Opinion: Our Docility Has Made Them Take Us As Stupid – Richyard Awa Ume

by Amos Kalu
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I hope you had time to reflect on our last topic: “Nigeria at the valley of Decision”. I also espoused ” The Reason why we must vote out APC and PDP in 2023″. In case you missed it, contact OHAFIATV News management for your copy. I write for this media outfit because I believe that a new Nigeria is possible. If you share this sentiment with some of us who are working for this, we welcome you as we join forces together.

Recently our streets have been filled with all sorts of billboards, posters, announcements, and adverts for individual contestants and political parties trying to woo us to either join them or accept the candidature of their preferred candidate. I have taken time to read most of the captions on these billboards and my verdict is this :

Dr Richyard Awa Umeh

The political class takes the voters and the citizens for a ride. They assume that you and I are stupid, foolish, and with no brain. They think you and I are victims of stage 4 amnesia. We can’t remember or recognize who our oppressors are. We cannot know when we are hurt, abused, or dehumanized because over the years we have always laughed while suffering.

Long ago, it entered our reasoning faculty that we’re the happiest people on earth and this has led to our doom. We cruise, we slay, and we laugh over serious matters thereby inadvertently, giving our approval. Our comedians can whittle down serious national issues with their comedy and we all laugh. We laugh over the stupidity of our leaders. This attitude has in a big way encouraged our so-called leaders to come up with more stupid versions of themselves.

For instance, we all laughed over the poor intellectual capacity of our former First Lady, Patience Jonathan. On many occasions, this woman disgraced herself and whoever taught her in school but all we did was laugh and make jest of what in other climes could have removed her husband from the seat of power. Our attitude reinforced her failures and gave her the courage not to come out prepared.

We saw her mess up papers that were written for her and we applauded her. The former IG of police did the same and Nollywood went to work rolling out films and clips to celebrate his dishonorable self.

During and after the elections of 2015 and 2019 General Buhari added his bits to our list of unprepared leaders. His gaffes and slips are too many to mention. The political class has shown that we are a nation where nothing matters. Ours is a good example of a nation where goats lead lions and the lions would be smiling and cheering the goats.

In a nation where citizens like you and l are serious, a presidential candidate cannot refuse to debate and not lose massively in an election. Buhari arrogantly refused to debate and Nigerians elected him. Taking a cue from him, Tinubu is dribbling himself and all of us by refusing to grant interviews, avoiding debates and any public gathering where his secret personality, secret deals, and hidden credentials could be questioned.

We saw this disaster coming when we refused to vote for candidate Buhari but you did not listen to us. Another disaster is loading in the man Tinubu and we are all laughing over his numerous slips. His handlers are all aware that the cognitive power of this man has gone to zero yet for selfish political, tribal, and primordial benefits they keep propping him to go ahead. The reason for giving us this bad product is because they think you and I are fools. Can we prove them wrong for once?

All over the world, politicians lie but the citizens put them to check by making them accountable. In our situation, we vote for the oppressors or refuse to come out to vote, allowing them to manipulate votes. They sell bait to us that they decide who takes over from them and we fall for it. They intimidate us with thugs on election day and we sneak into our holes. They announce their hand-picked stooges and we buy newspaper pages and radio/television spaces to place congratulatory messages to them. During their illicit tenure, we run around them and call them funny names like: “Your excellency”, “Honorable” and other patronizing names. What good do you expect from a dishonorable man you foolishly call “honorable”?

What good do you expect from an alien to excellency that is called so for financial and political expediency? Can a pig value a diamond chain? Rise people let’s cast away these swine into political oblivion. APC and her twin sister, PDP must be taught this lesson for sanity to return to our political space.

Recently, I boarded a tricycle otherwise known as “keke” and inside was a woman who complained bitterly about poor roads in Abia state. I asked her if she has a PVC and if she’ll want to vote come next year. Here was her response:

“I am 45 years and have never voted for anybody and I’m not planning to vote for anyone.”

All I did to convince her that it was going to be different this time fell on deaf ears. Her mind was so made up that I reminded her that people like her should not complain when things go wrong because she and her co-travelers gave our oppressors the tool they work with.

Our docility has fueled the feeling of entitlement that we see in these dishonorable men. They assume that we’re stupid. They assume that we would stomach whatever they dish/serve us as dinner. They are arrogant and talk down on us during their tenure but come begging on an election year. They think you and I cannot remember our sufferings. They renovate our dilapidated infrastructure in an election year because they feel that we would not remember how life had been during the past years. They improve our electricity supply during an election year and throw us back into darkness after the election. They treat us like kids who lack understanding.

Do you blame them? We created the opportunity for them to mess with our collective sensibility. 2023 is a year we must rise and say no to any form of oppression.

Do you wonder why their billboards are filled with all sorts of? of “The winning team”, ” Redemption 2023″, “Salvation 2023″, ” Expect more 2023″, “Change 2023” “Recovery 2023” etc

While some of these billboards make sense, others are just absurd. How can APC for instance be talking about “change 2023”? What are we changing from and to what? They sold this “change” mantra to us in 2015 and gullible Nigerians bought into it. Today, we have a change from “frying pan to fire”. A new change from these agents of darkness would mean finding ourselves in the Abyss, the place of outer darkness. Next time you see a billboard from an Apc candidate announcing “change 2023”, do not hesitate to ask about the implication of this new lie.

At Amuvi Arochukwu, I saw a billboard from an APC candidate asking the citizens to ” expect more in 2023″. The road between Akwa Ibom to Amuvi to Uburu Ihechiowa is one of the worse roads on earth and someone is asking us to ” expect more! More of the bad roads? More of the failed promises? What’s the” more” we’re to expect? Deception plc!

On the other hand, PDP (they don’t deserve capital letters) in a badly ruled state like Abia is promising the people heaven on earth. What change does PDP want to effect in our socio-political space that she couldn’t do in 24 years of being in charge of Abia state?

All these shenanigans happen because we have always fallen prey to the stupidity of these politicians while they turn around to count us as foolish followers.

Dear reader, Nigeria needs a revolution. We need a democratic revolution, a ballot revolution.

The politicians are aware that you won’t come out to vote despite all the assurances of INEC to conduct a free and fair election next year. They(the politicians) know you know little about the new BVAS machine and its ability to curb rigging. They know you care less. They know you ascribe to them powers they don’t have.

The politicians know that you are “politically” illiterate. They boast of their “structure” and you are dazed! They accuse a man that has massive followership of lacking in structure and you applaud them. Let’s shock these men for once and teach them that rigging is no structure. They need to be schooled that “structure” is human beings, not corruption.

Do you still lie to yourself that they have chosen all the people they need and as a result, there’s no need to vote? That’s the kind of apathy that fuels rigging. It makes them happy to know you are extremely and irredeemably docile and will accept any explanation they offer you. The other day one of them told the world that gunmen that invaded their victim’s home and were shooting sporadically did not go there to kill anyone. They tell us fairytales by moonlight and assume we must stomach them.

Have you ever wondered why every sitting Governor in Nigeria wants to retire from the Senate? Has our senate become a burial ground? Can you ask google the number of past US governors in their senate? Why do we allow our oppressors to have their way? Who did this to us oh Nigerians?

The time has come for a new Nigeria to emerge. You and I can have the country of our dream. Vote for Mr. Peter Obi and all credible candidates who have impacted the lives of our people. Vote for competence, capacity, and integrity. In Peter Obi, a new Nigeria is possible.

Can you prove them wrong this time? Can you and I for once in our lifetime tell those who have taken us for a ride in the past that “we may be mad but we are not stupid”? The decision is yours.

Send this paper to all voters in your contact as they decide to cast their vote. Call it a duty to inform them before they vote.

Richyard Awa Ume JP, Ph.D.

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