2023 and the pandemonium of parrots

Kenechukwu Obiezu

Kenechukwu Obiezu

Since attaining independence in 1960, Nigeria has come a really long, long way. Sometimes the road has been smooth, many times it has been as rough as they come as the country continues to delicately navigate its way to a future that many hope would see every Nigerian child in school, steady power supply, solid infrastructure, and sustainable social security for Nigeria`s population that is poised to explode in the years to come.

The negotiation to craft a nation out of the Nigerian state has taken in the bitterly attritional civil war of 1967-70, military coup after military coup, a democracy blighted by corruption and just a whole lot along the way. Were the Giant of Africa not forged from the fire of colonialism`s adversity, perhaps, Nigeria would have long lost its spine to the crushing burden placed on a young country.

In 2015, a momentous decision was handed down by Nigerians as they sat in judgment in polling units spread across the country: a party that had vowed to spend at least sixty years in power was forced to eat its words dipped in the ashes of defeat. It was doubly historic because for the first time not only did an incumbent lose an election at the highest level in Nigeria, the incumbent loser was gracious in defeat.

The APC was to reprise its victory at the polls in 2019 but with the tenure of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari having entered its home stretch, Nigerians are poised to flash his scorecard. From all indications, it appears the scores will not be kind on Mr. Buhari and his supporters.

The ruthless transience of power has ensured that the performance of the incumbent counts for little for those who have their eyes on the throne that democracy will render vacant in 2023 and their supporters. Already, across the country, the posters have gone up even as the fingers rise with voices to indicate that the race will be as closely fought as any has been in Nigeria in many years. It promises to be close even if the concerns that it will be business as usual are valid.

As Nigerians count down to the elections, some questions are unavoidable. One which is perhaps more unavoidable than others bothers on what whoever feels himself sufficiently qualified to lead from Aso Rock will be bringing to a country smarting from the appalling ineptitude and inertia of leaders across the country.

To govern Nigeria is not a tea party as many have testified. The perks may seem lavish I n a country where impunity calls on to impunity from government office to government office, however, no one who is serious enough can discountenance the banana peels piled up along the path of whoever would become the president. It is an almost impossible task which is why all those who tout one candidate or the other must warn those whose cheerleaders they have become that the road is forbiddingly long. The warning is necessary just in case there are heads buried in the sand.

In 2015, Mr. Buhari had hardly settled into office when Nigerians grew weary and wary of someone they had proclaimed a messiah just months before. It took him all of six months to constitute his cabinet. Usually, such a lengthy period of time would have bespoken introspection and circumspection about whom to entrust the unenviable task of making a country that had retrogressed work again. However, when the list of the chosen went up, Nigerians were disappointed to find many people of suspect integrity and competence on the list.

Those who already whether by clairvoyance or clear thinking can predict who will be Nigeria`s best president ever must watch what they say and how much support they give to those they back no matter the inducement given that all Nigerian politicians are practically the same.

Experience has shown that loudly complaining about a leader once they are in office is like flogging a dead horse. Experience has also shown that trying to oust them is like trying to squeeze a camel through the eyes of the needle.

So, guaranteeing that Nigeria has good leaders in place begins from campaigns and runs through until Election Day. Collecting money for votes is as shortsighted as it gets because it guarantees that the public purse will be squeezed for every last investment made while governance will suffer.

Because Nigerians cannot afford to get it right one more time. They must look with suspicion and cynicism at those who boast that they have seen Nigeria`s saviour.

 

 

Kene Obiezu,

keneobiezu@gmail.com

 

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