2015 Elections: The futility of Good Luck
If there is any message which inspirational speakers and soul-lifting
pastors have persuasively communicated to their diverse audiences, it is
that of impressing on their memories that the secret of living a
successful life is not contingent upon good luck but on adequate
preparation towards set goals.
Against the foregoing background, a pastor, while delivering an inspirational sermon in a church service yours sincerely attended some few weeks back, likened man in his earthly journey to a tourist that is crossing the Sahara desert. With this in mind, he sermonized that it would be madness for anyone that plans crossing the Sahara not to think of equipping himself or herself with a map, a compass and provisions, especially a jerry can of water.
In the sermon, he pointed out that many people are wont to live their lives aimlessly, without making adequate preparations. He said such people depend so much on good luck. According to him, good luck is a rare occurrence in a man’s life. It is like a miracle. It is not a daily occurrence. At this point he asked the congregation, including this writer, “Why would a student depend on good luck when it is crystal clear that its occurrence is characterized with probability? On other hand, he said a student that is well prepared for an examination would not need a prophet to tell him that he would pass the examination contrary to the student that did not prepare for the same examination but waiting for good luck.
The attitude of depending on good luck in life is not peculiar to the student but to the politicians and any other category of people that are in one way or the other charged with the responsibilities of achieving a dream.
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At this juncture, it is not an exaggeration to say that it is apparent that some incumbent political office holders depend on good luck to provide uninterruptable electricity for the people, good road network for the people, creation of employment for the youths, provision of accessible healthcare services and provision of security and safety for the people. Little wonder that most of them often end up as failed politicians. But surprisingly, despite their woeful performances in their various offices, they would always ask for re-elections.
According to Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance. Strong men believe in cause and effect.” In the same vein, Samar Mansour said “Success is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.” An online definition says Luck “is success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.”
From the perspectives of the foregoing definitions and quotes, the meaning of good luck cannot be farfetched. Even in the Christendom, some Christians no more prepare adequately towards life challenges as they are wont to misinterpret the scripture in Ecclesiastes chapter 9 verse 11 that says, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them al.” to mean good luck. In as much as I personally agree that there is divine truth that is inherent in the scripture, I would not subscribe to the habit of anyone folding his or her hands and waiting for chance or good luck to happen.
I must confess that I am inspired to write this piece as it is unprecedentedly becoming obvious that politicians and political appointees that hold several positions in sensitive offices are no longer planning to achieve results in their various public responsibilities. To me, it appears they just wait for allocation from the central purse of the government and disburse it, and then fold their hands for good luck to happen in their various ministries, departments or agencies.
For instance, there is no denying the fact that the general election that was earlier scheduled to hold on February 14, 2015 was shifted to March 28 and April 11, 2015 as a result of inadequate planning. A careful analysis of the reasons adduced to the poll shift reveals that Professor Attahiru Jega, the chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) apparently depended on streak of good luck, and thereby got sidetracked that he was oblivious of the fact that he needed to be reminding and synergizing with the military and other security agencies over the raging insurgencies in the north east central states of the country in order to ensure that the election is well planned.
In the same nexus, Professor Jega so depended on good luck that he forgot that the Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) have to be evenly distributed to registered voters before he went ahead to blow the whistle for political campaigns as the chief umpire of the elections. This, he ought to have done at the commencement of the last quarter of 2014; and not few weeks to the election.
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Without any modicum of exaggeration, I must confess at this juncture that some politicians vying for positions in the forthcoming elections are depending on good luck, rather than make concise expressions of what they would be doing in government peradventure they win in the elections.
In fact, many political office holders can hardly describe in contemporary terms what the long term visions of their offices look like.
Still in the same connection, there is no denying the fact that any politician that does not depend on good luck and knows what to do while in government may be awake to the fact that there is a challenge, commitment or expectation that would prod him on in his political assignment.
For instance, as to the negligence of duty that apparently resulted to the postponement of the February 14, 2015 poll, if not that good luck was obsessively depended on, either the president or the chairman of INEC would not have forgotten, as they unarguably did, that a challenge and commitment on their part as to instilling peace in the north central states of Nigeria would have been part of the electoral planning .
Without any scintilla of exaggeration, the essence of this piece is to urge our political leaders to always plan diligently, and stop depending on good luck. After all, Benjamin Franklin in one his quotes said, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.”
Similarly, if the insurgency is not contained within the 6-week span they promised to do, there is no arguing the fact that there may likely be another extension in the making.
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