By Ziniyet Godwin Hilary
The hawk can spread her wings as she likes but she can never be as beautiful as the peacock. You can’t be what you are not. It is even a great insult and sheer absence of empathy, respect for human dignity of the citizens and the common people for any politician to wait until the time of elections before they begin to share relief materials or share money to the people. Will you continue sharing the money and the bags of rice even after the elections? The hawk can never be a peacock.
There is an African proverb which says that “no matter how long-necked the ostrich is, it can never be mistaken for a giraffe”.
The Political climes in Nigeria is boiling and is getting hotter and hotter by the day.
Both the lions, dogs and foxes bath in the same dust. In all of these, the electorates must remain informed, wise and resolute towards electing the right persons for the job. Persons who have the basic interests and needs of the masses at heart. It’s a time where all kinds of political stunts are pulled.
Most recently, we saw and heard about some politicians in Southern Kaduna sharing relief materials and others gathering people to share them money. Well, I pray that the people be wise this time around. They should collect and spend whatever money being given to them by any politician then elect the right person on the election day. Your vote is hundred times more expensive than the peanuts given you by desperate politicians. Our Nigerian people will say, “collect di moni, chop am, den elect better person wen election come”.
This campaigning and consultations period offers the electorates the opportunity to listen to all aspirants and understand truly those who really capture their needs and those who uphold people-centered ideologies. Because after the elections you get what you bargained for. The time is now to make the wise decisions. “Shine ya eye o!”
We must put an end to “the hungry man politics”. Where you get peanuts during campaigns while the candidate(s) that emerge victorious through your votes cart away billions of naira to their homes at the detriment of you and your children, and your children’s children welfare and social safety. Put an end to this. Your votes are way more expensive than the peanuts that these guys offer you now.
If I were to choose between these two persons: the one who has never helped me before but is looking for an opportunity to do so and another person who has never helped me before but is helping me right now not for helping sake but because he has a hidden agenda, because he needs my help or because he needs my VOTE, I will choose the one who has never helped me before but is seeking for the opportunity to do so than choose a hypocrite who never knew that I existed but all of a sudden because he needs my vote, I become”temporarily important” to him or rather them.
A good example is the recent futile attempt by Bola Ahmed Asiwaju Tinubu, a one time Lagos State governor, an APC chieftain and currently an aspirant for the presidential seat. He recently donated 50 million naira to those affected by banditry in Zamfara State. Our people say, only mad men dance after the drums are no longer played. Why now when banditry has been on for a long time? In fact, never has he come out to even condemn it and all of a sudden he’s donating some miserable 50 million naira to God-knows-who.
We have countless victims of banditry in Kaduna State and most evidently in Southern Kaduna, we have Nigerians wallowing in peril and languishing in pain and uncertainty in the North East and North West of Nigeria and across countless IDP Camps in these same locations of our nation, just to mention but a few. Where was he all this while until now that the election bells are ringing.
Electorates, Nigerian citizens, citizens of Kaduna State and particularly the people of Southern Kaduna must not dance to this tune of madness again. We must wise up. Our votes are priceless. We must offer them freely to those whom we believe and trust will serve us and our needs when they get up there. We will not vote for those who will go there and forget that we exist until four years later. No! We won’t!
Wise up people of Southern Kaduna. They will come with money bags, they will come like Knights in shining armor. They will come like angels that freshly descended the face of the earth, the face of Nigeria, the face of Kaduna State, and the face of Southern Kaduna. They will lure you into their ugly political traps; please don’t fall into these traps like rats.
Finally, we must realize that because an aspirant gave you a penny during campaign is not a sign that he is kind or sane. Don’t sell your birthrights( your votes) for peanuts. Let’s embrace those who present before us real issues, let’s embrace aspirants and candidates that have clear vision. I would rather follow a man with a clear vision than vote for a man that gave me a penny during campaign. Where were they when you were suffering through all these four years? Wise up! Beware of overnight philanthropists who come at night and disappear at day.
Ideally, politicians come into a social contract with the electorates during elections. The electorates offer their votes to candidates so that they win election. In return, the candidates are totally accountable to the citizens when they assume power and start discharging their duties.
However, how do electorates expect someone who has given them cups of garri, cups of rice and peanuts during campaigns to consider them after they have entered office?
Most of these politicians borrow money from banks, firms and individuals in order to spray on the electorates and stakeholders;( which is rather unhealthy for our social system). Therefore they enter office with debts on their heads then they use the funds they are suppose to work for the masses across communities to repay the money they borrowed. We must put an end to this very vicious cycle.
In America and most Western nations, the citizens contribute their money to their preferred candidate(s) so that their preferred candidate(s) will win the election. And after the elections, they have every right to hold these persons whom they didn’t just give their votes to but also contributed their money for accountable. That’s why things work for them.
We must rise up to the occasion and say no to political, hypocritical, desperate and overnight philanthropists.
God bless you,
God bless Southern Kaduna,
God bless Kaduna State,
God bless Nigeria!
- Ziniyet Godwin Hilary