The Vote That Counts-Lekan Oladipupo

It remains clear that the bulk of nation destroyers and national cankerworms have been crystallized into the two main jumbo parties we know today as APC and PDP whose god-fathers are the Nigerian oligarchs who have been the major orchestrators and perpetrators of the national collapse from before the second republic till now, yet there are loud acclamations for their candidacy partly because of the stark ignorance of the plebs, which is their handiwork, and partly because there exist a malignant disillusion throughout major ranks of the masses that no new or substantial change can come through whatsoever political or governmental process be it electioneering as long as Nigeria is concerned, so the people see the whole campaign and election period as a means to get whatever stipend they can from their quartermasters through vote selling or campaign bonanzas.

Yet there still exists some rays of false hope in the candidacy of the likes of Fela Durotoye, Oby Ezekwesili and Kingsley Moghalu which has deluded many, most of which seek a path of less resistance than a ruthless class struggle supposes which is arguably what people like Omoyele Sowore stand for. Before going into the general tendencies shared by the aforementioned trio which will expose them for the con men they are, we must look at two of them more closely first. We shall start with Oby Ezekwesili.

Oby Ezekwesili was the minister of education for a considerable period of the PDP tenor yet no tangible advancement or progress could be recorded generally in the education sector. What reigned instead was the accentuation of the decline in educational infrastructure and quality which has further moved education towards a pernicious abyss while the system becomes more pelted with incessant industrial actions and commercialization to the extent that as we speak no serious resistance stands against the full conversion of our institutions into business enterprises which will be unaffordable for an average Nigerian.

Enter Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) who made no substantial progress in ameliorating Nigeria's economy or debt status. No doubt in his time Nigeria had already been dragged into a mire of debt which the PDP government (some of which are now in APC) have continually used through the cunning theories of the West to pillage the national wealth. In whatever way you look at it the culmination of his 'service' could not rescue the Nigerian economy from collapse, neither could it prevent the steady devaluation of the naira nor could it secure a future for the Nigerian economy in which it was not a slave to the World Bank or IMF.

In response to the above, some will procure the same excuse by which they feign conviction for the 'progressive' candidacy of Atiku. They say; "they were only at the corridors of power they had no strength to really bring about the change." This is true as an individual cannot singlehandedly repose the doings same, class and a powerful class for that matter but as true as this may seem it does not fashion out a justification for their continuous indulgence with the looters of our common wealth and the usurpers of our national peace.

When in the US Donald Trump announced his plans to withdraw US troops from Syria did not Secretary of Defence, James Matis resign; When Theresa May completed her proposal for the Brexit deal did not Dominic Raab, a member of her cabinet, resign; before this quite a number of cabinet members have also dropped resignation letters due to distrust in the prime minister's method of handling Brexit; the list is endless but we do not see our erstwhile civil servants do the same, rather Oby and Kingsley would relax and enjoy the goodies their paymasters would grant them from the collective misery of Nigerians at large.

It is because this lot are mere careerists seeking to upgrade their CV's not for humanity's sake but for personal aggrandizement or else why would this people not voice out against injustices and anomalies while they were in office; why would they not terminate an appointment which has brought no good to the people and just like Atiku they seek means to continue to accumulate portfolios and enjoy the blood money that comes from it. How do you explain abrupt change of mind of Oby and Fela at the stoppage time of the campaign towards the elections— a proof that the trio are not only fraudsters but puppets of our jumbo-sized oppressors in the sense that they were planted in a concerted attempt to stem the unity of radical fellowship by disbanding truly change seeking Nigerians as they divide them into different but more popular political parties.

In simpler terms Oby, Fela, and Kingsley are the present executors of the divide and rule stratagems which the oppressive government have always employed since the colonial era, little wonder the "Hope" party of Oby has fully endorsed the Association of Past Criminals to take us to the next level of penury. How is this different from the defection and decamping taking place between APC and PDP.

All of this point out the veracity that only a leader, party or union founded on the principles of class consciousness can provide the progressive alternative to the decadence in the system. This individual must educate the masses of not only their class role but also that playing their class role as suffering or oppressed people remain the only panacea to their problems, so he does not pose as a Messiah but has someone who needs mutual rescue by the power of the collective organization of the masses. Even the blind should be able to see the flaws of general elections as a process of long lasting or even substantial change; since before independence we have voted only to obtain outrightly adverse conditions than were expected yet the recent Osun and Ekiti state gubernatorial elections uncovers to a larger degree the powerlessness of the process in that it can be rigged.

Even if the elections were free and fair the candidates once they assume office could turn their backs on the people what could be done in such a scenario. We see here that it is not a question of campaigning and voting alone but a question of ensuring the candidate after emerging does what he was voted for.

Thus the only vote that counts is one which can be defended by the electorate not just to extent that it is free and fair but to the level that the emerging candidates fear the power of the people and are humbled by the organization of the masses to make the government concede at all times to the demands of the majority. We should know by now that it is absolute crassness to posit that those whose candidate did not emerge have wasted their votes because the voting is only a means to an end not an end in itself and whatever the official does is done putting the interest of the most powerful class first irrespective of tribe, religion or geopolitical zones, that is why the people must always organize in progressive and radical unions and movements.

The vote that counts is the vote of a people who are always at the ready to form a movement to ensure that the government is of the people; by the people and for the people; the vote of a people who are organized to ensure that the national wealth is expended for many and not the few.

This is driving force of development and increased standard of living not only in Nigeria but other nations; the example of France still remains a shinning light for the rest of the world. I have just one question to ask my fellow citizens: how long shall we wait?

Oladipupo Olamilekan Damilare (A Final Year Student of the Department of Poltics and International Relations), Lead City University, Ibadan.

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