I have been following with keen interest the decision by the former military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida to contest the 2011 Presidential election. Personally, I don’t think he (Babangida) will go far. A good example was when ex head of state (Gen Gowon) tried to contest the presidential election in 1992/93. He (Gowon) failed in his primary constituency. In the case of Gowon’s attempt, Option A4 Electoral System was in place. Though that we have a different electoral law in place now, he (Babangida) will be shocked the way he will loose election. I also think, he might be seeking undue attention because events have relegated him to an obscure background.
History has indeed consigned him to garbage heap of forgotten tyrants. People should not loose sleep about his plans. Its just that one still wonders how people like him think, otherwise there are other things he should have engaged himself with, other than seeking to come back to power. I had in some of my articles advised him (Babangida) to use his influences to work for the re-introduction of Option A4 Electoral System back to our legal books. He should also use his contacts to lobby the present government to posthumously announce the official winner of June 12th 1993 presidential elections and for government to pay compensation to the families of Abiola.
Quoting Thewill (an online news publication; http://thewillnigeria.com/politics/4209-Nigerian-Youths-Are-Not-Capable-Leading-Nigeria-IBB.html), Babangida said that Nigerian youths are not capable of ruling Nigeria. I strongly disagree with him. Rather his statement is an acceptance by him, that he lacked leadership skills when he ruled Nigeria as a youth.
I am also sure that some of his (Babangida) colleagues, associates and friends (birds of the same feather) might want to contest other elections (Senatorial, gubernatorial, etc). Now that he has declared his intensions to run for the highest office of the land, patriotic Nigerians should also declared their own intentions to mass mobilize Nigerians to vote the rightful candidates. Action should be equal to reaction. I had in my previous articles suggested to Nigerians on the need to start political evangelism using various kinds of media outlets. For the sake of good governance in Nigeria, let all patriots become political evangelists. In addition, this will be an ideal time for Nigerians to constitute a shadow judicial process and retry all cases like Dele Giwa’s death etc.
Amongst the most potent means of political evangelism will be to prepare messages on DVDs, CDs, Videos, etc on local languages. Nothing can compare with picture effects. Using home videos and televised religious evangelism as case studies, one will agree that many people have been changed through those means. In the same manner people can be mobilized after viewing political messages. Another reason for this method (political messages on DVDs, CDs Videos, etc) is because government and some private television stations might not like to air such programs. Therefore DVDs/Video recordings will suffice.
Times International Magazine of April 19th 2010, pages 18-19 showed where people of Southern Sudan gathered to watch an educational film on fair elections. A well prepared political/electoral documentary on DVDs can have serious impacts on voting patterns. In case of any documentary in line with the above suggestions, I will recommend the following to be included (a) clips/films of how people of Eastern Europe resisted and dismantled communism (b) clips/films of how Thai people (Red Shirts) exercises peoples power (c) clips/films of how South African resisted Apartheid (d) clips/films of motivational speeches by Martin Luther King Jnr, (e) clips of speeches by our own Tunde (Pastor) Bakare etc.
Political evangelism methods have the potentials of increasing political awareness amongst our folks. We can also choose the direct marketing strategy, whereby we meet people one on one and advise who not to vote. Firstly we can start with our immediate and extended families then proceed to the community levels. I know that many people might be vulnerable to following the money bags, that’s why patriotic Nigerians will have to increase their political evangelism so as to win more souls to see reasons to vote rightfully.
Finally, please remember to participate and join the fight against global warming. Turn off your electrical appliances/lights when not in use. Plant a tree or sponsor one to plant on your behalf. Government and companies should send less paper work and do more email, telephone, and sms. May God bless Nigeria.
Chinedu Vincent Akuta.
An activist and leader of “Support Option A4 Group” Leicester-UK