There is always a struggle to prevail at every election cycle. There is a pressure to not ever be on the losing side. And this burden is not only resting on the politicians, but it is also resting equally on their supporters and their voters indirectly. This pressure to win is borne out of the fear of not willing to lose what has been invested sometimes running into billions of Naira.
To digress a little, someone posted a controversial statement on social media a few days ago stating that only those who possess a bachelor’s degree upward should be allowed to vote in elections. The person’s opinion further stated that this is to discourage the effect that ‘stomach infrastructure’ has on voters who are desperate to make ends meet and thereby ‘sell’ their vote.
While this is an unpopular opinion which can never really fly under any reasonable circumstance, the thoughts which instigated that extreme suggestion is peculiar to Nigeria’s politics. We cannot deny the fact that a lot of these politicians only show their faces to the people at the grassroots every four years when they are campaigning.
Gone are the days when sweet-talking the people with empty rhetoric was the sure thing to do to garner votes- situations where obscure communities or groups are promised good roads, electricity and their youth jobs. That time is no more and long buried. What sells the political market now is the finely packaged token goods/cash which are gifted to the people in pretence altruism.
What these ill-advantaged people know and do not know is that they have had immediate gratification and sold out their souls for a bushel. But who will tell them that their fate is already tied to the failed promises of that politician? Do we think that these people do not know that they are collecting those gifts as insurance just in case the politicians renege on their promise too?
Four years afterwards, the politicians become a disappointment; the cycle to redeem anew begins again. He woos them again and they play each other at their games again while the people go on to become their own government unto themselves, in their own demography. But who is deceiving who here? The game is definitely in favour of one side than the other.
The politician has seen this model work perfectly and is always ready to exploit it viciously, even if it will entail having to hurt a fellow human being. The compromising stomach infrastructure voters are ready to secure their spoils of war which they have copped from these low performing politicians with their blood.
I invite you to look at this situation like a scene in a sea pirate encounter where the raiders go back home with their spoils and lavish a minor part of same on their wives and other folk back home. It is a string of stolen goods and items.
The unfortunate thing would be that these politicians return to government and its dead silence from them again for four years. This stomach infrastructure cycle is more vicious because the voters who are prone to collecting kickbacks from these politicians have the highest population in the Nigerian electorate. Yet, all will bear the consequences of their hustle when they keep voting in compromised politicians. Even the middle class, in the long run, will bear the consequences of not properly educating the stomach infrastructure circle better per its dangers.
So, yes, a people deserve the politicians and government they get mainly because they have not paid enough attention to how politicians have been able to outmanoeuvre the people for centuries rather easily.
Featured Image Source: CBNC Africa