Insanity Is Voting For The Same Party Over And Over And Expecting Different Results
“They have destroyed the economy. After 16 years PDP cannot give light to Edo people and in the darkness, they are using their might to collect what they call fixed charges from very poor people and because there is no light, the woman that has to grind pepper has to buy a generator; because there is no light, the woman that grinds cassava has to buy a generator; because there is no light, the woman who has to sell articles at night has to buy a generator.
“I like what the Benin leaders are saying. We cannot say this is what we have gained from the PDP and because we are working, they are very afraid. When I see the PDP Chairman of the State wearing multiple colors and talking and spending his time abusing Oshiomhole, but failing to spend some minutes saying what the PDP has done in 10 years, I laugh.
“When you are going now, pass through the Central Hospital to see the beautiful work that is being done there. This is what is giving the PDP sleepless nights because all the evil plans they had against that hospital did not work. Before APC came, PDP asked students to pay school fees. We have stopped all of that. If you have two or three children in school and you do not pay school fees for any of them, is that not extra savings? Under PDP, they were paying for schools that didn’t have roofs and chairs.”
“There are still many things to be done because the damages done by PDP in ten years cannot be repaired in six years. I want to promise you that we will continue to do our best.”
The foregoing were the persuasive words that Mr. Adams Oshiomhole chose to calumniate the PDP while welcoming a coalition of women from across the 18 local government areas of the State, led by Evelyn Igbafe, who paid him a solidarity visit as the governor of the State then, on Tuesday, February 23, 2015. Before angrily addressing his audience officially, he ostensibly gave them a prologue, by saying that “PDP has mismanaged the economy. You can all see that you need about N220 now to buy $1. When PDP took over power in 1999, $1 was between N60 and N65”.
Against the foregoing backdrop, particularly as President Muhammadu Buhari was ostensibly overrated, Nigerians went to the polls in their numbers chanting “Sai Baba”, and voted for APC. It would be recalled that on the day Buhari was announced as the winner of the election by the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that some “Okada” riders almost rode themselves to death at Lawanson, in Lagos, where I lived at the time and other parts of the country. In a similar vein, amidst the “Sai Baba” chorus renting the air, not a few excited people at the grassroots nearly drank into a stupor.
Paradoxically, 7 years down the line, a former minister and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr. Solomon Dalung, who served in the “APC correctional regime”, in February this year, during the official launch of The National Movement (TNM) in Abuja, berated President Muhammadu Buhari and the party for failing to deliver campaign promises to Nigerians.
Unarguably throwing light on the philosophy behind the formation of TNM, Dalung said it was conceived in 2021 as a movement to serve as a melting pot for Nigerians desirous of working together collectively “to redeem the nation from what they believed to be the lack of capacity of the current administration”.
Despite being a member of the ruling party, Mr. Dalung in his speech, expressed disappointment in the current administration as he adjudged the government’s performance using ‘socio-economic yardsticks’.
As it is very obvious that the APC has been unable to deliver its promises, even as it has more than 100% exacerbated the festering and retrogressive situation, the blame game has changed as APC, just, in the same manner, it lampooned the PDP, is today been lampooned, by the PDP, even by virtually all Nigerians as hunger been faced across the land is unprecedented, and is by each passing day becoming unbearably aggravated.
Aptly capturing Nigeria’s socioeconomic situation, the World Bank, in a recent analytical overview posted on its website on September 14, 2022, stated “While Nigeria has made some progress in socio-economic terms in recent years, its human capital development ranked 150 of 157 countries in the World Bank’s 2020 Human Capital Index. The country continues to face massive developmental challenges, including the need to reduce the dependency on oil and diversify the economy, address insufficient infrastructure, build strong and effective institutions, as well as address governance issues and public financial management systems.
“Inequality, in terms of income and opportunities, remains high and has adversely affected poverty reduction. The lack of job opportunities is at the core of the high poverty levels, regional inequality, and social and political unrest. High inflation has also taken a toll on households’ welfare and high prices in 2020-2022 are likely to have pushed an additional 8 million Nigerians into poverty”.
In fact, at the moment, not a few Nigerians can barely feed themselves as the prices of virtually every food item have soared beyond reach. For instance, a loaf of bread that two people can derive satisfaction from that was formerly sold for N300 is now been sold at N600 or N650; depending on where it is purchased from.
Against the foregoing graphic illustration in this context of the Nigerian economy under the watch of the PDP then, and under the APC now, it is expedient to ask, “If both PDP and APC have failed Nigerians, why do voters still fall for them at the polls?
The reason for the foregoing question cannot be easily pooh-poohed, particularly when understood from the perspective of an African proverb that says “A rape victim is considered to have consented to the evil act if she did not scream and do everything possible to resist”. In a similar vein, an analogous African proverb has it that “A woman whose dowry is yet to be paid and has, in turn, given birth to seven children for her husband does not need to lament that she was forced into marriage”.
Without resorting to campaigning for any political party or candidate in this context, ahead of the 2023 presidential election, it is advisory enough to remind the electorates that there are a whole lot of choices to make at the polls in the much-expected 2023 general elections as it is possible for a voter to vote for different parties on different days; depending on the antecedent of the candidate that would be voted for, and what he or she promises to do. The foregoing discretion can easily be exercised as INEC has registered 18 political parties that would participate in the general elections, come 2023.
To my view, it is high time we started to vote wisely as the betterment of Nigeria should always be seen as the bigger picture each time we set out to vote. The gifts of rice, drinks, memorabilia, and monies that these politicians are wont to use in luring us to vote for them ahead of elections are not in any way sustainable, even as they are demeaning. Against the foregoing backdrop, it is expedient to opine that we all should be blamed if we allow affliction to arise for a second time, come the next political dispensation. In fact, blaming politicians affiliated with PDP and APC for our woes is normal, and why voters still fall for them at the polls is abnormal. In fact, without recourse to more comments in this context, it is expedient to conclude that we should not be going to the polls by each electoral dispensation, and in the process allowing the quotable quotes of Albert Einstein that says, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” to find expression in our collective choice at the polls.