(Photo Credit: Supashegs Olusegun Aderinto)
[The presidential election in Nigeria is less than a year away, and like many Nigerians, I am very unhappy about the state of the country. However, I have identified a model candidate that will be capable to start to solve Nigeria’s myriad problems. As a regular reader of this blog will note, I typically don’t write about politics, but I believe that I do have a moral imperative to let out the following arguments. Silence is consent, it *could* propagate the unwanted.]
Let me start with a premise we can all work with.
It’s a proverb attributed to Albert Einstein and it goes thus: “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.” I believe we all know what this means in the context of Nigeria – Today APC. Tomorrow PDP. Same result. Same madness.
There is absolutely no point for exposition. There are more things to be said.
I am not here to say that you should support Mr Omoyele Sowore, just because he is Sowore, and he happens (just happens) to be a brave guy.
This is what I plan on saying, which is not novel by any means.
The political system of Nigeria needs to be changed, and the change is only possible when people like Sowore come to power. Please recall that Nigeria’s problem is of ‘systems’ rather than of ‘persons’. And just so you know, President Buhari is a symptom of the disease that he is trying to cure. He wouldn’t be able to do it easily, that’s if he can even do it in the first place. This should be obvious for those who want to see.
It might also interest you that Mr Sowore is attempting to by-pass the practical clash between capitalism and democracy – which is even a bane in many developed countries today – by raising the money for his campaign directly from the people. (Rather than from 2 or 3 billionaires in town, who will later squeeze his balls when he gets elected). I find that exciting.
That aside, I have a suspicion – folks must have stuck to President Buhari based on the “lesser of the two-evil” argument. But thank God we have an alternative – Omoyele Sowore.
So, why Sowore?
You see, there are virtues and there are virtues. The difference is that some can be faked, and some others can’t. Let’s take honesty for example. It can be faked. Compassion, it can be faked. Piety? It can be faked. Wisdom? It can be faked.
As the essayist Nassim Taleb puts it, “the only virtue that cannot be faked is courage”. Now show me that one person who can fake courage and I will empty my bank account.
Despite the fact that Mr. Sowore had been out of the country for about 19 years now, he had not rescinded his Nigerian citizenship (which many people do in a whim once they step out of the country). Instead, he had set up a brilliant platform – Sahara Reporters – to fight corruption in Nigeria at the very highest level putting his life in great risk. This is apart from his struggles against the military regime in his youthful days.
Let’s face it. Many of us can’t (and haven’t) done this. But still, we continue to suffer and smile.
And if you by any chance know of any courage that can be faked, this one can’t be. I am sorry.
Isn’t it rational to vote for a person who has this kind of holy scar, rather than embrace either disgustingly corrupt persons and, or persons surrounded by disgustingly corrupt persons (which makes them disgustingly corrupt by default)? It is worth thinking about.
Now let’s talk about the practicality of his presidency.
If you agree with my arguments so far, the remainder part of this essay will be smooth.
Below are random comments I gleaned off the internet made by people who I believe think Sowore is a desirable choice but wouldn’t support him because of the reasons/comments stated.
“Nigeria is too vast, he can’t be possibly elected.”
“The electorate is corrupt, no way for him.”
“Do they even count votes these days?”
“The almahjiri youth in the North will vote for Sai Baba.”
“I don’t think he will get elected.”
“I am not even voting anyways.”
Friends, I can smell the odor of a deeply disturbing level of irrationality. Why should we base the decision of whom to support in an election on somethings that has absolutely nothing to do with the sanctity of the candidates?
Some of us who are still doubting Sowore presidency because of ‘practical’ reasons like those stated above better wake up from our slumber quickly. Perhaps a lot of us have suffered so much that we have forgotten what it means to suffer. We are wallowing in poverty. Our healthcare is in shambles. There are no securities for life etc. (We all know the problems and I hate to reiterate them.)
In the end our future is in our hands and no one will fight for us. A Sowore can only do his part.
Finally, can he do it?
I believe he can, given that he dents the current system in the process of his election, and we all have a role to play in this by primarily supporting him.
Please note that not even an angel can run Nigeria desirably as it stands today. The system is completely defective, and we all know it.
Supporting Omoyele Sowore, I believe, is the greatest good we can do for our nation today.
And let me conclude: Mr Sowore is one of the few candidates I have seen so far who fits into a ‘presidential’ phenotype (a person with a holy scar and who aims to dent and by-pass the current corrupt system). Any of these arguments will apply to anybody who fits into this phenotype, in the eventuality that Sowore ceases to be Sowore.
Nigeria problems are not unsolvable only if we stick to the status quo.
God Bless Nigeria.