As election season heats up, it’s easy to get caught up in the partisan fervour that seems to spread throughout our political discourse. Everywhere we turn, we’d be flooded with messages telling us to vote for one particular candidate/party or the other and to believe that our chosen candidate/party is the only one who can save our state from disaster.
But amid all the noise, it’s important to remember that our commitment should be to our State, not to a political party, or an individual. We need to put aside our partisan preferences and think about what’s best for Kogi State as a whole, not just for one political faction or another.
This is easier said than done, of course.
Tribalism, greed, personal interest, the desire or sense of belonging to a group that shares our values and beliefs is embedded in human nature but in our hyper-partisan political climate, this desire for belonging can oftentimes lead us astray.
As seen in the last 8 years, our political discourse has become increasingly polarized, divisive and Instead of working together to find solutions to our state’s most pressing problems, we’ve retreated to our respective hubs, hurling abuses and accusations at those who share opposing views but this kind of tribalism is an ingredient for disaster. It’s led us nowhere but a place where compromise is seen as a weakness, where demonizing the other side is more important than finding common ground, and where the very idea of a shared state identity seems to be deteriorating.
It’s time to break free from this cycle of division and start thinking about what unites us as Kogites. We may not always agree on policy, but we should all be able to agree that our state is worth fighting for, our unity as a state is worth fighting for and alongside competence, equity should not be compromised because it is needed to build a strong and united community. Kogi state is our state and the decision of our leadership shouldn’t be made by one person. It should be made by us all.
– Balogun Ekundayo (jnr) wrote from Kogi state.