Some believe that unreserved support and advocacy for this current government is good enough reason to end or severe long-time friendships and even romantic relationships. To others, it's not valid enough reason.
The 2023 elections are only a few months away. For me, and presumably many other youths like myself, this will be our first time voting. It’s no secret that there’s been an increase in political interest from the country’s youths. Years of living through multiple ASUU strikes, endless inflation, the ridiculous hoarding of resources and palliatives during the pandemic-induced lockdown and most importantly, the End SARS protests and the eventual casualties wrought from the state-sponsored killing at the tollgate has caused youths to be more invested in the general affairs of the country. They’re more interested in deciding who holds the various seats of power; the people who control and decide the fate of the country. This collective interest amongst the youth has, however, began to pose a problem in various relationships. While youths are starting to hold strong political views and stances, it’s in turn starting to alienate certain people from friendship groups or become deal-breakers in romantic relationships.
People have dissenting opinions on whether your political view is reason enough to end long-time friendships and romantic relationships. Take this current administration for example. Some believe that unreserved support and advocacy for this current government is good enough reason to end or severe long-time friendships and even romantic relationships. To others, it's not valid enough reason. Personally, I believe that people who hold the latter stance have little to no self-awareness. It’s that simple. More often than not, the reason why the people who hold the latter view choose not to care about their friends or romantic attachments’ political alignment is because they are not — and possibly will never be — directly affected by the consequences of this administration's choices.
For so many Nigerians, personal success completely eclipses the sufferings of others. Even while they may not be directly benefiting from the government, they can overlook the country’s endless issues as long as they manage to stay afloat. They will celebrate their ‘wins’ because it serves as an evidence of their ‘resilience’; their inability to make it despite all odds. Meanwhile, they continue to shine teeth with the people who caused those odds to come into existence in the first place.
The benefit of being self-aware is understanding that the willingness to accept bigotry or a controversial political stance despite knowing better is direct evidence of an underlying issue. It is not acceptable to use the shield of poor, misguided voters as an excuse for your own folly. These people may come up with various justifications. They might cite the fact that people who are destitute as a result of the government would still vote for them simply because of the small cash and bag of rice shared during election season. What they do not recognize is that while those people may be unaware or seek desperate and drastic measures as a result of their condition or present predicament, they, on the other hand, have the knowledge, exposure and autonomous choice of who to associate with and subsequently vote for. It is pointless to compare yourself to people with little to no exposure or people with rudimentary political knowledge.
As a person with a conscience, a love for others above all and a sense of community to your country, it should be plainly obvious why you would not want to associate yourself or be affiliated with someone who spews dangerous political values, especially when that person is all the wiser and chooses to do so. It is even more foolhardy to support them while they collect accolades and material gifts from their toxic overlords and you receive nothing but continue to defend and protect such a behavior. To be someone’s friend or loved one means to give them a sounding board and outward validation, no matter how much you might claim to not understand this.