For an idea, concept or product to achieve immense success or make required impact, it would have to be very strong on three key elements – be a great idea or product, have a sufficient available market and come at the right time. I believe that for the 2019 Presidential elections, we may finally have all three elements in place but the people need to know this and believe in the Ballot Box Revolution.
The Ballot Box revolution is the process where citizens mobilise to break the political control of our nation by the current crop of leaders, to allow for a new system and leaders that favour the people to emerge. It is a call not only to disrupt the status quo but also overthrow it through the ballot box.
In 2015, a great number of Nigerians were discontent with the Jonathan administration and with the hope that Gen. Buhari was the great product whose time has finally come, for the many who desired good governance, many mobilised and went out to vote the incumbent President out of office.
The problem is, the timing seemed right and there was sufficient market for good governance but the product (President Buhari), as seen in the last 3 years plus, hasn’t proven to be a great product. Before the PDP folks jump on this, we must say not even their candidate will not qualify as a great product.
What will make a great product as President?
Someone who is well educated and has a visible appetite to learn new things, considering we are in a fast-evolving global society.
Someone who has worked in the Nigerian government and so is aware of the challenges and has proven record of implementing solutions to those challenges.
Someone with high level international connection through their education, their work/business and their contacts. This person must be respected by the international community.
Someone radical and courageous enough to implement reforms in our system of governance. Must have a history of some activism to prove the lifestyle of a reformer.
Someone who comes from a political platform that will introduce a new system of governance that will provide the necessary environment for the emergence of several reformers in governance.
Someone who has a good understanding of how a knowledge-based economy works and can lead the transition from oil, from the front.
Someone who has an unquestionable character, globally accepted competence and locally proven capacity.
Someone is not too old in years and ideas. We need leaders with physical and mental energy because many tasks will require being hands on.
For the 2019 Presidential election, we have candidates with meet the all of the above qualities and have much more. We have great products.
What is the available market?
A great product will be useless if there is no market for it. It has been argued by many that there is no market for any candidate outside the two leading political parties (PDP and APC). This argument does not factor in the power of the ballot box and the desperate yearning for excellent political leadership by Nigeria’s influential but dormant middle class.
In the 2015 elections, Buhari got 14 million+ votes to defeat Jonathan with 12 million+ votes, yet over 37 million registered voters didn’t participate. I believe the apathetic middle class form a large part of this number and their apathy was fuelled by the lack of a great product. They refused to choose between two ‘evils’ but in 2019, they have great products to choose from.
We have other voters who thought Buhari was the great product but most of them are now greatly disappointed. Work must be done to mobilise these groups to believe that what they were looking for is now available and it will not be from either of the two largest political parties.
There is a large market of potential voters who can elect a great product into office. Let’s believe and then mobilise effectively to achieve this aim.
Why is now the perfect timing?
There is no doubt that we have longed for true change for a while and despite the delay and setbacks, our democracy has remained. The last few years has seen great hardship for all categories of Nigerians and a critical mass are coming to the reality that if we don’t get it right next year, 2023 (4 years time) might too late to savage the depth of the crisis.
Oil prices are not rising, not to mention that crude oil is facing a bleak future with the gradual rise in alternatives; our population is rising at an alarming rate and yet, our revenues are declining with a surge in foreign and local debts; the quality of products from our secondary and tertiary education is so poor for a current status quo talk less of the technological age evolving around us; the alarming rise in poverty is providing a bigger platform for terrorism, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and oil bunkering; government revenues are not sufficient, so we rely on more borrowing to pay our bills, etc.
The time for a shift in our political leadership is now and the influential middle class knows this. In addition, there are 17 million new registered voters since 2015 and many of these are young voters who are more democratically active. They want more from our political leadership. These factors make for a perfect timing to implement a Ballot Box Revolution.
The Ballot Box Revolution will not only deliver a great product as President but from a political platform that will deliver a new system of governance to Nigerians. A system based on merit, competence, capacity and character that will deliver development relevant for the 21st century.
The Ballot Box revolution is very possible not just for the Presidential election but also for the Gubernatorial and Legislative (both state and federal levels) elections. Do you believe?