Essays / Threads

‘Fixing Nigeria is not by elections’ #PontificalThread | by @ayosogunro

 There are some 40 to 50 ‘third force’ parties in Nigeria. Choose one, vote wisely. But don’t expect any to affect the election of those who have been in control of the political economy since 1960s.

Fixing Nigeria is not by elections, but by mass agitations for systemic reform.

If elections were won by good sense in Nigeria, Gani Fawehinmi would have been president and Obasanjo in jail.

A third force cannot progress when the road has not been constructed for it. We need to create an enabling political environment first before urging people to contest.

Mandela could never have won an election in an apartheid system. South Africans first had to dismantle the toxic political system, then setup a new Constitution.

They didn’t say: ‘If you dislike apartheid, then go and contest and change it from inside.’

Think, Nigerians.

 We tell our young people to go and contest against our elitist political class. Years later when they are swallowed by the political system and become ‘one of them’, we then express disappointment.

Isn’t it clear by now that there’s no individual winning against the system?

The closest I ever came to working with a government, I realised that what they wanted was an errand boy, not a contributor. I pulled back quickly.

Our current political system is an apprenticeship. You rise only if you demonstrate loyalty to the status quo. There is no other way.

You will not get to Aso Rock as an ‘outsider’ third force. There is no such road to Aso Rock. We haven’t constructed that road yet.

The only road to Aso Rock now is by patronage from the grassroots to the political elite. You bow your way across the ladder. Ask Buhari.

And if you think Aso Rock is too far, try your local politics. It is even worse there because that is the base on which the superstructures of the political elite rests. This is where violence happens.

Go read Achebe’s ‘A Man of the People’ to understand this grassroots control.

(Footnote on South Africa: They actually had black people who contested under the apartheid system and won elections. Despised till today because bad soil cannot produce good fruit. Read up on the Bantustans)


One thought on “‘Fixing Nigeria is not by elections’ #PontificalThread | by @ayosogunro

  1. Couldn’t have been put better. Young people running for elections is not a solution to the problem of misrule. The system is structured to frustrate anyone who attempts to transform it. Restructuring of the current political system is the only way to begin progress.


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