Another Bayelsa governorship election year is just by the corner and all are jogging and preparing for the great competition come December 5th.
Some are endorsing candidates and some are defecting to parties that will give them the platform to contest.
Youths in Bayelsa are supposed not to have too many lamentations as a state blessed with abundant natural and mineral resources but in the real sense the reverse is the case because of greed, nepotism, weak institutions and corrupt practices. There are no intricate road networks; no quality education; no good healthcare facilities; no good drainages; the common wealth is used every day by a few to travel abroad all in the name of wooing investors; constituency projects are for family members of Senators, House of Representatives members and State lawmakers; Local Government Areas are for payment of salaries only; companies are established abroad when the people do not have jobs; jobs are not advertised, those that are available are given to loyalists of the government even if they are not qualified; scholars are denied their monthly stipends making them to suffer in another man’s land; those genuinely asking for jobs are jailed and intimidated and asked to go and do agriculture in the villages and to answer questions like “what have you done for the government?” and “Is the government owing you?”; those asking the government to do the needful are tagged politically sponsored to disrupt the existing peace in the state, etc.
The youths are to some extend absent in the scheme of things in Bayelsa in terms of having their say in how the good people of Bayelsa should be governed. This may be caused by a lot of factors ranging from nonchalant attitude of most youths in governance issues to selling of votes for peanuts to killing for desperate politicians to snatching of election materials to be used as thugs during elections to some youths used by the government to suppress the voices of a few who speak out for what they believe through the new media and what have you. Know this “one of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics, is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. Plato
Those youths used as political thugs in snatching election materials, selling of votes, killing for politicians, etc, are promised juicy packages only to be dumped immediately those politicians using them get what they want. This has happened over the years but yet our youths have not learned their lessons. There is this saying that goes if a robber robs you more than two times then you are worse than the robber. This sequential suffering has to be stopped.
When the politician gave to be elected they felt they actually bought their way to where they are as a result they decide to amass our common wealth all to themselves without giving cognizance to those they are governing. They have to recoup their investment- the money they used to buy our votes, the money they used to buy arms and ammunitions, the money they used to drug those they used to do their bidding, the money for fuelling violence and what not. The politicians don’t pay attention to those they are governing because the governed have received their rewards already, so to speak, by way of bride i.e. giving voters rice bags, giving a voter N1000 for voting etc.
Must we blame them? No. Because we actually sold our right to be given constant electricity, our rights to enjoy smooth motor-able roads, our rights to employment, our rights to drink potable water, our rights to have a good transport system, our rights to have good health care, our rights to good education, our rights to be treated equally, our rights to have agricultural incentives and loans, our rights to fair representation, our rights to proper service delivery, our rights to transparent government, our rights to an accountable government, etc.
For us to get it right, we need to abandon greed and follow credible people irrespective of which political party he or she is in. In that way our lost glory will be restored. Let us continue to add our voices to the issues of governance in the state.
The youth are our beacon of hope. The population of every society is mainly dominated by the youth. The voting strength in Bayelsa is mainly dominated by the youth going by the INEC updated registration figures in 2015. If Bayelsans want to get it right, let the youths have a collective purpose so that there will be social amenities, jobs, good service delivery and good governance. Let us not sell our votes for a plate of soup and a bottle of beer and be wallowing in poverty for another four years only for the sequence to repeat itself again. Remember this, “change rarely comes from the generosity of the powerful but is fought for from below” Owen Jones
Do not lost your voice, keep telling politicians what you feel will bring that change you need. People fight for what they believe in; fight for yours.
The mindset of the youth must be changed. Youths cannot eat their cake and have it at the same time. Let the youth shun violence, selling of votes, killing in the name of election, snatching of election materials. By so doing the tide of underdevelopment and corruption will be cramped and the needed development will come.
Choose to be an ambassador of change (not the APC change slogan) to Bayelsa. The power to change your future and that of your children are in your hands. The choice is yours. Vote wisely come 2016 and beyond.
Be involved in politics or never complain if a mad man rules over you in your community!