Voting without producing: the unrealistic route to development

share on:
Voting without producing

“That is not the change we voted for… not what we expected when we were voting”


Schooling is meant to increase people’s knowledge and ability to earn money, dignity and happiness by satisfying needs and solving problems. In basic school systems, class prefects perform extra functions of ensuring smooth relations and logistic communication between the teachers and students. Despite the extra functions, schools use certificates to grade their students’ intellectual capacity to solve problems or needs. Without understanding the purpose of schooling, some people focus on extra activities at the cost of their personal capacity-building. Thus, without studying well, supporting a friend to become class prefect does not improve one’s knowledge or capacity. Since industry is the major source of prosperity, voting a favourite candidate in an election without personal ability for consistent productivity cannot develop anybody.

After few months of celebrating their election candidate’s victory, many Nigerians begin expressing disappointment. They expected a heaven of new roads, food, electricity, amenities and miraculously-revived economy from their new guard. And when they do not see changes, they lament “This is not the change we voted for”.[1] Lee Kwan Yew noted that “a soft people will vote for those who promise a soft way out.”[2] So, despite not producing anything, many Nigerians keep expecting free amenities and foreign supplies as the result of their votes.


People create prosperous societies by agreeing to live and work together in owning and developing their human and natural resources for their industry, trade and security. Based on their agreement, they create laws and offices to regulate various social functions. Afterwards, various individuals are elected to occupy the offices and regulate the society. Using policies, law-enforcement and finance, elected officials support people’s productivities. As students do not submit their academic materials nor stop reading to improve their capacity after electing a prefect, free citizens do not have to submit their industrial resources/lands or stop being productive after electing their desired officials. Instead, they increase their productivity following the new and enabling policies.


Conditions for disappointment from voting

Human beings are like seeds that bear fruits when treated, planted in good soil and properly watered. The seed-treatment is education, the soil is industry and resources, water is finance for tools/labour and weeding is security. After watering seeds without treating and planting them in good soil, they will not germinate, develop roots or bear fruits. Instead, the seed will temporarily look fresh till the sun dries it up. Likewise, after sharing money and finished goods to people without educating and supporting them to develop and own their lands and industries, they will remain dependent.


Root cause of unrealistic expectations from voting in Nigeria

Just like having unrealistic expectations from protests in Nigeria,[3] many Nigerians expect abundant wealth just from voting a preferred candidate. This mentality comes from the colonially-imposed land-expropriation law that claimed ownership of various communities’ lands [4][5] to exploit and export resources and share imported products.[6][7] This is the raffle-draw system of government[8] that imposed offices for seizing different people’s mineral resources for foreign companies in exchange for foreign consumer products. So, previously productive kingdoms and communities now expect foreign products as reward for voting for governments that denies their land-ownership instead of organizing their societies to retrieve the lands and resources for industrial productivity. This brings more hopelessness, desperation, greed and corruption among the people because when the proper social network for productivity is destroyed and replaced by extraction, trust and growth will also stop. And until different Nigerians boldly confront the colonial land laws that breeds unproductivity, they will keep getting disappointed after voting.


[1] Segun Olulade, “Apologies to Goodluck Jonathan” in Punch, 3rd January, 2017. retrieved 7th February, 2020.

[2] Lee Kwan Yew, From third world to first (USA: HarperCollins, 2000), p.53

[3] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “The unrealistic expectations from protests in Nigeria” in Restartnaija. retrieved 7th March, 2020.

[4] S. O. Oyedele, “Federalism in Nigeria” in Issues contemporary political economy of Nigeria (edited) Hassan A. Saliu, op.cit, p.57

[5] cf. Richard Dowden, Africa altered states, ordinary miracles. (New York: Public Affairs, 2010). p.3-4

[6] Walter Rodney, How Europe underdeveloped Africa, 2009 edition (Abuja: Panaf publishing Inc. 2009), p.273

[7] C. C. Dibie, Essential Government (Lagos: Tonad Publishers, 2012), p.137

[8] Chukwunwike Enekwechi, “Tokenism and the inadequacy of raffle-draw system of government” in Restartnaija. retrieved 29th March, 2020.