Yul Edochie, actor and filmmaker and now a politician is running for the governor of his home state, Anambra come this November 18th and among other things, this election will be a watershed for other elections in Nigeria. Young people and uncommon faces are beginning to rise up to the challenge of playing politics; that vicious game described as not being for the faint-hearted.
Like it is the nature of every politician to be confident of victory even when it is clear that the same crowds thronging to different political campaign rallies, Mr Yul Edochie is confident of victory. He believes that he is the last hope of Ndi Anambra and his mantra, the Last Bus Stop shows this and while I have pondered what it means to be the last bus stop I conclude that it is one to be proud of especially if he has really given politics a thought before venturing.
Considering the fact that we are still in a democracy that the world is not ready to compromise for even autocratic rules that come out successful, someone thinks that a victory of four years or eight means total deliverance of his people. In this era populism where people weigh the mood of the people and come out with a powerful populist mantra, then the last bus stop is really not of standard. Beyond the mantra of either change or Make Nigeria great again, the content of the candidates’ speeches is something to put into consideration.
Nigerians seem to detest the sound or mention of change but we forget that change was the same mantra that Barack Obama used to emerge as the most popular politician in contemporary history. Of course, he had powerful content, words, and values understood the history of America and he was able to intertwine his personal history into a beautiful story of hope, service, opportunity and the will to succeed in America. Politics for us in this country is more like connecting physically with the people like riding ‘Keke’ (tricycle) when Nigerians deserve more. They need a connection with the right words backed with action; words that have been proven and consistent over the years, words that appeal emotionally, words of empathy and real connection and understanding of our common struggles.
What is populism or an idea or political mantra if it does not connect or show that you understand the struggles of the people you are seeking to serve and lead? How can you truly connect, how do you prove that you have been where they are or that you know what it takes to help them come out it successfully? Yul Edochie might have good intentions but the Last Bus Stop is not a mantra that shows shared suffering and common values with the people of Anambra. We need more than that; we need something that can release value, make people cry; how do we play politics yet musicians make people cry here and politics never does?
What then should we believe, what then should we the people hold on to say that yes this one is one of us and understands us and knows the solutions based on experience and not reading or studying. Let me run this disclaimer, this post is not a support or a disapproval of Yul Edochie as a person with good intentions or otherwise rather a general approach to the basics of Nigerian politics and what we sell to our people. Nothing inspires hope like the right words.