2019 And the Rest Of Us


Each passing day takes us closer to the all-promising general election in 2019. The frenzy is palpable and the polity already saturated with tales of the good, bad and the ugly. The gladiators have made it so. With the commencement of campaigns by the various political parties, the reality of 2019 is becoming clearer.
The Federal Government, under the watch of the All Progressives Congress (APC), is leaving nothing to chance. The internal wrangling that beset the party before, during and even after the primaries, notwithstanding, the primary task before the party is to retain power at the centre and, if possible, “capture” more states come 2019. The foot soldiers are becoming restless and restive and upbeat in their games. At every opportunity, they churn out achievements of the administration in all manners they deem fit.
Incumbent state chief executives, bidding for second term in 2019 are also proclaiming their achievements; at the same time teasing the electorate on things under their sleeves. To their counterparts who have made the constitutional eight years in office, the desperation to have their own succeed them is so glaring, sometimes assuming worrisome dimensions.
Others who have a date with history in 2019, are some representatives (State/National) who desire another term, including some high profile politicians turned candidates. They have become more visible and accessible and reaching out to their constituents/supporters in much more better ways. ,
The rest of us, some willingly or unwillingly, are also caught up in the frenzy that is 2019. The dissatisfaction and pervasive apathy are gradually giving way to a new hope, as some of us have been part of the ongoing political process. It is, however, necessary that we put on good scale the candidates that have emerged who will rule and represent us from 2019 to 2023.
There is no doubt that some of the candidates seeking re-election, including the new entrants, have touched lives in more ways than one. In terms of provision of municipal infrastructure and delivery of social and economic services, few of them, particularly the governors, have made reasonable marks. And if media reports are anything to rely on, the story on infrastructural provision in some states in the federation is nothing to cheer about. They are also saddled by mounting arrears of unpaid workers’ salaries, and months of indebtedness to pensioners.
As we inch closer to 2019, it is worthy to state that some of the candidates bestriding the political landscape are pretenders. Our political history (with no apology) is replete with them. People with a primitive mindset and in perpetual pursuit of vain glory; who take undue advantage of the lapses in a weak system. They behold us in utter disdain, take us for granted and see in us an ignorant and unthinking people.
Amanze Obi, a columnist with the Sun Newspaper, was forced to observe recently that “our politics is peopled by a lot of opportunists and smart alecs who see politics as a gold mine that must be explored and exploited to their advantage”. This predatory disposition or mentality and lack of commitment and sustenance of progressive policies grossly accounts for the present sad socio-economic state we are in. Not too long, the Brookings Institution declared Nigeria the poverty capital of the world, with 87 million people, out of an estimated population of 193.3 million people, living in extreme poverty. How the Institution came about its position on this crucial matter and the defence from the authorities for now, should not bother us much. The truth is poverty and misery in contemporary Nigeria is real. It walks on all fours.
As we march towards 2019, we should be careful of the choices we make. Above all, ask ourselves some critical questions; such as what are the credentials or antecedents of the candidate. In other words, where are they coming from. Are they people with the right capacity in handling challenges?
In 2019, therefore, we need men and women with the right attitude; not opportunists who will behave like heirs to a throne; men who will not only appease God with their offerings but have genuine fear of Him in them.
In 2019, we must shed the mundane traits and perceptions that perpetually tie us to their apron strings and participate in the process that will play a crucial role in our tomorrow.
In 2019, we deserve credible election. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) must prove to be truly independent. The last election in Ekiti and Osun States and bye-elections in other places created some doubts in the neutrality of the electoral body.
In 2019, we expect an election free from brigandage and unnecessary interference by the powers that be.
In 2019, it shall be well with all of us.
Ezekiel-Jenewari wrote in from Port Harcourt.