VOTE…YOUR VOTE COUNTS!
The vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men. – Lyndon Baines Johnson.
My lords, I won’t pretend not to have heard some plans to boycott these impending elections, citing the failure of some fortune hunters they voted in the past. I believe it is impossible for it not to be possible, while I believe, I also think of the weight their decisions carry.
My lords, I am of the opinion that when one is mocked for being gap-toothed, one should be wary of laughing in public. The led have been constantly accused, at various quarters, of being the cause of the series of problems rocking the ship of the Union. It is therefore saddening that at the availability of an opportunity and platform to correct this position, some see a boycott as the best choice.
I must re-echo at this point that as a people, we have been victims of some avoidable rational rapes and of course recipients of some bundled insults some like to call “bobo”. Is it not an insult that some expect that we vote for them based on their posters that are exact likeness of their beings; lacking focus, purpose and plan? For those who are wise enough (because to be foolish is human, to be wise is divine) is it not an insult to your senses that some folks expect you to make your choices based on those pieces of empty eulogistic jingles that sound like elegies mourning the, perhaps, imminent death of an half-dead union?
Of course, we received greater insults from the outgoing administration, far greater ones, ranging from the myriad of allegations ranging from financial misappropriation to some other ones that one lacks adjectives to qualify; it is evident that we voted in people whose minds are too poor to follow! I felt greatly insulted last week when I stumbled on what I consider an unnecessary discourse (on the Students’Union Facebook group) on a long overdue impeachment of one of the members of this same outgoing executive council.
I feel insulted being in the same generation with some folks who obviously know nothing about leadership, perhaps, except that it is tri-syllabic word and that it is the name of one of the national dailies, folks who see the decision making body of the students’populace as a pedestal to greener pastures. I felt insulted last Friday when I overhead the house secretary tell someone that UISU is like a training ground for his future political ambitions, forgetting that great leaders are not made at snookers-stands, rather they are those who have, over the years, consistently learnt the art of feeding the sheep and not eating them.
My Lords, as a people, we have not been properly insulted by all these events and folks, I propose a better way:
HOW TO PROPERLY INSULT UITES:
One of the proper ways to insult ourselves is make decisions in these elections based on posters, jingles and some nasty narratives that should never be found in pamphlets the stock of champions read; “I have known him/her since our CBN days, he/she is good. She is in my hall. The south has ruled, let the north rule”, Sir/ma, perhaps you have forgotten that some people know the other contestants this same way you claim to know your aspirant well.
Finally, the most proper way to insult ourselves is to boycott these elections refusing to vote. Then, we won’t be mere spectators in the affairs of this body; we would have gone down memory lane and the annals as a people who declined the opportunity to make a change. If we fight, we may win, if we don’t we are losers!
Vote, for the change starts with you! I rest my case.
IT’S BETTER TO BE A SPECTATOR THAN PARTAKE IN A SHOW OF SHAME!
Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil – Jarod Kintz
The jingles are renting the air again. The collection of useless sounds they call music shoots its chaotic notes into my ear. Glossy posters now deface the walls, the trees and even the roads! Flyers and human beings now struggle for air and space together. Flashes of fake smiles grace their loquacious lips. Once again, the electorates remain defenseless against the assault of their Judas-Iscariotic hugs and kisses. The student-politicians are here again in their exotic chameleonic wears. No doubt, it is audible to the deaf and visible to the blind (apologies to Patrick Obiagbon) that electioneering is at its crescendo! And that question has popped up its ugly head again, “To vote or not to vote?” As much as I would like to answer positively to this Hamletic dilemma, my conscience will not allow me to follow an erroneous path. My conscience, obviously will not allow me to vote!
As a third year student in this political entity called UI and as a close observer of the Students’ Union politics, it will be an unforgiveable mistake to lump me together with the camp of the green-horns and JJCs. Of course, I have seen promises built like pyramids with their apices pointing proudly to the sun. Ironically, I’ve seen same pyramids of promises crumble away like a tray of yam flour bedeviled by a whirlwind. My Lords, I have seen the politics of this terrain as the politics of betrayal of trust. The politics here is a politics of selfishness and ego-massaging. It is a politics of those who want to have their cake and eat it too. My lords, how do you expect me to vote, how do you expect us to be part of the instruments to rationalize all these abnormalities.
My lords, don’t be surprised if I equate the Students’ Union election to a Nollywood movie. Of which if you are patient enough to watch the first two scenes, you won’t have any problem predicting with accuracy what the last scene will look like. It’s the same storyline all through the years, though different characters and expressions. Some will promise light and water; laptops and tablets. A few of them will even promise SU Bread and SU water! While others will claim to be Muhammed Alli and John Cena, who can box out the sun itself. Those are the first few scenes, and the end of course, is an uncomfortable silence and then the next set of jingles rent the air. Without mincing words, it’s useless to continue to pour libations at the feet of unsupportive gods. Sprinkling water on a dead tree with the hope that “it will count” is sheer foolishness, my Lords.
My lords, I totally disregard the argument put forward by some restless rationalizers of mediocrity, that bad candidates get elected to power as a result of good citizens who have refused to vote. In a situation where we have five bad candidates and you are here telling me that one of them got elected as a result of my refusal to vote, that’s an errant nonsensical argument. We already have five bad candidates and it does not matter whether I vote or I do not vote, as one of them will always emerge, therefore, it’s just too illogical to put the blame of their wicked act at the doorstep of those who have refused to vote.
My Lords, it is true that I have answered negatively to the Hamletic question of “To vote or not to vote”. However, I don’t want you to see my act and that of others who have followed my path as being political apathy, no! Our act is not political indifference. We have simply refused to vote the least of many devils. What we have voted for is our conscience. And if I may ask, is it not highly hypocritical for us to vote the same institutions we constantly criticise? Is that not a deliberate empowerment of ineptness? My Lords, I would rather disenfranchise myself than contribute to the enthronement of another mad man! I rest my case.
CONCLUSION: This column is about you, it presents the two sides of a case courtesy of two writers from different schools of thought. “Audi alteram partem” means hear the other side before passing your judgment. Take the gavel, make your decision and slam because you are the judge in this courtroom.
STUDENTS’ UNION ELECTION: TO VOTE OR NOT TO VOTE?
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