Audacity to Dare: My Presidential Manifesto
Tomorrow, I’ll run for president.
They’ll have us in a room, all the candidates, and I’ll be the only woman sitting there with a bored expression. I’ll refuse to say hello to my fellow candidates, and the media will conclude that I’m a rude person. I’ll run my speech in my head as we wait for the chance to tell the country what we’ll do if we are elected.
My opponents will speak, they’ll make valid points. I’ll wonder why we even bother when the country has already picked her poison. It had to be one of two brands; the rest of us are options for those who dare to try something else, to want something else. Or maybe, they don’t want to be responsible for picking the most lethal poison. One can never tell.
When it gets to my turn, they’ll call my name and frown at the party’s name. The Audacious People’s Party. They’ll wonder when we sprang up; I’ll feel tempted to tell them a bit about us. To let them know we’re the ones who got voter’s card so we could have valid identification and not so we could vote. I’ll get the urge to tell then we’re the ones with zero faith in the system, the ones who don’t believe in the government.
I’ll stand in front of a camera that over 180 million people have access to, but only 20 million bothered to tune in. I’ll think of how similar I’d have been to the 160 million that didn’t tune in because I’d be watching something else; Nickelodeon. I’ll wait for the next day for those who watched and listened to tell us whose words sounded genuine among the two poison we have picked. We’ll make our final decision by playing innie mini miny mo.
I’ll look at the camera with a smile and as the party had planned, we’ll honour the 20 million Nigerians that bothered to watch the show. We’ll tell them our plans with no lies and vague promises. I’ll tell them about my administration.
When I become president, my administration and I will provide therapist and life coaches to every school in Nigeria. We’ll care about the mental health of our youth and we’ll stop treating it as a myth. We’ll stop calling people with mood swings and mental disorders possessed. We know it won’t be easy, but we’ll try. We’ll give boys and girls the audacity to cry and be heard, to raise their voice and make reasonable demands. We’ll punish the rapists, the abusers, the offenders. We’ll try to make human of our boys and warriors of our girls.
My administration won’t make corruption its primary concern. Don’t expect us to take care of a problem that parents should have handled as kids. It’s the little thing you dismiss at home, claiming they’re just kids that turn into big things. Or maybe its just peer pressure in the end. We won’t force or scare people into doing what was right.
Whoever is caught embezzling funds shall have the stolen funds ceased and returned to the nation’s purse. Instead of dismissing them, they’ll be made to work to make up for all time they spent embezzling funds instead of doing that which they were voted to do. This time, they’ll do it for free.
My administration will not concern itself with people who bring family members into the job; we’re not against helping family members. Any family member who doesn’t provide value after three months shall be asked to quit and give way to another family member, or someone qualified for a change.
We shall encourage people to trust their hands and ideas and not give a single care about the jobs we provide. We’ll support their handwork by ensuring all government official patronize local businesses before seeking pleasure abroad. We shall stop the importation of foodstuffs, especially those produced in abundance in the country. Anyone allergic to locally grown foods should also remember to be allergic to hunger and starvation. No exception shall be made. We produce it and you eat it.
Nobody official directly under me or otherwise will send members of their family abroad for medical or spiritual treatment or check-up. Everyone will get medical help from the government hospitals in their vicinity, especially the ministers of health in all tiers of government. They have to believe in their efforts and make the citizens know they’ve done their best and are proud of their best.
Ministers of education and otherwise will be expected to send their children to a government school in their vicinity. If they decide to disobey, that is fine too. They should find a way to seek citizenship in the country their children have will be sent to study. People need to believe that we do our best in the educational sector.
My administration shall be stingy to countries offering services that can be provided by our citizens. My administration will give inventors and creators a chance to offer their best and get value for their work. We’ll make our youths believe in us and we’ll give them a reason to stay and serve their country.
My administration will come after every pirate; drugs, products, shoes, whatever. We’ll preach originality and authenticity. We’ll tell people to dare to be different. Their ideas are worth it. We’ll reduce the musicians to listeners ratio and give people a shot at getting heard.
We’ll match the minimum wage to the standard of living. My administration shall keep those who have forgotten their real age because of affidavits. They shall stay put. Without pay, they’ll raise the next generation for the money they acquired from the number of times they’ve been forty.
My administration is first Nigerians before it is any other country’s if it’ll be any other country’s. My administration will not be influenced by people to do what they believe is right and good for us. My administration belongs to a generation whose members have been killed, raped, shunned, beaten up because they dared to challenge the norm. We’re a generation born of sweat and blood of heroes past. We’re a generation that is given the audacity to dare; the audacity to change every single rule and regulation that have failed us.
My administration dares because they can.