‘We have a mandate!’ he shouted, but his family didn’t understand what he meant. His ten-year-old son sat down munching his food, as he watched his father break for the umpteenth time, his rule about not talking while eating. His wife didn’t seem to care if he shouted at the top of his voice.
‘We have a mandate!’ he said again.
‘Darling, what are you talking about?’
‘It is about the coming election, we have our candidate.’
‘Of course we do, it is Mr. Tunde.’ He had been talking about him for a long time, titling him, the ‘saviour of the masses’.
‘No, it is not. Alhaji is the man. He is the answer to our problems.’
‘Alhaji.’ How could he suddenly change from advocating for Mr Tunde to shouting support for Alhaji?
‘No buts, my dear’, he said, ‘Alhaji is our man. I just got to know that he is a brother to an old friend of mine and what can be better this days than government contracts…which I will get if he wins.’
She could not believe it, how swiftly the minds of men shift in the hands of power and money. She looked at their household and thought of how nice it would be if Alhaji wins and his government contracts his husband, yet she thought of the past eleven years that Alhaji had held one political post to another. If corruption was a ladder, Alhaji was at the apex of it.
‘I cannot vote for Alhaji, he is corrupt and irrelevant to our society. Mr Tunde is the right man for the job’.
‘Why won’t you vote for him? This is a man that will change our lives forever; a vote for him is a vote for better life.’
‘Better life for us?’ She was pissed. ‘What of the masses, the people who strive hard to make ends meet, who will care for them?’
‘Alhaji will do it all. He is a man of the people, he will never forsake them.’
‘What then has he been doing for the past eleven years, if not forsaking the people?’
He looked at his wife and wondered why his woman would argue politics with him. He was the one that told him about Mr. Tunde and how he will change things if elected. Now that he has brought Alhaji to the table, she should have no other choice than his choice.
‘Tunde is inexperienced, but Alhaji is an astute businessman whose wealth of experience is necessary to run our country, or what do you think, son.’
The son looked at his father and replied coldly, ‘I don’t know dad.’
‘Come on, son. Won’t you go with daddy?’
The young boy smiled and said, ‘I love you daddy.’
‘I know you do.’
‘But I support mummy.’
‘Because she always keeps her promises but you never do, you are always forgetting. Maybe, your Alhaji is like that, he is always forgetting his promises.’
It was unbelievable, a dumbfounding blow from his child. Two to one, he lost. He realised the child had said it all and it was the truth. Individuals like Alhaji, like him, never keep their promises, and are not worth the people’s vote.
‘I guess you are right, son. Let’s vote for Mummy’s choice.’