Of 2019 Nigerian Elections


  1. Introduction
  2. What Do Nigerians Desire?
  3. Who Are The Contenders?
  4. What Nigerians Will Get?
  5. Conclusions/ Future Suggestion.


  1. Introduction

The 2019 Nigerian election is here. Politicians, as they are wont to do, are campaigning and the Nigerian electorate, as always, react to their feverish tales with a heightened sense of expectation.

Most Nigerians know elections in Nigeria are selection processes orchestrated by party godfathers and thugs. Yet, they expect change from such systems. Juxtaposing these thoughts present a complex Nigerian reality.

History shows that the Nigerian political elites never deliver their promises after been elected. It is a case of campaigning in poetry and delivering in prose. The typical scenario is where the elected individual forgets about governance and dances to the tunes of party puppeteers.

This piece argues that Nigeria needs more than an election, it enumerates the Nigerian desire, briefly examines the contenders and concludes that a re-orientation is required for that desired change to come.

  1. What Do Nigerians Desire?

Citizens of any nation yearn for basic amenities— security, jobs and working institutions. Democracy, it is argued by scholars, is the only way to provide this existence. At the twenty-sixth OAU summit, OAU Secretary General Salim Ahmed Salim reminds us that democracy in Africa should aim to please Africans and treat their needs with utmost importance.

Today, however, African democracy presents numerous disadvantages. Respect for human rights, official accountability and popular participation which are the corner stones of a democratic state are missing.

A Nigerian citizen expects to be treated as a human and more importantly, to enjoy the benefits from a democratic state. However, to desire something as citizens is different from getting the ruling elite to meet those demands.

Furthermore, there is an argument that Nigerians get the leaders they deserve, an echo of Joseph De Maistre’s statement. In that, a corrupt bank manager shouldn’t complain about a corrupt commissioner or a lazy airport official shouldn’t complain about a lazy senator. There’s an element of truth in that argument. But the point remains that leaders ought to set examples for their followers . After all, the fish rots from the head.

As 2019 draws nearer, the hopes of Nigerians are raised which will be deflated after the elections.


  1. Who Are The Contenders?

Focus here is just on the presidential aspirants.

For long, the mantle of leadership has exchanged hands among a circle of friends. They’ve held it from the early 1970s to present. In this circle, you’d find Babangida, Tinubu, Atiku, Obasanjo and Buhari. These are the cream on top of Nigeria’s political coffee. There’s no chance to win any political race without adding any of this cream to the coffee.

Nigeria is not a country and there are those who own it.

In 2019, the owners will—drum roll please!—present Buhari and Atiku who represent All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) or which Oby Ezekwesili describes as Butiku. Two parties cut from the same fabric. In summary, there is APC, PDP and others.

The others represent the minority parties which includes Oby Ezekwesili for the Allied Congress Party; Donald Duke for the Social Democratic Party; and Kingsley Moghalu for the Young Progressives Party (YPP) and many unknown others.

The “minority” label is for the party with lesser people power and individuals with credible resumes. The heated debates about how these individuals will change Nigeria misses the point. Character doesn’t win elections in Nigeria. Religion, tribe and party affiliation does. But, there is a way out.

First, to uproot the existing powers of APC and PDP requires a deeper understanding of the power structure in Nigeria. There is something regional about playing politics in Nigeria and you can’t have a major vote if you don’t know how to play the grassroots game. Second, someone like kingsley Moghalu and Oby Ekwezeli have not caught minds of the real voters who exist in the corners of various regions. They have not caught the eyes of voters who lack internet.

To undo PDP and APC’s powers require a strong force, a coalition of sorts and a revolutionary mindset. This can only work when individuals with a singular goal come together and map out concrete plans to achieve this singular mission.

Nigerians know the winners before the game starts and they know what they will get.


  1. What Nigerians Will Get?

Nigerians, in 2019, would get what they’ve always got. A president from the existing cream—Buhari or Atiku. It has always been the case of who is the lesser evil. Nigerians will pick the person who would deliver a lesser blow of woes on their daily existence.

For now, the other minority parties don’t have what it takes to snatch power away from the elites. They have, through their various actions, put their personal needs and desires above a more lasting solution. They want power without understanding the construct of the evils they must fight. They want the presidential seat without been pragmatic about how it can be done. It’s easy for anyone to whip sentimental claims and grammatical geriatrics but the work to get to the seat deserves deep work and systemic approach.

To put it in another form, there is the need for a lot of Davids to fight against the Goliaths present in Nigeria. There is no need for the Davids to carry different weapons. They must shoot from a single string in other to fall the existing power.


  1. Conclusions and plans for future.

Nigerians should never trust the least evil president that would come in 2019. Again, this individual will use power as a weapon for self-gratification and pleasing godfathers and their political party.

There is a need for a re-orientation and this re-orientation borders on furthering the betterment of a truly democratic Nigeria. Sensible figures who want to cut out the old leaders must agree and should agree to work together. These ones must come together to build a weapon that is characterised by reputational essence which will in turn give them the competitive edge to win the minds of millions. They must not turn against each other. Their arrows must be shot from one bow.

The naïve presumption that power will shift because of moral integrity is preposterous. There is a need to now remove the veneer of morality and understand the underpinnings of these existing power then put into motion a mission that would disrupt the so-called status quo. That should be the plan in the future. For now, Nigeria is stuck with Butiku.


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One Comment

  1. Very apt! The minority parties need to come together to form a coalition to fight these “Butikus” for them to stand a chance.

    Honestly no need to reiterate what you have said. Nice piece.

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