2019 drama: Now that the season is upon us
Any good Nigerian who does well to observe political events in Nigeria would easily agree that the present crop of politicians is better by miles than many of the not-thoroughly-cooked actors in Nollywood, currently the world’s second largest film industry in terms of output. Perhaps with politicians input into Nigerian films, we could boast of being number one in the industry and that can be passed as an achievement in the 21st century. Their theatrics, if put into a movie would certainly put the country on the map; in this case not for its ingenuity but for the master classic joke that we have become in the international community.
As good the actors that Nigerian politicians are, it is very clear that Nigerians would be enjoying the best of political drama as the election season is on us. Just like the movie series that many Nigerians have become followers of which go on for years, the most suspense-filled political drama in Nigeria comes up only once in four years. With this arrangement, the suspense is reserved to be served a few months to the next election. Having witnessed the drama numerous times over the last few years, I can understand that the move is to ensure that the excitement of the drama is fresh in the minds of the audience as they go on to the polls to decide whose drama was more exciting.
Just a few days ago while watching a political campaign on live TV, I knew I was in for a treat. The campaign was organised at a stadium, a favourite of political parties when it comes to mass mobilisation. I couldn’t be surprised by the manner the politicians danced, sang, hailed and roused the supporters who came to wave the broom in support of their beloved political party and its supposed redemption agenda.
As long as the campaign lasted, the assembly of politicians did well to put up a good performance before the crowd of supporters who came to cheer them on. Every address began with the chant of the name of the party upon which the crowd was expected to reply with its slogan. It is amazing how they do their best to win the support of Nigerians only to find themselves in the corridor of powers working against the will of their people. We have seen this numerous times before. This group of politicians are no different from the ones that have come before them. They dine with the less privileged to put up a front that they are on the same team as them. They take turns to make a joke of Nigerians. They make light of the numerous sacrifices ordinary Nigerians make as a result of their failure.
Unfortunately in Nigeria, politicians only unite in the quest for power. With the line-up of politicians present at the rally, I stopped to ask myself why these Nigerians would stop at nothing to gain power. It is in this bid that various political parties usually seem desperate to out-perform each other; in this case because characters involved are most of the time members of the two most popular political parties. It would appear to be true that political drama wins elections in Nigeria. In stadiums, open fields and town halls across the country, politicians rally people round in their hundreds and thousands depending on the depths of their pockets to come to wave the broom or the umbrella to show support for whatever candidate they are fielding in the elections.
I have to realise that if politicians put into the governance as much energy and dexterity as they do when it comes to cajoling the people during election campaign, the peoples of Nigeria would certainly be better for it. We have stayed not at a crossroads where we can guess with absolute exactitude the many promises that will be reeled out by the politicians and their part leaders. They are never more than building roads that do not last, public schools only befitting the masses, hospitals that can only be attended by the down trodden, employment for the youth and a few other mumbled out promises.
While the political drama season has just begun, it is my hope that Nigerians would not be swayed to believe these politicians on the basis of their intensely rehearsed theatrics. We have in our hands the solution; the power to tell ourselves the truth and to do what’s right. We have the power to say no to bad governance.
This is a moment when we can save ourselves from a set of leaders who have no vision and are incapable of putting Nigerian on the path to becoming a 21st century nation. May God help Nigeria but this can only come when we decide to help ourselves, first!
Akinnuga wrote from Lagos.
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