BY JEROME-MARIO UTOMi
Tuesday, Apirl 3,2018
In Nigeria, like in other countries of the world, it is a moral duty that citizens should reinforce and not undermine the government effort; acting in concord with daily political developments particularly under a democratic arrangement. But contrary to this expectation, the vast majority of Nigerians have in recent weeks demonstrated stiff difficulty accepting political occurrences by allowing skepticism and, doubt trail every scorecard coming from the government quarters, an act that have understandably affected our national live and existence.
From the Senators jumbo pay saga to the abduction and subsequent release of Dapchi school girls. From the ‘technical defeat’ of the Boko Haram to the corruption fight. Not even the recent award to the President Muhammadu Buhari by the Martin Luther King family was spared of the doubt.
Virulent as the situation appears, such should by no means be tagged an accident as discerning minds view it as a fall-out of the disheartening government past actions.
Explicitly, the most fundamental obstacle responsible for this complexity is that the masses have been led to a state of confusion, to the extent that distinguishing between delusion and reality has become difficult. To justify this position, democracy, at the global level is aimed at providing good governance and in contrast, our ‘homegrown democracy’ has neither guaranteed social justice nor supported social mobility but promoted hopelessness.
The second difficulty, however, seems not to raise so much dust like the first but can only be ignored at a heavy price as it stems from the masses new found ‘knowledge’ that; ‘time and the world do not stand still, that change is the law of life, and those who look only to the past, or the present, are certain to miss the future’. This new frame of mind seems to provide Nigerians with direction out of the present political pew, safeguard common welfare while using a systematic scrutiny of government actions.
Calculated political awareness meetings and conferences organized daily on our political space by the Civil Society Organizations (CSO), professional Bodies as well as religious Groups, with; fixing, reworking, repositioning the nation as the central themes serve as the ‘people college’ where these political reorientations are created. And consequently, propel Nigerians to question hitherto political settled answers as well as demand answers to the unsettled national questions.
This development is made worse by the Nigerian’s realization that they are still governed by people that do not feel the pinch the common man is made to endure, or that the leaders have simply chosen to be ‘compassionate by proxy’.
Looking at commentaries, one will again, discover that Nigerians are irked by the fact that instead of our leaders providing us with the much-yearned democracy dividends, they fractured our nation’s geography into a polarized ‘ethno-syncrasies’ and idiosyncrasies, all of which have led to agitations of different sorts and capacities. These have further disjointed the amalgams of the country and made the nation that was once called ‘The Giant of Africa’ now be referred to by friends and foes as a ‘wobbling tripod.
Apart from the above baffling development, another thing seems to stand out; for close to two decades that the nation has had uninterrupted democracy in our shores, our leaders have neither alleviated the real conditions of the poor, the deprived, the lonely, the oppressed, nor get into their lives and participate in their struggles. Hence, the masses have refused to see anything exemplary or impressive with the government.
Other accompanying reason fuelling this ‘Aki and Paw-paw’(Nigerian version of Tom and Jerry ) form of relationship, is that after about four years of unfulfilled ‘change’ by this present administration, Nigerians are reacting stoically by positioning to enter 2019 with a new dream on their minds, and head to the polls with a different mentality than they had in 2015.
This new orientation conversed would be further shaped by recent fiscal, sociological, political and communal happenings in the country; coupled with the pockets of Ethno-cultural upheavals and misgivings from one region against another or powerful personalities against each other.
Going by the current happenings, one can safely situate that different strata, sectors, and sections of the country will be looking up to 2019 as a year to settle various scores – both idealistically and holistically.
These state of affair have made 2019 a year with history and pregnant with high hopes, and has equally necessitated the need for electorates to develop an objectified ‘oneness’ as well as an action plan that will aid them in ‘taking whole.’ It’s a year for the masses and youths, in particular, to team up and fight the common enemy called bad leadership and its proponents.
This role, the masses have since learned is imperative as ‘the strength of a nation is a direct result of the strength of her leaders; as everything rises and falls on leadership’
Catalyzing the above process, therefore, Nigerians should not labour under the illusion that things will fall into place by mere speeches but will first require mind restructuring as once the mind is enslaved, the body can never be free. They should also develop strategies for asking solution-providing questions as well as perform the agenda-setting roles for our present/future crop of leaders.
Again, observation has spotted that for a greater part of our existence as a nation, we have had more demagogues than authentic leaders which have consequently corroded our expected socioeconomic development. Hence, it is time for the masses to create a climate where the ‘truth is heard and brutal force confronted’.
For one thing, it will be of considerable significance to this present issue that Nigerians continues on this standpoint of objectively questioning the activities of our leaders as events that recently unfolded points to the fact that there may be no end in sight to the crisis of corruption and dearth of leadership; as we have recently seen some of our ‘leaders’ become a reality that we now worry about.