Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The 2015 elections are going to be sold, fo'sure

I live in Lagos.  My landlady can't read.  She runs a stall down the street, selling oil and some foodstuff.  She prays a lot.  I like greeting her, she prays well for me.

Today when I told her I was going to buy a newspaper, she asked me to tell her what was in it.  "What is new in the country?" she asked, but it didn't take her two minutes to lose interest.  The woman didn't know what ACN was.  She seemed to have heard of something called PDP before.  I tried to explain broom, umbrella, ... she decided to buy some akara.
If an urban woman can be so out of the loop, just imagine what policy analysis informs the votes in Zamfara State, for instance.  Our "democratic" system proceeds with no input from this woman, except for her prayers that God deliver the mekunu (proletariat) from the hands of the oppressors. 

But madam - I think inwardly - you really can't be that poor, I pay you rent, as do many others.  But it's not really money that separates the classes in contemporary culture, is it?  It's something like access, or information. 

In this scenario, we can work to deepen democracy yes.  In fact, everyone should see the need to play an active role, not wait for me to do it for you. 
But we can't take away the reality that in the short term, definitely in the coming election season, gimmicks will move votes more than any policy. 

6 comments:

mcShola said...

How long can they kill our prophets, none but ourselves can free our minds, have no fear for atomic energy, cause none can stop the time...

- Redemption song, Bob Marley

t said...

Been thinking to email you Brov. E reach three days :)

id said...

A sad realization. During a discussion with my roomies at NYSC camp last month we came to a similar conclusion. The number of educated people (in your terms, people with access to information) is actually really low. Void of knowledge, the people will fall for the various gimmicks that the politicians play. I think maybe some sort of volunteer independent campaign might do a little good.

t said...

Thanks I'd, for stopping by. Yes o, we could use interventions by volunteers.

Ginger said...

Apathy? Bowed down by the weariness of living in Nigeria? Indifference? Who knows!

Actually, thats the politicians little secret. The masses who actually vote dont know/care.

t said...

yeah, so what're we gonna do (or what are we doing?) about it?