• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Voters’ inducement and bane of instant gratification

Voters’ inducement and bane of instant gratification

It was the multi-talented entrepreneur and social commentator, Monjyoti Bhattacharyya, who said: “The trap of instant gratification is one of the greatest traps of humanity in modern times.”

Instant gratification is a term that refers to the temptation, and resulting tendency, to forego short-term pain, and instead, indulge in fleeting pleasures that ultimately result in long-term pain. In other words, it is a tendency to grab the smaller, immediate reward and skip the larger but delayed reward.

In Nigerian parlance, this is better referred to as “stomach infrastructure”, which refers to the evil tendency of our politicians to offer immediate and paltry incentives to potential voters in order to win their support and votes.

With the Edo gubernatorial election approaching, the political scene in the ‘Heartbeat State’ is becoming tenser by the millisecond. All the gladiators lined up by their parties and approved by the electoral umpire, the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), have gone beyond flexing muscles and sharpening swords.

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They are now having sparring matches and sending their boys into town to garner support and in some cases, drive fear into the opposition camp.

In a seeming contest between People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate and Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki and the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s flagbearer, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, who apparently are frontrunners for the poll, we must expect all sorts of politicking and swordsmanship.

Governor Obaseki presently enjoys an overwhelming support of Edo voters and Ize-Iyamu has realized that he faces an uphill task to win a freely and fairly conducted polls. But Ize-Iyamu is not one to be easily daunted, especially being backed by persons of his ilk, with affluence and influence.

He will do anything to win. Edo people need to know that whatever Ize-Iyamu is offering, no matter how ‘juicy’ it may seem in the short term, cannot be a substitute for the good governance the state presently enjoys under Obaseki. The impact, which the amiable and soft-spoken, often self-effacing governor has had on all sectors of governance in Edo State is unrivalled, especially in recent times.

We are at another crucial time in history when we are left with the choice of either returning Obaseki, so that he can deepen his uncompromising drive to promote the interests of the people above other gains, or repeat past mistakes of giving in to the deceptively alluring charms of the devilish schemes of self-aggrandizing “politicians”.

When we as a people, are able to defend, by all means that we can muster, the few who become our leaders, yet refuse to be corrupted by power’s corrupting tendencies; we would have proven that we have matured enough to understand that democracy is a process that can only be earned by abhorring instant gratifications.

The enemies of the people and of good governance will always present us with immediately satisfying cheese that may overwhelm our weaker senses of present needs, but we must let that spirit in us that ultimately deserves good take precedence.

The contemporary writer and master of pith aphorisms, Mokokoma Mokhonoana had this to say: “Everlasting pain is often caused by the pursuit of fleeting pleasure.” Edo people, we know better; so let us act better.”

Ledion, a public opinion analyst, writes from Benin City

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