To fix politics in Nigeria and beat the political elites in Nigeria to their game, we need to fix the funding of politics and politicians in Nigeria. It is broken and that’s what the political elites are capitalizing on to remain in power.
Poverty has become a tool to keep people oppressed and unable to challenge them. Those with the character and competence for public office don’t have the resources and most with the resources, either lack both character and competence or stole public funds to stay in office and a few who appear to have it lost it in exchange for funding from their political godfather who lacks it.
Imagine the world of difference funding made in the #EndSars protest. Without huge funding, the impact of #Endsars wouldn’t have been as resounding as it was that the government was afraid. What did they do? Try to cut off the funding by freezing the bank account linked to the protest.
Our true freedom from these dictators and rubber stamp politicians will come through the economic empowerment of young people and the activism of Nigerians. Not just activism but financial empowerment. We need to have money enough on our own as to challenge the establishment in elections and win.
We need to look for how possible wealth can be distributed against all odds. Because e no easy as they control the system of wealth creation and distribution. The old will continue in power until the young become economically powerful to match them.
That’s why young people need to think of ways to build wealth.
While some are protesting, others are building wealth to buy the freedom of Nigeria.
Ask yourself, if a governorship election was to happen in your state today, how many young persons with character and competence have 2 billion Naira of their personal money to put up for the elections?
Efio-Ita Nyok, Johnson Ibiang and I saw this problem years ago and we tried solving it with a crowdfunding model via the platform –CROWDPOL.
It was an idea ahead of its time and alien to Nigerians at that time. How do you give money to someone to run for office where the usual way was to collect from them.
What happened to CROWDPOL? From hindsight, majorly, I think we had a go-to-market and a product strategy problem and it failed to gain traction from the donor side – more learnings on this in my newsletter so sign up when it’s ready.
Aside from the go-to-market challenges, a huge marketing budget was required to get the public committed based on the marketing channel we adopted if we could quickly make a difference and validate our product as it launched during the 2019 elections (since it’s a two-sided marketplace, it was easy validating with those seeking funding but difficult for those donating). And on the citizen’s side, the stakes were not high enough at the time for them to even get interested like it was during #EndSars.
We need to think of a creative and innovative way to build a financial advantage for young Nigerians if we must liberate this country from the corrupt political elites that hold us down.
Politics and the corruption of big money bags in Nigeria needs to be disrupted until then, young people will always opt for food on the table. I hope the mission of CROWDPOL is achieved someday.
Justus Inspire Oseuno writes from Lagos, Nigeria.