“To ensure that I participate actively in the next election cycle.” If this is not on your 2022 menu list, then I can safely assume that you are part of the problem we have in this country. All men and women of goodwill must endeavor to be actively involved in the next election cycle so that we can collectively save our country from collapse.
With the above, I congratulate and welcome you all into the year 2022. A year that will define our seriousness or otherwise as a country ready to fix its leadership issues. We must be deliberate, we must be persistent and we must all get actively involved at ensuring that we produce the desired leadership at the polls next year.
It is important that we all realize that 2022 is the election year. This is the year when political parties will choose the candidate that will be on the ballot in 2023. What happens in 2023 is voting. The election will be decided in 2022! To this end, the New Year marks the beginning of another election cycle. Are we ready?
Ordinarily, Nigerians should at this point be aware of the leading candidates waiting to succeed Buhari. But as it is with most things, Nigerians do things differently often in a negative way. Exactly 12months to a presidential election, we do not know who the leading candidates are. Aside whispers and rumors’ here and there, nobody has been bold enough to come out and tell Nigerians that he or she has what it takes to change our sordid narrative. Everyone is waiting, holding nocturnal meetings and going into alliances that doesn’t have the interest of the citizens on the table. The conversations currently going on is most likely about elite comfort, how to share our collective patrimony and maintaining status quo.
We must resist this troubling routine. In his book; The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg gives a detailed explanation about the habit loop. The habit loop explains our cues (problems, situations or whatever), the routine we need to change and then the reward that routine change will produce.
To make a drastic change in any aspect of our lives, we must focus squarely on our routine. It is the routine that will eventually yield a positive or negative reward as the case maybe. In our own political case, our routine as regards our elections has always been that we wait for the political parties to throw up a candidate, they then whip up sentiments around that candidate and somehow, convince us to accept him.
To change this routine, we must force the political parties to choose only candidates that meet the aspirations of the citizens. While the politicians are having their nocturnal meetings, we the citizens can immediately begin a national conversation regarding what we want. Any political party that does not align with a candidate that meets these demands will be isolated. It is now clear to us all that religion, region, ethnicity and political party affiliation do not automatically produce good leaders. Like the saying goes, the hood indeed does not make the monk.
An incompetent person does not suddenly become competent simply because a political party has selected them as their flag bearer. What is their track record on performance? What have they successfully done in the past? What are the verifiable stories around them? We need to thoroughly investigate people before they get to office.
I am also making a passionate appeal to all these smaller parties that obviously do not have what it takes to win a national election. Go into mutually beneficial alliances with the major parties with clear demands and expectations. We don’t need a crowded ballot paper simply because individuals want to add the title; former presidential candidate to their resume.
Let we the citizens resolve to participate actively, identify a sellable and competent candidate, get any of the leading political parties to adopt that candidate based on national acceptance, mobilize and sell that candidate across the country and get him or her into office. It may not be as easy as it sounds. But this may just be the beginning of our progress march.
It takes action to change a narrative. Remember, had Rosa Parks not refused to stand up, it might have taken a longer time to end the segregation laws.
Happy New Year!