‘Political Engineering’ is a new word that has entered into Nigeria’s political arena, describing how politicians manipulate the system to steal the people’s mandate.
An insider and a political stakeholder, former counsellor in Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, Lagos, Mr. Samuel Utodio revealed that the difficulty in obtaining the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) currently experienced by voters in some parts of the country is deliberately engineered by politicians to create the opportunity to decide which way the votes will go come 2019 presidential election.
According to him, “All the delays and difficulties that eligible voters are made to face in obtaining the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) in the South East and South Western parts of the country are strategic, what is going on is a script politicians are acting out with one objective.
“Make sure these other places have more, and so and so other places do not have enough. It is part of the strategies politicians are using to perpetuate themselves in leadership positions.
“As we speak, this same PVC is taken to the people in their homes in some places in Northern Nigeria; it is part of the game, and Nigerians should even expect more,” he said.
The management consultant from Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State wants Nigerians to be aware that the elites are on top of the game.
“Whether we know it or not, there is an undeclared war going on, so Nigerians should brace themselves to beat them at this game – and the muscle you need is that PVC; whatever way you can, see that you secure it.”
Utodio who was first speaker at an international conference organised by the Young Christian Workers at Ogudu, Ojota recently, added that political engineering is not unusual in politics though, but advices the electorate to stand up to abort the politicians’ game.
According to him “If the Federal Government wants to play a positive role in this regard, it should declare a public holiday and concentrate on strategies to make everybody have the PVC before the upcoming election.
“If government fails to act fast, this is the way the plot works out: When the day comes, the ‘engineers’ will simply tell them, ‘go and buy the PVC and give it to the people that will vote for you’. But bad as that may be, the good thing is that that system can be changed.”
Utodio recalled that there has been places all over the world where one single vote has made all the difference. “That means that in any position you aspire as a candidate, just one single vote in your favour matters a whole lot.
So, everybody’s vote is very important. As insider, I assure you that votes still count in this country inspite of the seeming chaos during elections.”
The consultant politician stated that there are three key things in politics anywhere in the world and every member of the electorate must aspire to belong to one, at least.
“You are either active, an activist or an advocate. To be active, one must be a card-carrying member of a registered party. Being an activist means you are not a member of any political party, but you are politically aware, while an advocate means that you are a stakeholder by flowing with the political sea and can know that something is done rightly or not done at all.
“If you do not belong to any of these three, then you have sentenced yourself to the voiceless group who believes that ‘politics is a dirty game’ and, if you refuse to join politics because it is a dirty game, then dirty people will rule over you and continue to rule over you.”
Acknowledging the influence of cash during elections, Utodio stressed that voters education begins with everyone being aware of their rights.
“If everyone is aware of their rights, politicians will not be free to do what they are doing. If people are well educated, they should be told to collect the cash politicians give you, but still vote for the candidate of your choice because the cash is probably from looted funds anyway, so the cash is your rightful own.”
Speaking on independent candidacy bill, Utodio said, “It’s going to be a long process, I can tell you. One thing I am glad about is that because of much suffering, people of Nigeria are now willing to fight for their rights.”
He also speaks on the statement by the President that Nigerian youths are lazy, “The President’s statement that Nigerian youths are lazy has triggered off a lot of things in the system. 2019 is around the corner, and believe me, there is going to be a lot of surprises; what Nigerians expect will not be what will come up,” he assured.