By ALAL K’Alal
Abraham Lincoln lost elections. In 1832 he ran for the State Legislature and lost. In 1854 and 1858 he ran for the state senator and lost again. Lincoln never quit the race. He moved on, he kept on trying, he kept on keeping on. He had a dream, a dream that could not be killed, a dream that he wanted to see come true. On March 4, 1861 , Abraham won the U.S elections. History never lies , just like numbers (tyranny), history cannot be dismissed.
Michael Faraday had ninety nine successful failures, but he never quit. It did not matter how much he was abused (call him janeko if you like), he had the courage to continue and a mission to fulfill. Elders, spare me, you cannot kill a dream, a dream whose time has come.
I was taken aback with the recent happenings in main campus. The angle the current politics has taken is unfortunate; the manner in which tribal groupings and trading are done is pitiful. I am not against the trades, am against killing of dreams of aspirants, for the’ sake of the community.’ Comrades must know why we go for elections; our elders must know why people vie for various positions in MUSO. It is not because they come from our communities, it is not because they want to serve members of our communities, neither is it because we have ‘enough numbers’ to make us win. No, it is the dreams that they have for the union that drive them.
MUSO elections have become more tribal, I mean, more tribal than the national politics. Elders have convened meetings to form coalitions so as to win the elections; they have chaired mid-night meetings ’ for the sake of the community’. What is a ‘community’ in their understanding? Comrades belong to one community, the ‘comradeship community’. Comrades have one tribe, the ‘Comrades tribe’. Comrades have one language, the ‘comrades’ language’.
Every comrade has a constitutional right to contest for any position in MUSO. Comrades should be left to identify and elect leaders they feel are capable to serve them. Last year, the current SEC chair was sacrificed for the sake of the community so as to allow easy formation of a coalition, his dreams were killed only for us to lament later. Both Governor Joel Evans and Innocent Maurice were also sacrificed for the sake of the community. We regretted. It served us right. We must learn from history, elders must stop convening tribal meetings and let the comrades’ community to elect members of their own.
We have lost leaders and ideas because of tribalism. It is not bad to lose an election; it is bad to be ‘sacrificed’. Tribalism is the father of bad leadership and the mother of failure. We must proceed with moderation during this electioneering period to elect leaders, not mere politicians. Comrades must say NO to tribal meetings and coalitions, we must elect ideologies. It does not matter how many times you have failed, it does not matter the number of your tribesmen, its only your ideologies that matter. If a comrade has to lose, let him lose at the ballot.