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BN Hot Topic: “Join A Political Party Today!” Hold on… Not So Fast

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Last week, I watched two emotionally stirring documentaries on YouTube. The first one was “The Real Story of Nigeria” and the other one was Ishaya Bako’s “Fueling Poverty.” As I watched,  I went through different phases of an emotional roller coaster. I was sad, worried, distressed, confused, resigned… to mention a few. In the midst of all this, Bobo Omotayo came to our office and I congratulated him on his new book, H.O.N.O.U.R.A.B.L.E.  I said “Ah, Bobo, from Lagos big boy to Ijebu politician ke? This is a new spin and I can’t wait to see what you’re going to do with it.”  Then, Bobo said “I actually contested for a seat in my ward in Ijebu” I was genuinely surprised, then I squinted and said “Hmm, Bobo, you went to join politics so that you can be collecting “Ghana Must Go” bags too shey?”  His response was simple: “You have to do more than just talk. You have to be a part of something if you want to change it.”

According to him, we keep complaining about our rulers and all the things that are wrong with our country without doing our bit to make a change.  “Join a political party” he said. To which I responded, “Political party ke? Look, the chairman of my local government lives on my street and whenever they have their political party meetings, they are so unruly and they litter the streets! I can’t stand that. All the area boys in Oshodi converge there. I can’t biko!” Then he made an interesting analysis: “It is one of those “area boys”, who is dedicated to all party functions, who will be picked to run for the next local government chairman. It is one of those “local”  people whom you don’t want to associate with or be seen with who will be the next governor that you will in turn complain about. Attend those meetings, air your views, rub minds with them, make your point known and slowly work your way up the “party chain”.

I argued that the rot went too deep and even the thought of going to join “amala politics” made my skin crawl.  But, I thought about it and I thought about it long and hard. I thought about the videos I had watched and how passionate I felt about my country. I thought about all the people who had joined the government with “good intentions” and had fallen by the wayside, gotten choked, and joined the “corrupt political elite.” I remember, I kept thinking, “Bobo made quite a number of valid points. You can’t complain about a system and expect it to change itself”, so I decided to sleep on the matter.

As I pulled up on my street, there were tents and chairs everywhere. There was no thorough fare. Apparently, the Chairman’s Mom had passed away and he was having a party to celebrate the “Transition to Glory”. Like play, like play, I was there, sitting in my car, fuming for another 45 minutes. I couldn’t get home, and I couldn’t back out of the street. Right there, on my street, my decision was made. “What utter rubbish and abuse of power. Why can’t you rent a hall? Closing the streets and making life difficult for the constituents who voted you into power?”

What do you guys think? Are you a member of a political party in Nigeria? Do you agree that the first step to getting the change we’re all clamoring for is to be part of the pool that gets “selected” from? Do you think that irrespective of what we do “they” will continue to rule us? Do you think that it’s impossible to remain on the straight and narrow as long as you’re part of politics in Nigeria?

Let’s discuss!

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

18 Comments

  1. omolola

    December 13, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    True talk. I am actually in the process of registering in a party, not PDP or ACN, but one in which I believe we share the same vision. We have to be an integral part of the process to change the ills of the society.

  2. divea

    December 13, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Juicy topic…

  3. jyde

    December 13, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    People nigerian politics no be oyinbo kind O.
    Na former area boyz full for house of reps/assem,some no even fit string one sentence of
    proper english together.
    When their turn reach dem too go kill and divide.
    As long as bonny crude still dey our destiney lies in our puff puff style of politics.
    Everybody has joined already,but na FMP we join without choice.(feed my pocket).
    No be small thing now.We read book and yet still you cant apply your knowledge as you know the infrasrtucture will crash.
    Nijah politics is driven by ammounts that if people really knew,would leave them in shock and
    disbelief. no be nijah we dey? We have watched in horror for years. Siddon look na dog name now. We are not jus lookin and not tryin,but if u no get billions to spend. Forget am.
    No be nijah we dey?
    Dat bonny crude has been nigerias downfall for too long.
    We are blessed that a new educated class of well meaning nigerians have opened businesses not dependant on oil/gas undertable ludo.
    People must join up and at least be heard.Its true you can only change things from within.
    Im usually sarcastic and short tempered with good meaning folk,but being part of the problem, its painful. Knowin one isnt engaging with serious well intentioned peeople.Im serious.Money just feeds and puts you in comfort but not safety. Livin behind self built walls loses it attraction.
    Its a long journey ahead but we go reach there somehow.
    If we show our kids the right way,then they can decide themselves,not like myself ,who first voted all over lagos for UPN as a twelve year old. We’ve come a long way from thumbprint so there is still hope.
    I hope some might consider voting for the right reasons for a change.
    It wouldnt hurt would it?
    Abeg make man close mouth joor.
    We salute una well O.

    • Bleed blue

      December 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Jyde ooooh! You and these your comments. Please develop a meaningful thought pattern. And try to stick to it.

      Love you. Bye!

    • jyde

      December 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

      Any ideas?i kno i need help.pls feel free to advise

  4. JADE

    December 13, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I’d love to join a political party tho, Omolola please what are the processes??

  5. jyde

    December 13, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Sorry b4 i4get,Mr omotayo,thanks for your book.
    Nigeria needs hearts and minds like yours.
    BN una do well o. We need foward thinkers.

  6. babylawyer

    December 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    bobo’s back! Where can we find the book?

  7. nnekaE

    December 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I would like to join a party but to be honest I am not really sure what any of these parties stand for! If someone said he was a republican or democrat or that he belonged to the labour or conservative party, i would totally understand what values he stands for! If I do not understand the ideology driving a party, how can I join? that’s the difficulty I find myself in.

  8. Abi

    December 13, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I think he is very right… However i believe the party to join are the ones in power (PDP, ACN etc). Even though change will be harder to achieve in these structures however the resources they posses will definitely prove valuable in reaching a larger audience if that makes sense.

  9. nina onita

    December 13, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    agree with him, at this moment i leave you with the statements of a revered American president, Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country…. so its about time we stop waiting for them to do something about our futures when our future is in our hands, take charge, join this groups, sometimes you can only defeat a giant by getting close and knowing its faults or slowly change or gain influence so that you can change things when you time comes. I plan to relocate when am done with school next year, for i believe one person might not change the world but we definitely can make a dent and cause a change.

  10. Ides of March

    December 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    I definitely agree that the time for talk is over, it is now time to act. Joining the political process is a step in the right direction. Educating people on what the individual parties stand for is very much needed at this point. Like nnekaE said, how can we understand what they stand for if their motives/mission/goals are not clear?

  11. tomeloma

    December 14, 2012 at 11:28 am

    I really believe that we can make that change we want to see, but my only worry is that my joining PDP and ACN (in power and the biggest platform but most corrupt ones) would defeat the whole purpose…

  12. Reality Check

    December 14, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Hold on a second and consider this. It might seem to makes sense that if the right people get into politics, they might be able to fix things. But while your at it, who is actually behind all this wickedness around us? Who is the ruler of this world? The Bible says its Satan , he is the invisible ruler of this world, and the condition of the world only reflects its ruler- Read 1John 5:19; John 12:31. Remember when Jesus was being tested? One of the 3 temptations involved Satan giving Jesus all the kingdoms of this world if only he’d fall down and do an act of worship to him- Read Matt 4:8-10. Hows could he give what is not in his control. Plus Jesus never denied it. Instead he said later on, ”Now there is a judging of this world, now the ruler of this world will be cast out”- John 12:31. In fact, the Bible calls him the ‘god of this system of things” and it says he has blinded peoples minds- 2Cor 4:4. Remember too, that Jesus never accepted to be made king when they tried to, though he would have been the perfect candidate. Instead he always avoided it. Why? Because he knew that only Gods kingdom could bring about permanent solutions to our problems. He knew that very soon Gods kingdom or government would destroy all human governments-Dan 2:44. Which is why he said we should pray for that kingdom to come- Matt 6:9. Would you really want to be a part of governments that’ll soon be destroyed? Can humans really solve their problems?- Jer. 10:23. Check our track record. Are major issues like sickness, injustice, poverty and suffering really getting better? Are they doing more harm than good, despite their best intentions? Read James 4:4. Think about it.

    • Maxi woman

      December 15, 2012 at 6:13 pm

      So…what are you really saying?

  13. Goodluck Chares

    May 14, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    i want to join any party.

  14. falaye olasunkanmi

    July 18, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I want to establish a political party.have wet through all the proceses.I need more help.I av a good drram about Nigeria.God bless Nigeria

    • Diuto

      January 1, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      Kindly go and learn how to write proper English I believe thats the first step

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