Elias Ozikpu

As the 2019 general election approaches, the same individuals who have wreaked incalculable havoc on the Nigerian nation are now regrouping and expunging personal disagreements in order to execute a seamless feast on the Nigerian carcass. Quite obviously, the Nigerian carcass was the overall objective which necessitated the two men to meet in Abeokuta on the 11th day of October, 2018 during which the Nigerian cyberspace got inundated with images of the meeting. What was never revealed to Nigerians who have been subjected to extreme privation by these same people is that the meeting was convened to conclude arrangements for the funeral of the Nigerian state.

Admittedly, President Buhari has been such a catastrophe that jettisoning him in 2019 should no longer be subjected to any form of deliberation by anyone who genuinely believes that Nigeria ought to be on the path of progress and economic prosperity. It will however be outright suicide and a betrayal of our education to elect Atiku Abubakar of the PDP in 2019 being one of the protagonists of PDP’s 16-year misrule that has now been consolidated by their cohorts in the APC.

Nigerians must compulsorily reject a conglomeration of political criminals and mediocres whose compelling motive of holding political office is the privatisation of public wealth. It is this desire to privatise public wealth by all means upon assuming office that aspiring political office holders in Nigeria spend much more than they can legitimately earn throughout their four years term.  For instance, it has been revealed that former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar splashed N42 billion to bribe delegates during PDP’s presidential primaries in Port Harcourt in order for him to emerge as the party's flag-bearer. Assuming without conceding that Atiku becomes president in 2019, his entire salary in four years will be N72,000,000 if he earns N1,500,000 per month.

With this arithmetic before us, it is hallucinatory, therefore, to think that a man who has splashed such elephantine sum of money will be committed to confronting Nigeria's long-standing challenges rather than focusing on recouping his ‘investment’ – with a significant profit.

Nigerians must reprobate the desperate attempt of the APC and the PDP to foist upon them Atiku Abubakar or Muhammadu Buhari, two catastrophic individuals who cannot get a single vote in developed worlds of America and Europe where a political candidate's capacity to lead a country is tested by the depth of their intellect and ideas rather than the size of their bank accounts.

As Nigerians now bellow ‘Atikulate’ on cyberspace, it is germane they be reminded that the deep scars of nepotism, ineptitude, economic putrefaction and corruption inflicted on Nigeria by ‘Febuhari’ or ‘March4Buhari’ have not been erased and will likely remain indelible in the event that another ruinous error is committed in the 2019 election.

It is to activate Nigeria's full potentials as a nation that the African Action Congress (AAC) joined the stern tussle for the Nigerian soul so as to wrestle our great country from the grip of those whose principal interest is to despoil and underdevelop the country, and thereafter embark on foreign trips where they are guaranteed quality service in healthcare, education and other amenities. A mere look at the characters surrounding Atiku and Buhari is enough to tell exactly what to expect in 2019.

In fact, growing up back home, we had a saying that nothing brings the owl and the hawk to the same dinning table at the same time. One goes to the dinning table whilst the sun is up, the other does so in the dead of night.

In the same vein, you cannot claim to have genuine intentions for a country and be fraternising with those who have pulverised it and continue to do so ad infinitum. In the instant case, not only are Buhari and Atiku surrounded by the destroyers of this country, they are themselves part of those who contributed in decorating Nigerians with the garments of impecuniosity and utter misery.

The world is evolving with unusual rapidity, and if Nigeria must embark on a journey to become a First World country, the ideal decision would be to elect a candidate with the passion, innovative ideas and intellectual capacity capable of running a 21st century country, and this is precisely why Nigerians should embrace the candidacy of Omoyele Sowore of the African Action Congress (AAC). After 58 disastrous years led by those who should have no relationship with political leadership, oppressed and concerned Nigerians have been left in a situation where they have no alternative but to dance to the songs of liberation.

There have been a deluge of books written under the title: ‘How Europe Underdeveloped Africa’. I consider myself a very humane person, but each time I read the lame and intellectually-insulting arguments in such books, I come up with the following thoughts: strip the writers of these books naked, lash them seventy-two strokes of the cane each on their naked buttocks and then send them back to school to learn Post-colonial African History.

It is my sustained argument that Europe or America cannot at this time be blamed for the pervasive poverty and underdevelopment in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.

This submission is corroborated by an academic essay published in September of 2015 by Cornell University on the topic ‘Post-Colonial African Conflict’. The essay reads in part:

‘Although 19th century European imperialism was a major factor in causing the political weakness within African states, the solution to Africa's continuing political, economic and social conflict is in the hands of Africans themselves.’

I couldn't agree more. I am of the view that Nigerians, for instance, have consistently elected thieves into public offices. These thieves were not superimposed on us by the British who left our land over 58 years ago. The thieves were elected by the Nigerian electorates who have been deceived and continued to be deceived by the gang of political criminals in the APC and the PDP who have turned Nigeria into their private business enterprise.

Next year, Nigerians will have a rare opportunity to elect a competent, visionary, credible and well-educated leader in Omoyele Sowore who has been a nightmare to those who have held Nigeria hostage since independence and are desirous to do so beyond 2019. Another mistake by the Nigerian electorates will be extremely fatal.

Elias Ozikpu is a professional playwright and a member of the African Action Congress (AAC).

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