As the 2019 general elections draws near, there has been a huge clamour for the populace to get their Permanent Voters Card (PVC) and vote for credible leaders. The clamour, though having good intentions is not rightly placed. Information available reveals that majority of the voters from the 2015 general elections were the uneducated masses.
The educated class were reluctant to come out to vote, and in actual sense, most do not even have their permanent voters card. This non-chalant attitude by the educated class during election period has been the reason for the continuous bad leadership being experienced in Nigeria. Despite having a skewed process in political parties in Nigeria that favours the emergence of elected leaders backed by money bags, the educated class have a lot of roles to play to change the narrative.
A huge chunk of the voting public comes from the North and the elite of the North has misused this advantage by holding their uneducated followership captive through lies, propaganda and misinformation.
This is the reason why, despite producing the highest number of national leaders like Gowon, Murtala, Shagari, Babangida, Abacha, Abubakar, and Buhari, the North still has the worst poverty index in Nigeria. Politicians especially in the North has hindered the development of their zone for selfish gains, and because there are no much opposing views being given to the masses, they are left with only the bad option to choose from.
The southern part of Nigeria despite having more educated people has been unable to bring in credible leaders to transform the country due to lack of foresight of what the actual problem is; which is the fact that until the South helps the North to help herself, Nigeria will continue to move in endless circles with bad leadership. When the agitation for independence from the British was on, foremost leaders like Azikiwe, Bello, Enahoro and others went round the country, especially to rural areas to sensitize Nigerians on the need for independence and the inherent benefits. These Nigerian patriots continued in this advocacy despite the setbacks and challenges until freedom was achieved.
This particular scenario is lacking in this dispensation. There is an urgent need to sensitize and educate the masses on how to choose a credible leader and to know that there are always many other credible candidates to choose from irrespective of the political party they belong to. The educated Nigerians that are desirous of change in the country should sponsor advocacy groups to reach out to these areas with the right message or volunteer their time and finance to go to these rural areas to enlighten the masses on the need to choose the right leaders irrespective of tribe or party affiliation. These are the kind of price our foremost nationalists paid to achieve independence from Britain. If we as a people must move to where we desire our country to be, we have to pay the required price; Advocacy being made on social media is not enough, the huge voting population remains with the uneducated populace, hence the need to liberate the uneducated first, so that votes from educated Nigerians can have meaning.
Liberating those who have been misinformed or have little access to information is a task that every informed Nigerian must do.
When we liberate the uneducated Nigerians, we are indirectly making way for the educated class to change the narrative, thereby improving the quality of leadership available, which will eventually lead to the transformation of Nigeria. Change begins with setting the captives free.
Let’s make Nigeria great again.
Chukwuka Igwegbe writes from Awka, Anambra State.