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The Delegate

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Written by   179
2 months ago
Topics: Society

The Nigerian internet space has been awash with memes about a certain group of political actors who have gained prominence in the past weeks. These individuals are the delegates from the various political parties participating in the primaries which will determine the flag bearers of their respective parties from the State house of assemblies, through to the Number 1 citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

They have become like the proverbial goose that lays the golden egg because of the immense power which they will wield at this critical phase of the electioneering process. Think of them like the beautiful daughter of powerful king with many suitors attempting to win her heart by wooing her with gifts and whatever material possessions they have.

These suitors are willing to part with these possessions in exchange for her hand 'in marriage' which comes with the juicy benefit of securing a seat at the table of power of her father, the king of the land.

Translating it to the reality of the process involved in the primaries, it would mean getting the votes from the delegates to emerge as the flag bearer of the party for the forthcoming general elections. Before I go too far, let me highlight some of the hilarious memes.

Teacher: What do you want to be when you grow up?

Pupil: I want to be a (party) delegate

Mr.A: What do you do for a living?

Mr.B: I am a delegate

You might be wondering why being a delegate became the future aspiration of a child or how on earth is playing the role of a delegate an actual means of livelihood. The answer is simple, politics in Nigeria as with many other countries around the globe (particularly in developing ones) is heavily monetized.

Thus any chance some individuals get to cash out from the system, they do so with so much gusto as for them it may be a once in a lifetime opportunity to change their economic fortunes. Thus it was not surprising that as some parties conclude their primaries, some delegates are already reaping and displaying the 'fruits' of their 'hard' labour.

There was a story of how a candidate who lost out in the primaries went after those whom he had induced financially after they refused to cast their votes in his favour probably due to what they had received from a higher bidder. The candidate had received an infinitesimal number of votes in comparison to the one who clinched the ticket. Some aggrieved candidates who lost out even went to the extent of physically assaulting the delegates who they felt betrayed them when it got to the time of vote casting even after they had 'settled' them.

Just yesterday a video began trending online of one of such delegates. Upon his return to his place of residence after completing the delegate assignment, he promptly purchased a brand new vehicle with what he had been 'gifted' while on assignment. His arrival with his 'war' booty was greeted with cheers and chants of delegates from his neighbours and well wishers.

Most delegates have become auctioneers of sorts selling their vote to the highest bidder irrespective of if the candidate is competent and will follow through in delivering on his campaign promises. For these group of delegates what is important is the state of their pockets or accounts and not the future of the nation. They failed to heed the call of a popular TV anchor to them.

His appeal was that the delegates had a decisive role in shaping what will become of Nigeria in the next 4 or 8 years, thus their choice of candidate for whom they will cast their vote would either make or mar the nation's future. Hence the need for delegates to put the interest of the nation above all else. Alas this appeal was not taken to heart as most delegates followed their stomachs and not their conscience in casting their votes.

The most unfortunate outcome of their selfishness is that the electorate and indeed the entire nation will have to deal with the consequence of their misplaced priority in picking the flag bearers of their respective parties. This is because more often than not candidates who would have served the interest of the electorate as a matter of principle refuse to financially induce delegates to vote in their favour.

The ridiculous amount of funds spent to buy votes during the electioneering process can be said to be the primary reason why elected officials usually turn to corrupt practices once sworn in. Some have ironically stated that it is only logical that they recoup their 'invested' funds from the public treasury. However their recovery or rather looting often goes beyond what they invested in manifolds hence the failure to execute quality or standard projects that will benefit the electorate.

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Written by   179
2 months ago
Topics: Society
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If you want to cash out, become a delegate ooo...what a country!

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