and intelligent individual who happens to be branded with another party’s logo. Sadly this approach to voting perpetuates divisiveness and incompetence in a cycle that needs to be broken. And it needs to be broken by the electorate, for we cannot blame elected officials who are behaving exactly as we are incentivizing them to. As a public we need to recover our individual and collective responsibility and critical minds and vote for competent people in whichever party we can find them in and not strictly our accustomed parties.
This is not easy, but I am increasingly of a mindset that this is incredibly important and is how I must discuss and describe the political situation we find ourselves in as we approach the 2023 elections.
Partisanship bereft of ideology and manifesto is no longer suitable for us. Rather, i would advise that a more thoughtful and deliberate approach to casting your vote is required, one that looks at each candidate on the basis of their ability to deliver for the constituency and not on the basis of gullible zombie like loyalty to party.
leadership is about people, their feelings, their welfare, their security and economic freedom.
I am asking you to open your eyes and make the right electoral choices. Don’t be blinded by loyalty to political parties even as i acknowledge that political parties are essential to the advancement of democracy and healthy political development focused competition.
Duruebube Ihiagwa Chimazuru “Oblong” Nnadi-Oforgu.