Why Lalong’s ‘Chop’ Comment is Undemocratic

Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State, north-central Nigeria, recently said it is the turn of the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, to ‘chop’ (slang for eat).

He said this at the party’s presidential campaign rally in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, while appealing to citizens to elect Tinubu to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari.

‘Asiwaju has done good. It is his turn, it is your turn, it is our turn. If you chop alone, you will die alone’, he said.

‘He didn’t chop alone, so it is his turn to chop. And that is why Emi Lokan is very important’.

Governor Lalong is the Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), so it was within his duties to campaign for his party’s candidate.

However, the dividends of democracy should be the benefits enjoyed by the masses and not a group of politicians or people as implied by the governor. Currently, 133 million Nigerians are poor, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In December 2022, the NBS reported that Nigeria’s inflation rose for the tenth consecutive month in November 2022 to 21.47 percent, amid a continuous increase in food and energy prices.

In fact, available data from UNICEF shows that nearly 25 million Nigerians are at risk of facing hunger between June and August 2023 (lean season) if urgent action is not taken.

It is clear that the state of the nation’s economy is very harsh and the masses are suffering for it. So, when would it be the turn of these millions of Nigerians to ‘chop’?

Governor Lalong’s comments are unfortunate because a political candidate ought not to be campaigning on the grounds that it is their turn to ‘chop’.

The governor needs to publicly apologise to millions of the poor and hungry Nigerians for making such a statement irrespective of the political message he was trying to pass across.

To the citizens, remember that by voting, you are investing in a government that would either return a favourable dividend of democracy to you or not.

Therefore, do not settle for the little gifts during these campaigns because you deserve to reap the full benefits of democracy.

Photo source: Government of Plateau State


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