As we write this piece, Nigerians and other keen observers are eagerly waiting for the declaration of the winner in today’s gubernatorial election in Ekiti State Nigeria. Whatever happens, a new clear twist and nomenclature has been added to Nigeria election lexicon. While we all know that existed before, we have been unable to affix the right word. But today, with the ingenious minds of Nigerians, someone has been able to correctly tag this disease- stomach infrastructure. Stomach infrastructure building is the mindset of the voter to concentrate on increasing the size of one’s stomach with stipend/goodies one can get from the political aspirants during pre-election period as you know it will be impossible to get anything after.
In our previous piece on this platform, we did say people and especially the youth should please consider the future instead of the now. If the early reports coming from Ekiti State Nigeria is anything to go by ‘rice giving’ candidate is in the lead. Whatever happens though, it is very clear then that stomach infrastructure could have become a better election strategy in Nigeria than a campaign based on reason. We seem to be clamouring for a change but it appears we are permanently wrapped in the bandage of poverty which. This bondage or bandage as the case may be has coloured our perception and orientation. We all desire a change but our present wants/needs are greater propeller of our action.
It is obvious to the writer, Nigerians want instant gratuity and we are in a haste to get what we think we have lost. We want to belong to the happening groups and we care less how this is done. We are willing to sacrifice the future, which is around the corner, for a ‘shadowy’ present. We see a pattern where most Nigerians are pursuing individual’ breakthroughs’ through the short cut instead of the community well-being. We claim we are tired of waiting; meanwhile we are doing more damage. We all aim at individual one night’s stand. We share, consume a single carrot we ought to plant. We make wrong choices because we can not wait any longer. Unfortunately for the masses, this strategy keeps the society in perpetual bondage.
When we chose ‘stomach infrastructure building’, which promises us a sort of temporary relieve, that will last us for a week over a commitment to build physical infrastructure which can help us and the generation unborn. We will keep jeopardizing the ray of hope that is beckoning. We will keep weeping, staggering on the same spot. We know stomach infrastructure did not just start today. It is an age long societal disease. This epidemic started since amalgamation of Nigeria through to the first republic. The excuse we may have for encouraging this in the past was that not many were educated. So it was easy to manipulate the majority of the people.
Even though there is still an issue with the Nigeria educational sector, the number of people who have secondary education has increased. We know have access to technology and at least a sizeable percentage do follow global news through social media platform. But unfortunately, Nigerians keep repeating same class/lesson. We never learn from past mistakes. We usually throw the baby away with the bath water.
We allow people with zero value system to rule. Powers that be also encourage this. Since the aim is to project ‘ours is a big party that rules’. We abandon the voice of reason and greatness which always beckon. Nigerians seem to be signing for a doomsday while we always cry foul when the result of our choices pinned us down inside the dirty water.
Nigeria (ns) needs to face reality. We may continue the stomach infrastructure operation which promises a day’s relieve or go for a commitment to physical and desirable infrastructure building that can lead us to somewhere. As we know this requires level of sacrifices. Come to think of sacrifices, majority of our well-informed elites, educated folks who know better are staying away from active participation in the real choice making- taking part in the voting process at least. We use social media to raise dialogue and do nothing about offline conversation as well as change management process. This requires one- on- one, face-to-face meeting, interaction, voters’ education. We must acknowledge also the terrain is still fraught with a high level of challenges. Ignorant people, especially those in the rural areas still kills as well as cast ‘diabolical spell’ on good people who are willing to help. Whatever that (diabolical spell) means. It is up to us to make a decision. In advance, we congratulate the winner of Ekiti State gubernatorial election 2014.