The general elections will hold very soon, and Etcetera took to his weekly column to share his views on it. Here’s what he wrote:
Some people have accused me of not liking politicians, so let me set the record straight. I don’t! They have done more harm to our nation than the military (their first cousins). At no period in our nationhood has the opportunity for reversing the dehumanising nature of a politically corrupt society like ours been greater.
Every Nigerian who seeks freedom should rethink all temptations to rush to the polling station on February 14 in an attempt to further entrench corruption with a transfusion of his or her energies. Let us instead participate in a peaceful revolution to rescue this country from disintegration and death. It is better for any society that has been shredded by corruption to undergo a few headaches, fevers, and stomach upsets in the interim.
It is better to rid Nigeria of her sickness once and for all than continue our habit of suppressing the symptoms which is exactly what we’ll be doing voting for the same crop of corrupt politicians in the forthcoming elections.
Over the week, I got tons of emails and phone calls in response to last weekend’s article asking if I’ll be voting in the coming elections. No. I won’t be voting. The truth is, I have more constructive things to do than vote on February 14. For example, I am moving into a new apartment and the floors need a good scrub. And there’s this couch I have to take the legs off so I can easily pass it through the door into the living room. To me, that’s time much better spent. Yes guys, I can come up with so many reasons why I won’t vote, but at the core of everything is, when my vote has a direct impact on how much money is stolen from this country, I want nothing to do with it.
The ruling party in Nigeria and the opposition have nothing but alphabetical differences. They have the same ideology and mentality. The same people have been jumping from one ship to another. So what “Change” are they preaching about? Show me a Nigerian politician who hasn’t sworn allegiance to “The Broom” of APC and “The Umbrella” of PDP, at different times in their political careers and I will show you a woman that sells paraga that doesn’t bleach. Any Nigerian hoping for a redistribution of wealth after February 14 is wasting his or her time. If I had kids, they won’t see me identifying with this group of sociopaths, and to vote in the next election would be setting a bad example for them. Our votes only give these politicians the needed encouragement to steal more. So on February 14, I’ll be voting for the only one I can trust: nobody.
I am of the view that politics has destroyed this country. Let’s not also forget that the same politics has killed thousands of Nigerians in the north alone. So am I supposed to direct my energies into such a destructive system? If I say ‘yes,’ which I would do if I voted, then do my principles have any real meaning to them, or are they simply going to be just amusing ideas to be talked about, debated, or dispersed? I have been very vocal about Nigerian pastors encouraging corruption in the country by associating with politicians and I have received all kinds of insults from their followers. But just this week, Pastor Adeboye called Nigerian politicians liars and never to be trusted again.
Only God knows what transpired behind the scene to warrant such sudden outburst from the same man of God who has been blessing corrupt politicians for many years. The truth is, my participating in this circus called election doesn’t make it any better for me or even you. It only makes me another clown in their charade. To simply drop scraps of paper in a box or pull a lever doesn’t mean I have helped in stirring the country back on track. It simply means I have acted like a consumer, picking between prepackaged political items.
I haven’t seen a sincere Nigerian politician yet. All we do in every election is picking from the same rotten bunch. If we are not actively participating in deciding what should be, then why can’t we unite and throw rocks through their spider web by sitting at home and refusing to vote? Let us disrupt the existing pattern of corrupt politicking entrenched in the system.
Don’t get me wrong. Like everyone else, I want the best for this country. After all, we are all in the same boat and if one end goes down, we all go down. So not voting in February doesn’t mean I won’t vote in the future. When the government makes the system more transparent and my vote counts, I am likely to vote.
Those of you who are crazy enough to vote the same set of people into power because you have been paid to do so or you have been stupid enough to listen to a rambling billionaire who tells you it is your civic duty to vote for him or his candidates, you deserve to be screwed by the system. Since democracy in Nigeria has been turned into a game like any other, it will be foolish to go out and play, when I know I can’t win.