Home > Government > ‘Poverty and systemic enslavement in our politics has held down the people’ – Dayo Israel says

‘Poverty and systemic enslavement in our politics has held down the people’ – Dayo Israel says

In the aftermath of the illegalities, killings, and violence that marred the last All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries held in Lagos State, one of the aspirants seeking to represent his people, Dayo Israel has condemned the botched primaries adding that the elections never held in his community, Lagos Mainland.

Dayo expressed his anger at the way politics is played in the party saying that “our political system is in chaos.”

In a lengthy post shared on his social channel, Dayo wrote that “the entrenched poverty and systemic enslavement in our politics has held down the people, albeit mentally.”

Read the full post below.

The last few days for me has been full of hurt and deep anger. I am angry, hurt, enraged and furious. Anger at the way our politics is played and hurt that our political system is in chaos. Lack of integrity and true loyalty, in the quest for genuine desire for change from the electorate and leadership. It sickens me to the stomach the kind of rot in our political space.

For the last 3 years in particular, I dedicated 90% of my time into developing the community of my birth, Ebute -Metta, desiring to lift people out of poverty and tackling inequalities, introducing various life enrichment programs and building on my contributions to the community from childhood. Supporting education, exposing youths, empowering women and generally giving lives a meaning. That is aside the great work we have been doing for over 20 years through various NGOs.

My desire has never been about power or position, in my own little way, I have access, globally and locally, access that can be converted.  My political aspirations were not for self but to develop our community beyond what I can do as a humanitarian. Making governance rewarding.

But the entrenched poverty and systemic enslavement in our politics has held down the people, albeit mentally.

As one of our senior Lagos political leaders puts it, “Dayo, I understand your situation. But you need to understand the art of Nigerian Politics better. The politics being played now is not ready for progressive person like you”. It is sad.

That is where my anger is. When will the people be put first. When will we prioritise development and empowerment of the  electorate. When will it be about delivering value and not about the desire for power.

When will there be discipline in our polity and respect for time, effort and ideals. I am angry at all the time that was wasted by the system, the energies of young and vibrant mind desiring to serve their communities.

For a whole week, we were told we will be screened for primaries, I had a trip to the UNGA in September but delayed it just to participate in the screening. It was moved from the original date to the week after, then from Monday to Tuesday. We got a text on Tuesday to show up at 2:00 pm. We rushed to the secretariat for screening and was told to come on Wednesday again. MY SPEECH IN NEW YORK WAS ON FRIDAY. There was no firm idea on when the screening will be. We were told, indefinitely.

On Thursday I headed to New York to speak at The Africa Forum UNGA 73. As I turned on my phone at JFK, I was told screening will begin the next day till Saturday. I headed to the venue in NY, gave my speech and called the airline to bring my flight backward for a fee. I left NY immediately and rushed back to Nigeria for my screening. That’s just an example of the type of commitment invested in the process.

All that effort went to waste and amounted to nothing because the screening was for a primary that never held due to violence and killings on the day. Today we are unsure whose name is on the list to INEC. But that’s 9ja politics for you.

In the midst of all the hurt and anger, that some of our people are primarily about their pocket and not about the improvement of lives, and that even citizens are driven by the potential of milking those who intend to liberate them from the den of enslavement, I am encourage that, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

The generation that came from Egypt, who are used to the Milk of Pharaoh will complete their time and the generation of Joshua and Caleb will take over.

My fellow Joshua and Caleb, we have fought a good fight, we have invested time, energy and resources. While it is not yet Uhuru, we are closer to Canaan. The intimidation, harassment, victimisation will be over one day. Keep sowing, keep investing and keep the spirit.

For those who are asking me to jump ship and defect to another party, as I mentioned to our leaders, I have been faced with offers from over 4 other major political parties to run on their platform with financial support, among other form of redress to demand for our mandate.

While the offers are attractive, I have subjected them to;

(1) Continuous loyalty to the ideals of the progressives and Baba Awolowo. My loyalty to our party, despite the hurt remains. I refuse to leave after the Local Government election and have also chosen to stay and serve our party, because I believe in the progressive ideas that the party was created to deliver. I will continue to contribute my part to the advocacy for reform and internal democracy in the APC.

(2) DIVINE DIRECTION: because there is a way that seems right unto a man but the end thereof is perdition, and he scripture says walk in the spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

(3) The views of our followers and constituent that we seek to represent, after consulting them. My political aspiration is not a personal ambition drive but an effort to serve.

I would say this has been the strongest test of my Faith so far in my journey but it has also been a learning process, from the last Chairmanship election to the current House of Assembly election. Whatever the outcome, we have a better understanding of the current political space and someday, our time will come.

I need a closure. I need rest. But in the meantime I will channel my energy into using my experience from the whole process to help others win their general election, while also pursuing my international development agenda in the international community, which is my primary job.

Am also excited at the opportunity of being a blessings to my supporters. Two were in Canada for the Africa Forum Toronto last week. Some of them are South Africa bound for another event. Some will travel with me soon by the Grace of God. An exposed mind is an enlightened mind. I will continue to contribute to the exposures of my supporters and our constituents at large.

TIME is an eventual eliminator of all pain.

The scripture says, do not be weary in doing good, for in due season you shall reap your reward, if you faint not. We will not be weary, we will continue to touch lives.

Securing tomorrow today.

Dayo Israel



Idris Aina
Idris is a media and communications professional with keen attention to details. An entertainment enthusiast, he is an ardent fan of the team from the Red Side of Manchester with love for football banters. He tweets with the handle @arlomah.