‘Bureau De Change’: Riding On Tiger’s Back To The Poll By Taoheed A. Adégbìté



Whenever the pendulum of discourse swings to politics and another four years’ fate yet decided, one should rather abstain from throwing the dice to a labyrinth, for it is crystal-clear the spider-tangle on the face of the poor still gives a requisite for a lensed-specs in assessing the government of yesterday, juxtapose today’s evil despite the dearth of down-to-earth of the then jaw-dropping promises.

Going by the primordialism of politics in Nigeria, and on what ground many hope for a greater Nigeria got dashed to a trash bin. Of course, it was never a do-or-die affair due to the level of jingoism of the then chauvinistic chauffeurs of political reigns who blew the trumpet of governance, and from which the unfaithful fate of thousands of simpleton were dictated.

No doubt, the courageous and sweetened talks of pre-independence days’ leaders made Nigerians believe self-rule has boon in bounties, having enmeshed in a free doom of modern-servitude. But ever since after independence, ‘soldiers go soldiers come; barrack remains’ – fowl keeps perching on the rope; neither the rope nor the fowl is at ease.

As we move to the polls, days chameleonize to night and cock keeps crowing intensely towards a decisive dawn. To the secularists, our problems have no stance being regarded as anathema. And of course, on this ground, Nigeria has a decimated number of people expecting a better Nigeria of the poorers. They have once held the ‘powerfool-umbrella’ which got lost to the whirlwind of poverty and insecurity. The change mantra has actually changed the status-quo, at least, every slight ailment whence power got thrust to the mire of incompetence have had its otherwise robustness – frolicking with our new so-called angels.

So it’s now ‘see and buy’. A semblance of bureau de change – “Your money; my PVC”. The saga on the lips of many after the July and September (part 1 & 2) guber elections in Ekiti and Osun states have been of endemic vote buying or better called, voter inducement; an irrational tricky politics placing tapestry on our problems and the much ado behind its uneasiness to evacuate the land. This has indeed made politicians, turning supposed democratic dispensations to exploitation of opportunities. After all, you’ve taken a cumulative four years dividends at once.

Holistically, the eleventh hour initiative of the present government to eradicate poverty – as claimed – is nothing but an act of voter inducement. Should the discourse fall on its timing? Remember it was launched in Osun State at the 59th minute of the eleventh hour to the guber poll. Oh! Sorry! In Osun, poverty was like HIV/AIDS that “no dey show for face”. It’s no doubt a demagogic tactic, a ‘pastoric’ and saintly modus operandi of tackling the overnight infectious poverty disease in our land.

To save our democracy, it’s high time we fought the menacing vote buying. It’s time overdue we let our people be educated; move out from the mire of political naivety and to be rational enough on how long any amount of cash whatsoever collected in barter for one’s decisive franchise could span, disappearing into a thin air of another four years of hardship and infrastructural kwashiorkor.

Until we realize ourselves as the instigators of a corrupt Nigeria, then there would be much more tendency to restore power back into the hands of the electorates, instead of hegemonic crumbs.

Crumbs? A semblance of riding on the back of a tiger, one would surely end in its stomach. Though, many have voted in the past out of own free will, and still, development found aggrandizement as the only pit-of-the-hell among the sins, and upon which many have either resolved to embrace aparthy or succumbed to a ‘dollarized’ poll. Do the voters even see their PVCs as power again? Question begging for answer.

To be candid, if the crowd pulled by each candidate of either of the two major contenders — PDP and APC — at campaign rallies should form the yardstick of measuring or undermining the chances of either of the two parties, then one is mistaken. Mind you, majority of those at different rallies aren’t all party loyalists — many are ordinary spectators who are ready to succumb to whoever is convincing enough. Let’s give a reminiscent of how incumbency spurred crowds to GEJ campaign rallies in 2014. Okay! Did those self-acclaimed mammoth PDP loyalists have their thumbs chopped off or amputated prior to the poll?

With utmost hutzpah, I’m not sorry to say I’m sorry for those feeding-bottle candidatures. Honestly, it can’t work now – whodunit? Even the blind would see their chances of imminent subvert of the ruling APC/PDP as quite a miniature. Rather, the contenders are lucid, and until the ballot papers thumbed and boxes got filled; no pragmatic prognosis between the two.

Among other factors that need be addressed, with vote buying becoming endemic, is the reliability of the umpire. Whenever a body like INEC is dubious of a subterfluent preps to take side, then, no gospel can placate the electorates from pitching their tent with Joseph Stalin, who opined that “Those who vote decide nothing; those who count decide everything”. Then, turning polling units to a parallel market of dollar for PVCs is inevitable.

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