The elections in 2019 is do or die for the future of this country.
Today is Wednesday, June 28, 2017. In less than two years Nigeria would have sworn in a new President.
If the incumbent stays in power or if we have a new leader, one thing is certain things will remain the same.
Latest statistics show that there are 7.9 million Nigerians (15-34) that don't have jobs. Attempts to have uninterrupted power supply have been nothing but a farce. The drums of secession can still be heard 47 years after Biafra was crushed. 'Arewa Youths' are calling for Igbos to leave the North.
Senators and Representatives still earn a disgusting amount of money for doing virtually nothing in the House of Assembly. The national minimum wage is still shockingly at N18,000.
And just to paint how bad are minimum wage is, here is a list of things N18,000 cannot do in present day Nigeria,
a bag of rice
a bag of beans
pay house rent because Nigeria runs a senseless system of paying rent per annum when workers are paid wages per month.
Decent education for your child/children
good health care since Nigeria has no health care system.
This is the sad picture of present-day Nigeria, and here is the master stroke. The nation's number one citizen President Muhammadu Buhari has been London for 50 days where he has been treating an undisclosed illness.
Buhari who rode into power with an unprecedented amount of goodwill has not disclosed the nature of his ailment to the people that voted him into power. Secondly, there has been little or no communication between the Head of State and the Nigerian people. Thirdly, when he made a rare statement during this year's Ramadan, he spoke in Hausa.
Nigeria is a multi-ethnic nation and for a country that has tribalism as one of its huge problems, the President was highly insensitive.
This is present day Nigeria and forecasts on the future of this country are darker and gloomier. Borrowing from Thomas Hobbes life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short."
The status quo needs to change, urgently for the future of this nation. The sad news is that it is too late for our generation. As kids, we dreamt that by the time we were adults, Nigeria would be paradise. Look outside brothers and sisters Nigeria is hell. We have failed to move this nation forward. The basic things we are struggling to achieve are what many nations have done and forgotten.
We still have a shot to salvage this nation but not for us but the generation that is coming. Very soon we will head to the polls to vote for new leaders. It would be foolish and naive to think one general election will fix Nigeria's problems. The next polls can, however, be the start of something big.
The responsibility lies on us, the youth to engineer the change. Here are a few things we should all strive to do and know when its election time.
Every Nigerian above 18 should belong to a political party. We cannot be serious about change if we do not belong to a political party. The ancient Greeks believed that people who do not take part in political matters are idiots. Most of us are idiots and that is why we are comfortable with this horrible way of life. Nothing will change if we do not join the political process.
Focus on senators and reps (state and federal) and not on governors and President. The grand mistake we have made over several elections is focusing on who the president and governors are. No. The real focus should be on the senators and reps (both national and state). This is where most of the corrupt people are. These are the people who hold millions of Nigerians back. Before you decide on who you want to be president come 2019, ask yourself who you would vote for as your senator and rep. Because we fail to do this, we have allowed the worst of us to rule the best of us.
Nigeria's problems won't disappear even if all young Nigerians come out to vote and hold their state reps and local government chairmen responsible. Nigeria's mess won't be cleaned away with one general election but hopefully we become actively engaged in the process, things might start to change for the next generation.
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