In more advanced democracies, you can only see electioneering activities within just a few months to elections. The American presidential system is a little more elaborate, with its system of state-by-state primaries.
Yet it does not fully heat up till about six months to the “THE DAY’ in November. This is because their Political leaders know the importance of spending maximum time in addressing the crucial issues of governance and building a system to guarantee a better future for the people. Elections and political actions are supposed to be the means to an end. Because Leaders should be more interested in the next generation rather than elections.
However, the situation in Nigeria is quite different. Here, politics is taken as a full-time “business” for almost all of our politicians as it is almost if not the easiest means of making millions of money due to its highly corrupted nature. The situation can be said to have got much worse since the return of democracy in 1999 when godfatherism assumed center stage in the country’s politics.
Barely 15 months into 2019 to 2023 electoral cycle, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and a prospective candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have already set the ball rolling for the 2023 elections.
Unfortunately, elected officials have allowed themselves to be distracted from their main task of fulfilling their mandates to the people of their states and embarked on long-term political adventurism at this major juncture when the world and our country keeps battling COVID-19 and many more national issues. Our economy has shrunk by six percent as a result of the pandemic as the country is heads towards another recession while employment opportunities for youths continue to be something the government is incapable of tackling.
The present reality of politics in Nigeria indubitably portrays a system that is under siege by the actions, inactions, and reactions of the aging political “Godfathers” drivers of this country in policymaking and implementation. The current crop of leaders while the economy of this country keeps plummeting is a paradigmatic shift from what was obtainable in the post-colonial era where the nationalists who agitated and achieved independence from Britain were in their youth and also as such put the people first. This is a stark contrast compared to the Nigerian politics seen today.
“The Youths are the leaders of tomorrow” is an aphorism that contradicts the leadership monopoly practiced by aging Nigerian kleptocrats because the Nigerian government of present is led by gerontocrats who have continued to sideline the youth in the political and economic climate of Nigeria. Leadership is portrayed as the right of the elderly in Nigeria irrespective of societal changes since independence.
Dec 31, 2021, as we move into a new year, the penultimate year before the 2023 elections, Politics in Nigeria is set to go through another heated cycle. From, different public relations strategies, to more “stomach infrastructure” being done, to radio interviews of politicians trying to shape or change the public perception towards them. It’s quite shameful that elections serve as the only check and balance system that holds politicians accountable for the work they’ve done over the last 4 years. And as we go into 2022, expect a lot of brawls and more political strategies of rivals trying to upstage each other.