I’ve never really been into politics. Sure, it was fun to hear people arguing loudly in public places about one governor or senator or representative. And, of course, we all love political scandals (either secretly or openly). But that’s as far as my range of interest stretched. Needless to say, when this whole election-campaign-voting-thingy started, I steered clear of any participation. Verbally or otherwise. I simply refused to be perturbed.
Before I commence, you should know that I am writing from experience and personal knowledge. Every event described and/or mentioned here is FACT. However, no names or specific positions that may reveal true identity will be mentioned. That being said, I shall proceed to the business at hand and try to be as unbiased as I possibly can.
I can’t help but notice a lot of electoral candidates are using. “Youth Empowerment” as their platform. Every campaign on TV lists what the candidate believes he has done and what he wants us to believe. He intends to do, and it’s almost always the usual – roads, electricity, water, education, blah blah blah. But we’re not talking about the usual stuff, because we already know. Well, I know ‘I’ do. Nah. I’m talking about the latest campaign strategy. The one I have dubbed “The Youth Empowerment Scheme”.
Suddenly, everyone wants to empower the youth. Ever stopped to wonder why? Why TV campaigns are being edited last minute to include plans for the youth? Because they finally realise we really ARE the future? Well, maybe. But also ask yourselves what kind of empowerment do you want? And what empowerment are you being offered? Silly me. They’re offering jobs and all-those-other-things-i-really-can’t-be-bothered-to-remember-right-now, right? Awesome. Please bare in mind that I can go on air and announce that I am the queen of Haribo land. That doesn’t make me the queen, and a pace called Haribo land doesn’t automatically appear.
Let me now give you a glimpse of what the same people promising you really have in mind.
*Some certain governors up running for a second term recently patronised a club. A club also patronised by CSWs (Commercial Sex Workers). Some left with some CSWs, some picked up other girls. I will not go into how these girls were used. I will not disclose how much they were paid. -» I have nothing against men visiting a club. They aren’t the first married men to pick up girls, and they won’t be the last. But is this the sort of empowerment we want? CSWs are youth too. And I know for a FACT that a lot of them would rather not be in that position. Judge as much as you want to, but your opinions are cattle dung unless you’ve been there! Those girls could just have easily been given that same amount, or even less, to help make life a bit better for them, without being subjected to the things that happened that night, if “Youth Empowerment” is truly what these people have in mind.
*Being offered the post of ‘Youth Campaign Manager’ is not always what you believe it to be. Of course, you’re warned it’s a tough job. But how tough? “I mean, PR work can’t be THAT hard.”. Yes. But no one said you’d just be doing PR work. These are also the people in charge of the making and cleaning up messes. Believe it or not, politicians are still into rituals. And when they need a certain amount of virgin heads, who gets them? Not their PAs, not the people working with them directly (all adults), but the Youth Campaign Manager. Awesome, innit? He goes out and hunts down those virgins. Kills and mutilates them, and disposes of the carcass (if there’s any left). Empowerment, right?
*Drug deals and money printing. You hear or read that a certain person is sinking billions of naira into his campaign. This may or may not alarm you, but that money is most likely fake. Well, if the guy that does the printing does a really good job, it looks real enough. It’s not their brothers or nephews that are arranging the materials needed to print this money. Well, relatives sometimes hav a role to play. The game is to approach a friend, preferably desperately in need of money at that time. Sell the idea to him. “The materials are ready.”, “Just need a small amount.”, “There’s no risk.”. And when he’s hooked, he might as well be signing a death warrant because the chances of them letting him live after are slim. Empowerment at it’s finest.
I’m not sure about you, but I don’t feel very empowered. Maybe I’m missing something. Whatever the case, I’m hoping that those of you that have been berating me for not getting involved will chill now. Yes, I did not register to vote. Yes, I see this whole election thing as just trips. And yes, my opinion still stands “Whoever wants to be president should be president.”. A candidate who goes on air and announces that he pans to do so-and-so, but still expects to make several mistakes and isn’t making any promises, has a better chance at securing my vote.
I’m not here to comment on the pitiful representations of election candidates on national television, nor sham interviews. I don’t care who’s assigning whatever-amount of bodyguards or to whom those bodyguards are being assigned. It’s not fair to say one thing and do something so far on the negative polar of the original plan. And it’s unfair of us, the youth, to allow ourselves to continue to be ridden.
I’m writing simply to implore you to think deeply. Examine each candidate meticulously. Take into consideration what each has ACTUALLY achieved, and weigh the scales fairly, without any familial or tribal pre-setting in your mind, before casting a vote.
Hopefully, that way, we can honestly say we’ve made a difference.
Thanks for taking the time to read. Have a blessed day 🙂