On The 2015 Elections, My Generation’s Role, 2019 And Beyond

No politician has winning guaranteed —

Realize that anyone at any level can be voted out and approach them with this knowledge. We have voted out incumbents at every level of our polity before and we can do it again and again and again. Let no one tell you otherwise.

Interrogate everything about candidates —

Their policies and plans, their past, their wealth, their ideology, their statement, their alliances, their associates, every single thing. There are no messiahs. It is competence and vision across a broad spectrum of leaders that will deliver a better Nigeria to us and to our children and we must do our best to ensure this is what we get.

Interrogate every voice that arrogates itself as your voice —

People will always rise claiming altruism and to speak for you. Our generation must not surrender our voices to anyone. We must all speak and refuse to be shutdown. It is why I like the varied voices that have risen on social and traditional media. No bandwagons. Where people speak, interrogate what they say, why they are saying it and for whom they say it. No issues with being paid, but do not allow anyone assume altruism if they are paid

Get Involved and Organized —

Power, political power, is not a bad thing. Our parents have etched this thinking into many of us, our employers make it seem undesirable and those who wield power now make it look like the preserve of the scum of the nation. But power is important if we will shape the future and we must seek it within the structures in which it is currently available. Our current situation is a reflection of the capacity of those we have surrendered power to in the years past and our future will reflect those who we allow take power in the next couple of election cycles. A caveat here; never allow anyone to narrow your involvement possibilities to joining a party or their party. There are broader, more nuanced avenues for involvement in the political process. Not all of us can be or should be politicians.

Take the long view —

Realize that the political class led by the class of ’66 see us as pawns and there are no real party divides. If they have held on to power for that long, it is because they are skilled at taking the long view and execute to such a degree that they attack anything that can undermine them, up to the level of under-educating whole generations to keep them subdued. So wherever we find ourselves as a generation, we must negotiate hard and negotiate with our generation in mind. We must collaborate more and not allow ourselves to be used by the champagne class to fight their battles which only their champagne class children will benefit from. You breaking into their class does nothing for our generation — getting a better deal for our generation does.

Get Skill —

Nigeria is changing. Many don’t see this yet but if you are taking the long view, you will see it that if you are not skilled, you will eventually not be able to play at any level in Nigeria, whether politics or outside of politics. Those who have entrenched the cronyism that drives everything in Nigeria today are leaving the scene, whether due to death, old age or being swept aside. That system will fade away and it is those that are skilled that will take over. Already, if you look at the youths that got called to the table to participate in governance after 2015, you will see a marked difference between the roles given to those who were skilled and those who weren’t. The gulf is going to get wider. In all your getting, get skill.

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