Politician Must Stop This Deceptive Beg To Run Strategy

Adesola Adekunle

Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki on Thursday while declaring his intention to run for president in 2019 said: “I have decided to answer the call of teeming youth who have asked me to run for President. Accordingly, I hereby announce my intention to run for the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

This prompted me to review political activities in build up to 2019 general elections when Transformation Agenda of Nigeria (TAN) led Oil business Mogul, Ifeanyi Uba were going run the country to solicit for people’s support for Goodluck Jonathan re-election bid. TAN claimed they have gathered over 10million signatures for Jonathan but we all know the outcome of 2015 presidential election.

Surprisingly, Saraki claimed Nigerian youths asked him to run, hmmmm! I hope I am not of them because I can’t remember making such call. But it is normal strategy of politicians in Nigeria to get people to support their agenda.

The swift reaction of Not Too Young To Run Movement to his declaration exposed the former kwara state governor narrative as deception and political gimmick to sell himself candidacy to youth. The ‘Not Too Young To Run’ movement has dissociated itself from the formal declaration by Bukola Saraki to run for president on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

Saraki had declared his intention at an event organised by the group on Thursday at the Sheraton hotel, Abuja. The group in a statement by its convener, Samson Itodo said it was disappointed by Saraki’s use of its programme to declare his intention.

The statement read: “As part of efforts to promote youth candidacy and democratic party primaries, the Not Too Young To Run movement commenced a series of public town hall meetings with the leadership of political parties and young aspirants to address the challenges faced by young aspirants in securing party tickets.

“The movement scheduled three town hall meetings with the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC); Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other parties. The first dialogue held today August 30, 2018 in Abuja with the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The event had in attendance the Chairman of the party Mr. Uche Secondus; Senator Bukola Saraki, Hon. Udeh Okoye, National Youth Leader of the party. The event also was attended by young aspirants registered under the Ready To Run platform.

“The young aspirants advocated for a reduction in the cost of party nomination forms and requested the party to uphold internal democracy in the conduct of party primaries. In his response, the Chairman of the PDP assured the young aspirants of their support for youth candidacy in the forthcoming primaries.

“Whilst addressing participants at the town hall, Senator Saraki declared his intention to run for the office of the President in the 2019 elections. The movement wishes to express its disappointment with Senator Saraki for usurping a platform designed for young aspirants to dialogue with party leadership to advance his personal political ambition. We strongly condemn this act by the President of the Senate and dissociates ourselves from this political move.”

Presently, the Nigerian public is engaged with rash of instigated requests, demands, calls and endorsement of different political office holders to run or rerun one political office or the other. Generally, the sponsors of such requests feigned ignorance and link to the racket demands. But the otherwise is clearly evident in their evasive reactions as well as body language whenever they are confronted.

Notably amongst the methods deployed by the sycophants is conduct of imbalance and lopsided polls, which the results were always premeditated and naturally favour the ‘paymaster’.

Although,  political analysts believe Nigerian democracy is still developing, after 19 years of uninterrupted democratic rule. However, If we may ask; are the Nigerian leaders making effective use of the nation and common resources? Are they really benefiting the dividends of democracy? Does performance of some of the current political leaders merit second term in office?

Sincere answers to these questions are pertinent for both the initiators of ‘amala’ political demand and their foot soldiers, before fooling themselves to the extreme.

Really, feelers, facts and figures from most state of the Federation confirm that majority of the governors, especially those serving for second term, record discouraging performance as they devote more time for politicking – how to remain relevant after their tenure. Worst still, is the allegation of siphoning of public funds and resources to private account and use.

Specifically, seeking second term in office in line with provision of the constitution is a right and an opportunity for continuity of good works and accomplishment of the ongoing developmental projects for the benefit of the citizenry.

Therefore, it is crucial politicians put the people first in all their dealings,  as they are the final determinant factor of their fate during the polls. Outcome of the recent Osun and Ekiti states governorship elections should serve as good lessons for our leaders.

Consequently, politicians should watch the level and manner of propaganda they wish to explore as elections approach. It is true, the media hype used to promote political agenda will have good reach, but in the long run, may not achieve the final goal. Note, it is very difficult to influence a resolute public. This has happened in the history, so politicians must watch their steps. Anybody willing to contest should come out straight and announce his intention. Enough of ‘my people want me to continue’ trick.

Finally, the present public office ‘indigents’ must be ready to beg their masters to perform, if they are urged to contest. Afterall, one good step deserves another. The same goes the other way

Opinion: Beg To Run, Beg To Work

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