Why YOU must #GetInvolved
There are three sides to politics - demand (the voters), supply (the candidates and parties) and regulation (INEC and law enforcement agencies)- pretty much the same with every industry. Thankfully, in a democratic society like Nigeria, you have a chance to participate on any of these sides. The challenge is that too many well-educated and exposed people believe that politics is a dirty game and that they should FLEE from all appearances of it.
The challenge with that narrow way of thinking is that politics affects everything - the quality of education, infrastructure, healthcare, security, sanitation - everything! The decisions that political actors make affect our livelihood and well-being, so keeping away completely from politics is like a group of people watching the TV with an elephant in the parlour and pretending it is not there. Everyone cannot be an entrepreneur in the same way that everyone cannot be a political office holder. However, we all can be good employees and by extension good citizens.
The Greek philosopher Plato warned that when smart and competent people decide not to get involved in politics, they end up being ruled by people who are inferior to them. While George Orwell, the author of “Animal Farm” famously said that “a people who elect corrupt politicians, impostors, thieves and traitors are not victims, but accomplices.
Participating either on the demand side as an active voter or the supply side as a candidate is what is required. We all have absolute control over the former and can decide if we want the latter.
Unfortunately, most of the discourse amongst the educated and enlightened folks in Nigeria is focused on the third pillar - regulation - the pillar over which they have very little control if any at all. We discuss what the Government should do, what INEC should do, and never stop to ask ourselves - what should we do?
Discussing the problems of Nigeria like Chinua Achebe said in our offices, bars and salons will not change anything about our country especially when we end the discussion by saying - Politics is not for everyone. Even if you never choose to become a candidate and prevent the rule of idiots that has been our portion for many years, you can do something by being a well-educated voter who galvanizes others to do the same.
Please do NOT be cynical about what needs to be done to transform our country. Kindly play your own part by sharing this message with family, friends, colleagues and everyone around you so that we can increase the quality of political participation and the governance outcomes in Nigeria. Learn more by visiting www.getinvolvednigeria.org