We are in an interesting season in the history of our
nation. The past three months have been unprecedented by
many standards. Daily, we are inundated with news of
Change, Transformation and Moving Forward. Accusations,
counter-accusations, allegations, counter-allegations,
and law suits are not in short supply this season. They
come in droves.
The #BringBackOurGirls fervour seems to have been
remarkably doused by the activities around this
electioneering season. Salute to those still fanning the
embers of that campaign which would have been put out,
but for their resolute stance. Politicians who had (and
still have) questions to answer have momentarily ceased
to be seen in that light and are now celebrated as
Friends have become foes. Foes have become friends.
Dictators have turned democrats. Democrats have turned
dictators to remain in power. Strange bed fellows are
seen smiling and “uniting” towards the same cause. Just
as I am penning this piece, the news breaks that the
Deputy Governor of Ondo State (an erstwhile PDP member)
just defected to APC. This is coming only a few days
after his Rivers State counterpart moved from APC to
pitch his tent with the PDP.
It is such a unique and interesting season.
Though two presidential elections have taken place in
Nigeria since Twitter and Facebook were founded (Twitter
was founded on March 21, 2006; while Facebook was
founded on February 4, 2004), many active users of these
social media platforms have never in their lifetime had
the opportunity of being part – as voters and
commentators - of such a keenly contested Nigerian
presidential election as this.
A study carried out by Olowu A.O and Seri F.O on:
”Social network addiction among youths in Nigeria”
reveals that majority of social media users in the
country fall within the age bracket of 16 to 44 years.
One easily deduced implication of this statistic is
that, the 2015 elections will be greatly determined by
the votes and activism of young people. Any politician
or political party that disregards the votes of this
demographic is doing so at its own peril.
Bearing in mind that the votes of the youth will go a
long way in shaping the elections, it is important that
we as young people elevate our thoughts beyond the
mundane. Though youths, we can begin to think like
statesmen. While some, including our not-so-young
politicians and voters, think about the next election,
statesmen think about the next generation.
We must be able to discern the wolves in sheep’s
clothing. We must be able to spotlight the emergency
democrats. We must know those that have been inactive
for the past four years, who have suddenly jerked back
to life. We must know those who have been slumbering and
sleeping on duty in the last four years who have
suddenly awoken to become “star performers”.
Youths must understand that this election is about the
future. It is about the future of Nigeria. We must not
allow politicians to cast wool over our eyes. We must be
bold enough to ask the contestants if this level of
engagement with the youths will continue after they are
elected and show them the painful consequences of
reneging on their promises after they have been elected
In all, irrespective of our political affiliations, we
should have a heart bigger than both the APC and PDP as
we go to the polls. Though we may have our individual
preferences, we must maintain a heartbeat like that of a
statesman amidst the mud sliding going on in cyberspace.
If we truly want Change and Transformation in all
spheres of life as a nation, we must choose to see the
big picture and eschew petty politics, because it only
leads to pettiness. It leads to a petty economy. It
leads to the provision of petty solutions to the myriad
of challenges facing our nation.
We can have a heart bigger than the APC and the PDP.
When we do, we will assess candidates based on their own
merit, rather than be narrow-minded, basing our choice
on tribe, ethnicity and religion.
The acrimonious run-up to this election will not sway
the Nigerian youth whose heart is bigger than APC and
PDP, from seeing the big picture. We will not be swayed
by the waves of propaganda unleashed on the Nigerian
people from both sides of the aisle.
Corruption allegations are hanging on several
politicians in PDP and APC. Therefore, Nigerian youths
should endeavour to vote CHARACTER and COMPETENCE; Vote
for the INDIVIDUALS, not the POLITICAL PARTY.
No matter who wins on March 28 and April 11, 2015, there
is a huge task ahead.
The price of oil has continued to go south in the
international market. And, an end seems not in sight to
the downward slide. State governors owe workers’
salaries and cannot meet their obligations.
The end seems near for our mono-economy. And Nigeria
will soon be funded by the Creative Economy which will
be powered by the vibrancy of the Nigerian youths!
In the light of this revelation, the pertinent question
to ask as we go to the polls therefore is, How large is
Samuel O. Adeyemi is a Lagos based Journalist.
He can be reached on: Samonsong@gmail.com
He tweets from @DemocratSam