Opinion: The danger of political apathy (A Nairobi case study)

by Pete Odera

The simple reason is: You are more willing to read this online than to go out and vote.

I can’t believe that an overqualified Jimnah Mbaru was defeated at the nomination stage for Governor of Nairobi!

I can’t believe that the best TNA representative for Senator emerged as Mike Mbuvi alias Sonko.

These are the guys ODM will face on March 4th?

How can this be when your tweets and posts declared Mr Mbaru’s resume the marking scheme for all CV’s?

How can it be after all the bile displayed on social media concerning Sonko’s theatrics?

I thought you would all turn up in large numbers and usher in a new era of issue based, professionalism in our city’s politics.
Well I guess that’s the folly of democracy-an overqualified person can lose to a popular under-qualified person.

Here is another irony however: The people you pay to do menial work, your house help, your cook, watchman and gardener are voting in whoever they like because they are more politically engaged and are more willing to bring change than you are.

I know you will probably argue with me about this but your behaviour this past week has proved me right.

When I went out there to participate in the nomination process (and I did and dragged and mobilised a few people) I didn’t see you.
I saw some edgy looking desperadoes, some over excited zealots and loads of househelps, cooks, watchmen and gardeners walking, riding (and in some cases being bussed) into polling centres where they waited and voted.

I saw a few of you more conscientious ones nervously make your way but I didn’t see you jam the centres as you jam Ngong road during “Sevens”.

I didn’t see you bring out the picnic baskets and the swag (fluffy dogs and all) like you do at “Blankets”.

I didn’t see you scrummage as you do when there’s a huge artist’s concert at Impala Club or some other place.

The simple reason is: You are more willing to read this online than to go out and vote.
You complain about politics and yet you are not a member of any useful organisation or political party except Facebook and Twitter – how these contribute to the betterment of our nation’s critical issues other than to launder diverse opinions is yet to become clear to me.
(If you are a member of a political party or other useful organisation, ignore this last remark).

Foolish and lazy but clever educated and honest people like you, are outdone by wily, uneducated and dishonest people because you do not have the guts or patience to wait in the same sun that your house help, cook, watchman and gardener are willing to brave to express their political opinion.

It’s true you were working on the day of the nominations but you wouldn’t sacrifice that day (or in this case two days) to bring quality people to the table so that there would be value driven leaders at the city gates for the next 5 years?

Oh I forgot, your leave days were exhausted from last years trip to Coasto!

If you brought out those hats that you wear at Concours and some Dasani it might have helped you beat the sun.
(It drizzled most of the morning by the way so a brolly might have helped more)

In case you are wondering who I’m speaking to-if you live in Nairobi and can read and understand this then the finger is pointing at you.

The reason ODM, TNA, URP, etc (which is not a political party but an abbreviation for the Latin et cetera) had shambolic chaos in the name of party nominations is because, unlike the generation that fought for independence you are sitting on the sidelines cheering – or in this case jeering.

You have complained that it was an exercise in futility and huffed and puffed at the irregularities and rigging-all of this you have done electronically on FB & Twitter etc by the way in the safety of your home, office or whatever comfort zone you hide in.

You are unwilling to be really engaged.

If Dedan Kimathi, Kungu Karumba, Achieng’ Oneko and the other independence heroes had your attitude and sat on the sidelines the Brits would still be here – yes we’d still be a British colony.

What sacrifice are you willing to make for a future generation in this regard?

What are you willing to do for the nation that’s not necessarily in your own interest?

You have another chance come March 4th.

But all you have to choose from are the people you didn’t nominate but who got the ticket because you decided to be pathetic and display political apathy.

Get off your lazy posterior (that’s a bleep word that I can’t say because I’m a Pastor but you catch my drift) and make a political difference will you?

What a place our political parties would be if you all were active members contributing your internet wisdom in practical ways.
What a country this would be if you all made sure quality people got into government by your conscious engagement.

Oh I forgot. You’re too busy browsing Facebook and Twitter ad nauseam.



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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