How Nigerian Voters Must Sell their Votes in 2019
The Nigerian polity is firmly locked into this nasty and retrogressive election equilibrium called “hunger”, which is determined by the ruling elite. No reform or revolution is coming soon to change it. What can Nigerian Voters do?
Voters have no choice but to sell their votes because the politicians have rigged it that way, to the point that vote-selling is the singular Nash equilibrium. As such, votes must be sold for a price that will cover their personal interests adequately for four years and not a day or kobo less.
Before you vote on election day, the politicians should give you that job or loan or school fees or medical fees or well / borehole money you seriously need for four years upfront, no future promises accepted. Yes, politicians must compensate you adequately for your vote. It is time for the voter to call the shots and project their demands on the politicians aggressively.
Dear voters, you must end your hunger this time around and do so at the polls! After all, when all the hullabaloo of the 2019 general elections has been exhausted, it is same hunger [and the insignificantly brief escape from it] that Nigerian politicians continuously impose upon the voting citizens that would have firmly decided the vote. The politicians will get into office and forget about you and your votes for another four years.
Why is this? Such an election outcome is the result of a combination of (a) ruthless politicians who have by way of “trial and error” discovered the power of hunger over voters; (b) intellectuals who eloquently mislead voters for their personal gains while voters get poorer and more desperate; and (c) voters that have been deceived by both politicians and intellectuals that the voters are the most intelligent nationality in the world, while being conditioned and reduced to dogs who must respond to Pavlov’s bell for morsels once every fours years.
“Political ricism” is as old as elections in Nigeria, but has evolved from a clever politician’s individual plea offered to voters into a overwhelming political structure of imposition, post-1999. You, the voter, can either take it or leave it. Why would an intelligent voter wait for a plate of jollof rice and a bag of rice once every four years and vote for even more poverty? Political witchcraft? Some intellectuals will induce voters by saying “take their rice and money but do not vote them;” It is a trick. “Better to get a little than nothing” is painful hindsight.
When you see and hear countless numbers of voters regret their “honour” for not accepting “rice” to vote in past elections, you realise hunger has become a winning dynamic in the exercise. We are not talking about the rejection of school fees for four years, loans to do business, job contracts that pay a living wage, the tarring of extremely bad roads voters live on, multi-megawatt generators or water treatment plants in voters’ neighbourhoods. We are talking food calories as the best thing one can get out of elections. Voters must demand far much more than such morsels from politicians.
The contempt the Nigerian politician has for Nigerian voters is extremely cynical. The Nigerian voter is treated like a “conditioned dog” to politicians who must behave well when rice is offered. When you sit with members of the ruling elite and mention the grip of hunger, hardship and hopelessness in the country, their response is the “everyday Nigerian knows how to survive” [miraculously?]. Meanwhile, these ruling elite are the same “xenophiliacs” that steal Nigeria’s wealth with geometric or exponential greed. If the Nigerian voter has to be a dog, it should eat fresh meat and lots of it and constantly for four years.
Thus, we observe hunger deciding elections through downward causation which is wrong; it is a national policy albeit unspoken. Elections are about upward causation, whereby a dissatisfied electorate can cause and effect the removal of politicians from office through casting their votes. It is their right and the expected power of democracy. The only way Nigerian voters can make upward causation work in their favour is to make their demands for selling their votes so high for the politicians they cannot afford it, at least so casually. Hunger-influenced voting is not only degrading to voters, it is far too cheap for politicians. It is time for you, the voter, to give politicians choices of persuasion on your own terms.
Please, voters shine your eyes very well, shine them! If you must sell your vote, you must get four years worth upfront. You will be amazed with the results.
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