It is irritating to no end to observe the APC-PDP back and forth on any media. Like competing sales marketers under commission, the objective is to sell and outdo the other camp; irrespective of technique, ethics or integrity.
As a people, we’re constantly being reprogrammed anew to think along divisive lines. Before analysing situations it is common for us to input irrelevant data into our thought matrix which almost always necessitates an arrival at illogical conclusions.
Tribe, religion, party and other affiliations are our foremost considerations when deciding if to criticize or defend ideals, actions, or persons. A typical example is the ‘They-are-against-us-because-we-are-from-this-area’ mentality. The puppeteers pulling our strings know the science behind our bias and don’t hesitate to use it to attain their selfish ends. Whether fuel is scarce or not, traffic cold or hot, they hardly feel the pinch.
Remember, there’s no go-slow in the skies, it’s me and you who suffer down here.
It is good to make banter and parodies of our situation because let’s face it we are in a pretty ugly mess and we need the comedy in order to stay sane. However, we need to be wary of some certain ‘experts’ who feed by disseminating apocrypha and passing them off as learned views. These individuals are easy to spot and some of their major attributes are listed below:
Ø Their analyses are designed to score points for one camp or the other
Ø They never follow their criticisms with solutions/suggestions
Ø They hardly have facts to support their claims
Ø Their criticisms are mostly limited to 140 characters
Ø Most of them are paid to mud-sling (throw shade)
Ø Most do not understand what is really going on and do not care to find out
The above should suffice in identifying 140 character pundits and similar entities wherever they might exist.Now, I'm not of the opinion that criticism is bad. That would negate the very tenets of the democratic system which I staunchly believe in. On the contrary, this is an advocacy for informed criticism which is like a modern day unicorn in these parts.
Fuel is scarce. Dollar is high. No electricity. Traffic is crazy. And then the next thing you see is:
PDP camp: Here is the change you were promised. At least, during GEJ’s time dollar never got this high.
APC camp: See, this is not our fault. We met this mess here and never expected it to be this bad.
This gets me shaking my head literally every time.
I believe majority of Nigerians want good roads devoid of traffic, stable electricity, affordable and available fuel, healthcare as well as other basic amenities of life. I would like to also believe we do not yearn for hospitals catering to PDP/APC members only, schools for Yoruba’s only or malls for Christians only. I believe most of us want the same things. To share and live together in this ideal called Nigeria. This is my fantasy and if you believe in it, it makes both of us patriots.
So should we play our nation away like Baba Ijebu? Should we trade our country for personal satisfaction or monetary gain? Should we repeat the same complaints all the time?
I say ‘NO’.
Several times I've had cause to discuss the polity with certain people (especially ‘educated’ youths) and I keep discovering a pattern: we keep complaining about the same things, we’re too ‘busy’ (reading gossip blogs) to find out why we keep facing the same challenges or to create solutions to them; having a belief that whatever this party does can’t be good because I like the other party. This is a destructive mind-set for the people of any nation to have. There’s virtually no way sustainable progress can be achieved because we are already primed saboteurs to one another.
While I am not an expert on American democracy, I'm near certain theirs has evolved beyond the type of destructive tit for tat politics we’re fond of here. As patriots, we owe it to our conscience, our children, our legacy to become interested and involved in national issues trying as much as we can to be impartial in analysis and criticism.
Like I told people repeatedly after the last elections, ‘forget campaign promises, Nigeria’s problems aren't the kind an easy fix will solve’. Our core concerns need long term solutions and this means more suffering. It means sacrifice and pain. I am not concerned about which party is making the necessary change; my business is in the job getting done.
So if any APC apologist shows you a picture of a completed project and emphatically credits the APC government, tell him/her that public office is a service and not a favour. It is their duty to serve and not a privilege.
Or if any PDP apologist starts a ‘no fuel, no light’ chant, don’t just jump on the band. Find out why first. Having facts at hand will help you provide informed criticism and enlighten so many uninformed Nigerians.
A lot of Nigerians don’t know why the Dollar is high, why fuel is repeatedly scarce, the reason for the epileptic power, and the unbearable heat. If we as ‘educated’ youths can use channels like the internet, radio, TV etc. to follow up on the latest gist, post and download pictures/videos; it shouldn't be too much of a bother to use the same media to obtain and disseminate correct and unbiased information about national issues. It is understandable if we do not have access to these channels but we do. So please let’s use them.
To use the Frank Donga’s famous words, ‘lezz stop the merry-go-rounding please’. It’s high time we laid this us versus them mentality to rest. This is not a football tournament where one side has to lose and go home. This is our home and we can all win.
God bless Nigeria.