The Curse On Our Votes By Festus Adedayo

Bishop Samuel Alawode of the Maranatha Worldwide Church caused a stir on the social and political scenes last week. In a sermon reminiscent of the vitriolic preaching of Jamaican poet, activist and reggae musician, Peter Tosh delivered through his songs, Alawode began by reminding the congregants and by extension, Nigerians, that it is close to payday. Payday, you remember, is when every worker gets their wages, according to the works of their hands.

When it comes to just retribution, I always cite a famous Tosh track from his famous Mama Africa album and particularly, the track Feel No Way. In it, he sang, No bother feel no way/It’s coming close to payday I say…Every man get paid accord his work this day/Cannot plant peas and reap rice/Cannot plant cocoa and reap yam/Cannot plant turnip and reap tomato/Cannot plant breadfruit and reap potato/Cannot tell lie and hear truth/Cannot live bad and love good/Cannot live up and get down/Cannot give a dollar and want a pound/Cannot be wrong and get right/Cannot be kicked and don’t fight/Cannot drink water and get drunk/Cannot drink whiskey and stay sober…
So Bishop Alawode reminded us all in that viral video that, for Nigeria and Nigerians, it is coming gradually to payday and we will be paid according to our works. In exactly 41 days from now, Nigerians will be electing their president from among, most likely, the three major contenders for the office – Atiku Abubakar, Bola Tinubu and Peter Obi.
“I have discovered that it is the society that produces the leaders. We are the ones who produce them, put people we want there and they represent who we are,” Alawode began. He then asked the congregants to confirm that they had, just like him, chosen, or wished in their minds a particular person they would want to win the presidential election. Affirming that virtually all the members of the church had elected the president of their choice in their minds, Alawode then shot the bazooka.
“Those of you who are going to vote, I want to say a prayer with you and I want your loud “Amen”. That man you want to vote for, may your children have his character in Jesus’ name… That man you want to vote for, who you are rooting for, shouting for on Facebook, and crying about, may your children’s children have his destiny in Jesus’ name; may they act like him and behave like him,” Alawode pumped his adrenaline into the prayers. Murmurs followed. Nobody said Amen.
Either real, contrived or imagined, the characters or vices attributed to each of the three contenders range from barefaced crookery, bland theft of the people’s money, conversion of the people’s lands and patrimony to self-ownership, robbery of the people’s wealth at electoral pint, drug-peddling, stealing by stealth through serpentine investments of state funds in personal business, drug use, sodomy to many more.
The unstated essence of Alawode’s prayer is that Nigerians wrongly assume that February 25 is mere sport, which it is not. It is a date to determine the people’s destinies. If we complain that we have been grappling with a failed leadership in close to eight years, we cannot peremptorily go to the polls on that day and elect someone who is far worse than the incumbent.
We must not vote based on biases of ethnicity, political party, cronyism or monetary influence. We must imagine that we are entering an aeroplane to be piloted by each of those politicians. When we enter such a plane, where the pilot comes from will be immaterial; his religion is secondary but his competence to take us to our destination is the most important consideration.
Unfortunately for Nigerians, many have said that the choice before Nigerians is synonymous with choosing between the biblical thieves by the right and left hands of our Lord Jesus Christ. Head or tail, we will choose a thief, robber, liar, pervert of justice and enabler of the vices that have kept us underdeveloped. May God help us in our choices on February 25.

Related posts