As the PDP is trying to confront the APC in the 2019 General Elections, I think it is better for us to form special interest groups to confront politicians from all parties, I mean we/us, as downtrodden, unheard herds of millions Nigerians. I instinctively believe that politicians, especially of APC and PDP camps won’t be happy reading this post, but I strongly feel that it is ripe time we start looking for options, as individuals and organizations, so as to pressure politicians to do what we need if they need our votes.
The politics of lobbying is practiced in the United States. How does it work? Individuals with common interest will form a special group and tell politicians what they would do if they needed their votes. Sometimes, these groups could even finance these politicians with agreements to pursue the groups’ goals in legislation and other activities.
How could lobbying work in Nigeria? Fine! Right now we have millions of unemployed people, especially among the young ones. They need to stage public campaigns to unite themselves and tell all politicians and all parties that they will vote as jobless not as APC or PDP members or supporters. Hence, any politician with ambition to win will come and listen to what they need. If he agrees to do it, they will put their votes in him. Imagine the number of casual workers in Katsina State alone. I learnt that these guys have a union right now. All they need to do is to tell anyone with gubernatorial ambition that they need full employment, at least they can settle on a percentage of people he would employ from their union as exchange for their votes.
I wondered why it takes the National Union of Teachers this long without forming themselves as lobbyists. As lobbyists, they can bargain on their promotion and other issues the government is evading. In this way, the politicians will be more responsible and committed to pressure groups than they are now for their parties. That will further politicians readiness and productivity to serve the interests of the many, not the few- yes, the cabal!
I can sense your fear reading through this line. You might be saying that what if these politicians- hungry for power- say okay to everything and then flatly refused to fulfill the promises when they get to office? Fine! Substitute them with other politicians in the next elections. Let me tell you that the average Nigerian politician, party affiliation not withstanding, can go any length, can use any means necessary, to be re-elected in the subsequent election! Now, with the fear of not getting the votes of the teachers, the jobless, the casual workers, the women, etc as lobbyists, the average politician will strive to make sure he does make some efforts to attend to these groups.
What is required first and foremost is visionary, diligent, committed, honest leadership which can resist the temptation of the brown envelopes from politicians.
Siyasar nan sai da Siyasa(Dabara)!