by Jude ‘Feranmi
Let me start with the motive for acquiring political power as I never really answered that in the first part of this article. At the core of anyone’s aspirations of political power is a longing to impose his/her own ideas on the rest of the people, either for good or for bad.
I want political power and my motive is simply to ensure that this power is given back to the people to make their lives prosperous. I am NOT a believer in the idea that the Government can solve the people’s problems. The truth is most times, Government is designed to create more problems for the people. I believe that people have what it takes to solve their own problems if given power ( read, if empowered) and if Government simply gets out of the way.
Now scrap all of that.
Why? Because it doesn’t matter. I can as well be putting sweet words together to convince you of why I should acquire Power and by the time you find out I led a libertarian movement in my University days, you’ll be quick to believe me.
Whatever the motive for acquiring power, it is irrelevant until power is gotten and the strategies of power acquisition do not change with a change in the motive.
Politics is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.
The more people one can influence, the more political power one has. This will remain a sacred fact until we probalbly change the definition of democracy.
In a talk with Audu Maikori and some of the finest and most influential young Nigerians some months ago, the talk about influence came up and Audu had rightly said, If you can’t influence your ward councillor, your political relevance is next to nothing. That, my friends, is the bitter truth.
If young Nigerians are serious about political leadership, then we have to be serious about amassing political influence, not after the elections but before the elections.
This influence is what will matter after the elections when we have to decide who will lead the vision we have in various ministries and agencies. The place to amass this influence is not civil society neither is it new Media. It is also not in business or in the booming Tech industry.
The place to get political influence that will be useful in changing this country for the better is political parties.
A friend, Kunle Somoye recently asked me, How are we going to change this country. My answer to him was this. Hard work! HARD Painstaking Work.
We would have to through political parties reach people who will subscribe to our vision at the grassroots and get them to commit and not just be concerned. We would have to organize young people at micro levels and get leaders who will be able to keep engagements and the passion alive. We would have to build a base, a backbone for our political parties which will then serve as the bargaining chip when electoral victory arrives. We will have to talk people into getting off social media and foreign football to organize locally on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
Ayomide Akinyemi is a local community organizer in my political party and he has a challenge getting young people to attend our micro group meetings on Sunday evenings because there are football matches during that time. Now, what we decided to do is to raise funds for the payment of some slots at the viewing centers after which we will then invite people during halftime for the meetings which will then happen after the matches.
We shouldn’t have to do this but this shows you how much of hard work there is in gaining the political capital needed to ensure that we have the backbone needed to leverage after electoral victory.
With this backbone of young Nigerians who are committed and concerned, we will then have what it takes to put into party executive offices those who will lead the movement and identify those capable of governing the right way, leading the people and winning the elections.
Without all these, all our talk and tweets and posts about the #NotTooYoungToRun Initiative and young people taking over governance and delivering the promise of a new and better Nigeria is balderdash.
The dynamics of power must be understood, else this young generation of dreamers and optimists run the risk of achieving nothing. Yes, nothing.
I take up political realities in the next article in this series. What will happen in a political party when young people decide to show up? Until then, let this sink in.
Power, Political Power is not served a la carte
-Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Jude ‘Feranmi is the National Youth Leader, KOWA party