I have met Desmond Elliott a couple times, but the last time was at the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA) 2013. I remember quite too well how keenly interested he was in the boring protocol speeches given by the government officials in attendance. He sat beside me so we had a couple of conversations about the government, and yes, about Nollywood too. Although he never vocalized it to me then, I knew he harboured intentions of going into politics.
The thought of him and his political intentions never crossed my mind till May 12th, 2015. It has been 2 years since I left Nigeria and I am not the best at keeping tabs on mainstream news, including that of Nigeria. However, my need to do so was ignited by the ongoing elections. Listening to foreign media reports of Nigeria is very depressing, so I decided to heed to some wise advise of using Twitter as my source. I dusted my inactive account and started browsing, and of course, got bitten by the Twitter bug. One of the side effects of this bug was deciding to follow Uche Jumbo Rodriguez. By the way, I thought she married a Greek guy, but Rodriguez is Spanish.
Anyway, not to digress, it was through one of her tweets on congratulating Desmond, on his victory, that I realized the dude had actually gone into politics. While I admired his persistence and courage, I wondered how he could be so stupid to bite more than he could chew. It is not enough that he decided to go for a high profile seat, but going for governorship of Abia State, of all states, was the height of his stupidity. Did he have a death wish? And why on earth did folks vote for him? They might as well have signed his death penalty. Why couldn’t he have gone for a lower profile but meaningful position?
I know you are probably wondering why I am linking Desmond Elliott and Abia State governorship. Well, Uche had also been anxiously tweeting about the results of Abia State governorship elections. The tweet on Desmond’s victory was in the midst of all that and so I wrongly assumed that Desmond’s victory was the reason for her anxiety in getting the results, and that he had won as Abia State Governor.
Since we gained our independence, Nigeria has suffered bad leadership under the hands of the older folks. The only way we can achieve change is when the younger ones with open mindsets and thirst for true development succeed. While it can’t be done overnight, it can only be achieved with youth in politics. Desmond did go for a low profile but meaningful position. He would not make the change we require now but he would most certainly learn the ropes to make the change we hope for in future, and the near future at that. That is smart thinking. That is youth in politics. So three hearty cheers to the ‘stupidity’ of Desmond Elliott as we hope more Nigerian youths with brains and swag (wink wink) get into politics.