By Segun Akinleye
For such a long time, Nigerians, who have suffered different forms of abuses from the hands of their rulers, mostly politicians they help put in positions of power, have come to see politics as a game played only by people with dubious characters.
To them, you can’t navigate the murky waters of politics unless you play dirty. We can’t fault such reasoning as politicians’ overtime have shown that the reason they venture into the ‘game’ is often not to serve but to feast. Feast on the ignorance of the electorate as well as feast on the national cake. That is why when we are lucky to see a few good ones with the right intentions, it will only be fair not to demonize them or categorize them as the ‘jegudujeras’.
During the 2019 elections, Hon Adewale Temitope Adedeji of the All Progressives Congress (APC) pledged that he would prioritize the welfare of the youths if elected as a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly Ifako-Ijaiye constituency 01. True to his words, just a month in office, Hon Adewale Adedeji has perfected plans to give out 50 free GCE forms to qualified candidates within his constituency.
The initiative is a welcome one as education remains a viable way to ensuring that youths lead productive and healthy lives while contributing to the development of their communities and countries as the development of the youth is directly tied with that of the society.
However, there will be need to ensure that the progress of the beneficiaries is also monitored as failure to do this will defeat the initial purpose of the scheme, which is not just to give out the free GCE forms, but to make sure that such beneficiaries make the most of the opportunity to further their education. This will be a total deviation from how others have approached such projects in the past.
Politicians who want to leave an indelible mark behind need to start walking the talk. Putting the people first, not in words but in deeds will buy politicians more goodwill than any other thing. On Monday, the Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde set the internet on fire when he declared his assets. In an era where the average politician is not to be trusted, Makinde shown that some politicians still mean well. In Oyo State, Honourable Akin Alabi representing Egbeda/Ona Ara federal constituency recently announced the launch of a community outreach programme to assist widows and indigent women in his constituency.
While we commend them for doing the right thing, we must also remind them that we stand on the side-line, waiting to chastise them when they goof. That is the beauty of democracy and that is why democracies are best left in the hands of progressives who will not feel attacked whenever they derail and we slap them on the wrists.
Segun Akinleye is a political commentator and resident of Ifako-Ijaiye. He can be reached via his email: firstname.lastname@example.org