2023: It’s Your Choice Again

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“The unwritten code of healthy living requires, among other things, that every individual has the right to choose. Furthermore, no one is permitted to veto his ideology over that of others.”

The preceding assertion is ambiguous and only applies verbally and selectively. Why so? Humans are inherently dominant. Most of the time, husbands rule over wives, and bosses rule over employees… Because this is so prevalent, almost every aspect of our individual existence is tinged with dominance.

In Nigeria, it appears that the online community is the only place where people can express themselves without fear of being arrested – at least not immediately. According to the unwritten code of Nigerian’s code of civil right abuse,  “Freedom of speech is guaranteed, but freedom after a speech is never guaranteed”.

Concerning online communities, I, for one, have had a lot of engagement on social platforms, and it took me a long time to realize that I may have unknowingly become a part of a cycle that exacts dominance over those I consider to have a different point of view. For example, I am convinced that only a deranged Nigerian would desire the return of the All Progressive Congress (APC) or the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (PDP). Both parties, in my opinion, have demonstrated unprecedented levels of leadership failure. As a result, I honestly felt that my choice of the Labour Party (LP) should take precedence over all other options.

On a flip, I know it extremely insulting to believe that because I support LP, all other supporters are foolish. Perhaps I consider my point of view “touch not” because I live in a wall of all-knowing. What an delusion! What I failed to recognize over the years is that people are wired differently, and in any case, they make their own decisions about what they consider to be more valuable.

An Adamawa man may vote for Atiku because he believes it will bring the government closer to his people or  that perhaps, it will help increase the chances of a better tomorrow. Another is more likely to support Tinubu’s candidacy because he believes he is capable of leading.

However, it would be naive to believe that individual choices have no multiplier effect or consequences. Consider a mother who chooses to spread rumors in her neighborhood. It is only natural that her family will be regarded as gossips. This is also true in politics. Right now,  President Muhammadu Buhari is possibly the only lens through which the world sees Nigerians.

So the quality of all of Nigerians is measured by Buhari’s method of operation and his carriage amongst the comity of nations. To that end, while we all have the right to vote and be voted for, it is also important to remember that our choices are never solely our own. We must not be selfish in our pursuit of new leadership. We must make decisions that benefit not only ourselves but also others.

A new season awaits us to chart a new course or wallow in self-pity. “We can rewrite our history or sit and wait until MC Oluomo becomes our president,” said Dele Farotimi, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist.

– Olayinka Kingsley wrote from Asaba.

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