I haven’t written in a while. I think in some ways I m suffering from writers block and cant seem to get my thoughts down in a semi-coherent way. However I shall try.
I have been observing the build up to the 2011 Elections here in Nigeria and in my opinion the most important positions that we as Nigerians can vote for are the local and regional positions, by that I mean councilors, Local Government Chairmen, State Assembly members, National Assembly members and Governors. Why?
In my simplistic reasoning, the person who is most likely to affect your life personally is on a state or local government level. Because the fact remains that in our country money from the Federal account is allocated to each state and by extension each Governor to run his state. These funds in addition to internally generated revenue could transform many states and help improve the standards of living of many Nigerians.
My fellow Nigerians, the quest for a better Nigeria in my opinion starts at the grassroots because it is the corrupt Local Government Chairman that is reputed to steal the most money when viewed as a percentage of allocations. He/She is no less of a thief than the President just because they stole a smaller amount of money. The money the Local Government Chairman steals can go to fix a few boreholes in the community. It could go to providing seats for students at the Local primary school; it could go to HIV awareness and basic sanitation etc.
It is the Local Government chairman who steals enough money over 4 or 8 years and decides to run for the National Legislature. There he goes and steals some more, he misappropriates the development fund given to each legislature for his constituency and denies the communities he is representing a new classroom, a primary healthcare facility, scholarships for students etc.
The Local Government Chairman after serving in the senate or House of Representatives runs for Governor. He wins. He then steals money on a grander scale. He denies your state good roads, access to clean drinking water, education, and healthcare. In fact he not only denies you basic amenities but he foments crisis amongst the people of your state. He plays one group against the other all in a bid to stay in power.
He cleans up his record by doing a few contracts and publicizes them. After a few years, he had gathered enough political clout and he runs for president and wins. Now you officially have a corrupt pig in office that started out as a Local Government Chairman.
Of course the scenario I am painting is a bit exaggerated but still what I am trying to say is that we as a nation should not focus so much on the Presidential Elections that we forget to vote in people at the grassroots levels who can make a difference in our lives. I believe this also applies to any opposition party looking to gain ground in the long run. Win some states! Win at the grassroots. Win and perform well in office. If you don’t believe me, look at Lagos state. It will be near impossible for the party in power to lose because the people have seen performance.
I believe in votes reflecting performance, that is why it is important for us to vote out people and parties that have failed to perform. It is important that we kick out all Vagabonds, Kleptomaniacs and Big Men who are to Big for their constituents. Lets us bring back accountability and lets change Nigeria, one Local Government at a time.
I leave you with this Eldee song “One day”, Enjoy.