#YNaija2016Review: 7 things that need to change in Nigerian politics this year


by Roqeebah Olaoniye

Politics in Nigeria last year was upside-down to say the least. We can count how many politicians did anything note-worthy all year. The recession hit really bad but it hit only the masses as the ruling class maintained their luxury billion Naira feeding and other allowances. Those who did not get a seat at the table this election cycle have done nothing but feed us incredulous tales aimed at absolving them of the crimes they have been or may be accused of.

Even the return of the Chibok Girls, the highlight of the work of the current administration, is not fully to the credit of the President and his team. But we’ll take former Vice President Abubakar Atiku’s advice and look to the new year in hopes that things will actually change. For the better.

For the sake of our politicians who need the incentive, we have gone ahead to compile a list of 7 things that should change in 2017 below:

  1. Removal of immunity

The Senate has started making moves that make us think that Section 308 of the constitution may actually be amended. In 2017, we hope this finally happens.

After all, we cannot continue to carry on the same way and expect to see different results. If our executive office holders cannot carry out their mandates with the assurance that no one is suing them, we might as well try suing them for their misappropriations -and immediately too. That should get them to sit tight.

2. Inconclusive elections

We want none of that moving forward. It has now become a shame. And no, it doesn’t matter that we have Election Petition Tribunals set up to resolve the issues. Ghana has got it right. Even The Gambia got their elections right this year. We cannot continue to be the giant of electoral violence and prolonged collations and post-election scandals. This should never have been acceptable and we’ll do well to leave all that childishness behind in 2016.

3. More female participation in politics

Interestingly, we are not saying this to the men to ask for consent or plead for a seat. We are challenging the women to pull seats for themselves at the table. Or set up a different table.

Women participation in politics needs not be about how many women are in the President’s cabinet. We want female political activists; women who know the facts, the numbers, women who have been playing the game longer and better than most of these men.

4. Media aides that actually know what their jobs entail

And in Nigeria, a constant description of the job of the politician’s media aide, be it digital or traditional media, is crisis management.

The way to manage it is not to say you boss does not need to comment. It is not by retweeting a 2014 tweet, it is not by using the same excuse to wriggle out of a jam everything – we are not stupid.

It is by spinning a potential nuclear bomb into candy floss. We like candy floss. Politicians should just hand candy floss and chocolate bars for tweets or statements everytime something goes wrong and 2017 will be a good year.

We are joking. Obviously. They’ll actually function better if they made an attempt to feel the pulse of the people before putting out any statement. Or in the worst possible scenario, they should try and do a little fact finding about issues at hand.

5. No more talks about 2019

Honestly, the only thing our politicians need to know about 2019 is that we will readily throw them out if they do not properly execute the mandate we have given them in 2017. PDP, APC, LP; it doesn’t matter. We.will.kick.out.nonperforming-propaganda-peddling.leaders. We will.

6. It not all about anti-corruption

This one is especially for the President. Anti-corruption is truly the most important campaign that will get Nigeria on the right track to stability and progress but it is not the single most important thing. Dear President Buhari,

Dear President Buhari, think about anti-starvation, anti-insecurity, anti-reckless killings, anti-unresponsiveness to the pleas of your people.

Each one of those matter too, sir.

7. Finally sir,

How about that cabinet reshuffle? And Dalung must be gone.

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