“Revolutions are brought about by men who think as men of action and act as men of thought”. –Kwame Nkrumah
In a democracy, the citizens have dreams and aspirations about what they would like their country to be like. The political party system is the mechanism by which those dreams come true by way of policies, rules and regulations. Therefore, politics cannot be separated from a country’s development.
The 2019 election cycle is already here and some think it’s too late to change the rules. We must be aware of how the system works and what needs to be done which was why Enough is Enough – Nigeria (EIENigeria) – a coalition of individuals and organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through active citizenship hosted a thought provoking conversations on ‘Party Politics 101: The Good, Bad & Ugly’ last weekend in Lagos.
The event which held on Saturday, 8th July at the Muson Centre featured three speakers and a moderator. The three distinguished speakers have a range of experience in running for public office:
AYISHA OSORI, Federal House of Representatives aspirant in Abuja on the platform of the PDP in 2015. She has written a book, Love Does Not Win Elections, documenting her experience. In her book, she states that “money is important but it provides no guarantees”.
BOBO OMOTAYO, Ogun State House of Assembly aspirant on the platform of the PDP in 2011. He wrote a part fictional and part factional account of the experience in a book titled “The Honourable”.
AKINYINKA AKINNOLA, Ondo Gubernatorial aspirant on the platform of the APC in 2016. More importantly, the discourse aptly tagged #NigeriaPost2019 raised some thought provoking conversations on why we have to belong:
Like this one: "You need 3 people to run a successful campaign - a money manager, a politician and a 'mad man'." - @akinnola2016
And this one: "One hilarious truth about politics and politicking is that most people just want to sing and dance."- @boboomotayo And these ones: "Miracles are not going to happen. If we don't participate, things are not going to change." - @boboomotayo
"There is no way the country is going to change at the speed we want it to until we actively participate." - @akinnola2016
"It's not enough to be a Twitter warrior in politics. You need to go out and get involved." - Ayisha Osori
Apparently, citizens make up political parties; citizens vote for candidates; citizens hold them accountable. Little wonder we say, the ‘Office of the Citizen’ is the HIGHEST office in the land! God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!