Qualified Citizens of Nigeria No Longer Need A Political Party To Stand In Election-
The Nigerian Senate recently voted to amend some key elements of the country’s Constitution. One of which is the electoral law in respect of candidates who are qualified to stand for elections from Local government to Federal positions.
This is a welcome development especially during this time that agitations are rife from various groups and groupings in the country.
Our democracy is evolving. A Robust Democratic society started in like manner. Diaspora vote is next.
Permit me to digress from the topical issues of restructure and self determination.
You now have the power in your hands to bring about the desired changed, which change ultimately should be geared toward development and harnessing of the resources that abound in Nigeria. It is indeed a shame that Nigeria in this modern time, is still grappling with leadership matter or the lack thereof.
I recall in 1993 in Lagos when we all took to the streets in protest for the cancellation of the June 12 election of the late Moshood K Abiola as a civilian President.
Power was on the street of Nigeria, yet we didn’t know what to do with it. We were not trained or prepared for it. We had crippled the government at the time, rendered Nigeria ungovernable. NADECO had the power in its hands but didn’t see it. Wole Soyinka, Beko Kuti , Olisa Agbakoba, Gani Fawehinmi and host of others that we looked up to for directions were stifled. Central command was in disarray and most of us fled for our dear lives. I sought refuge in South Africa whilst others ran to Europe or to the neighbouring countries.
We shall no longer flee. To live our dreams, we must confront our fears.
I recall that we couldn’t seize the very rare but short opportunity we had to overthrow the government of Abacha. Very sad.
Now, by passing into law independent candidacy, the present democratic dispensation has handed us same power that we had left on the streets of Nigeria in 1993.
All we need do is to rally supports, organize ourselves, canvass with the same energies I am witnessing in the current agitations, so to bring about the desired changed. Our common destiny is in our hands.
It is time we stopped the culture of recycling our political leaders. In fact we do not need them because they all are members of the leading political parties, whose members are recycled and modified to suit their selfish ends. Let us ignore them and let them be what they are, political dinosaurs.
They have nothing left to offer us but shame. There is no originality of thoughts, there is no sincerity of purpose, no direction, nothing whatsoever.
We are unwilling recipients of what all they have to offer, these are, hate, kleptomania, vengeance, vendetta, division, evil, looting and everything that is not good.
We have the know-how, we have the tool, social media, networks, we have brains.
We need to start our own party, better still, stand as an independent candidate.
You are not too young to run.
We are equally viable and powerful should we organize ourselves and set our minds to achieving our common goal.
Yes we can.
Barrister Austin Okeke Writes from South Africa
P O Box 2012