Since 1999, Nigeria has been making a beeline for democracy and good governance. But the country`s path to the promised land has been riddled with many obstacles indeed.
As some mental level, there are many who believe that the very foundations of the country are irreparably flawed and cannot meaningfully ground anything that has even the lightest grain of gravitas in it. And because so often, the heart speaks to the head and even the hands, these people refuse to respond to the Nigeria`s call for all hands to be on deck in building a country of their dreams.
So, Nigeria trudges on in its journey to nowhere on the shoulders of those who would rather set it down and trample all over it. Now, with the 2023 elections around the corner, Nigeria has inexplicably lurched into a feeding frenzy in these days when hunger is taking no prisoners. The feeding frenzy has something to do with the expression of interest and nomination forms of the All Progressives Congress, the number of people it is drawing out like a bait, the amount of money it is bringing in like a net, and the banana peels it is pouring onto our already treacherously slippery political terrain.
Nigerians have recovered from being stunned by the sheer number of people jostling for the office of the President. The rush certainly defies logic because even those who know that were a thousand presidential elections to be conducted in Nigeria today, they would still stand no chance have had no qualms picking up the forms worth millions of naira now but which will be no more worth than toilet paper at the end of the day.
There has also been the frenzy of support groups some of which have effortlessly raised hundreds of millions of naira to drag unwilling public officers into contests where the biggest chance they stand is emerging with the wooden spoon.
The question then becomes, with the ants rushing to take a lick out of the leaking pot of honey, are they also armed with wools they intend to pull over the eyes of Nigerians? It appears they do. And if appearances are not deceptive, what is their game plan and what can Nigerians expect from the 2023 elections that draw near as each tick of the clock pulls away?
To say that suspicion is the currency of Nigerian politics is to put it mildly. In spite of the often wide smiles and exaggerated displays of camaraderie, Nigerian politicians know to label their loyalties along ethnic and religious lines as well as party affiliations.
Suspicion is also the bitumen with which the campaign trail is tarred. In the gatherings where candidates are sold, while the audience freely suspects that the contenders have no intention of keeping their often outlandish promises, the contenders on their own part suspect that the audience does not believe anything they say. So, the ruse goes on.
There is no doubt that Nigeria is at a critical juncture. The country has come to a point where it is make or mar and Nigerians must be fully aware of just how brittle their chances have become in this most tenuous of unions.
The strike embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has well stretched for over three months, yet there is no considerable pressure on the Federal Government to resolve the impasse once and for all by those whose pressure will count for something.
Over sixty persons abducted by terrorists in the Abuja-Kaduna train attack of March 28, 2022 remain in the hands of their ruthless captors, and again,there is no substantial pressure on the government to rescue them by those who want to lead Nigeria in 2023.
What we have is a circus where clowns and charlatans amuse themselves by throwing humongous amounts into a political contest that is quickly becoming an egregious exhibition of stolen public funds.
Nigeria is in the days of disgrace, distress, delusion and delirium and there is no doubt that there are those who enjoy these days more than any other. These people are known to Nigerians like the back of their hands and in spite of the many misguided supporters they often call upon, Nigerians can ill-afford to listen to them or take their words with anything but a pinch of salt. To do otherwise would be to lend helping hands to those who would lead the country to doom.
If these days of darkness are to lead Nigeria to a new dawn, Nigerians must immediately resolve that come the polls of 2023, all those who had the opportunities to serve but only stole should be summarily retired from the politics of the country.
Painful defeats at the polls would serve some justice, and go a long way in binding the wounds inflicted on Nigerians by those who use public funds to feather nothing but their own nets.