Since the 1914 amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates that birthed the entity referred to as Nigeria, no sane person ever thought the hitherto bubbling and progressing Nigeria would degenerate to its present level of decay. Every other thing, including fresh air is under serious pollution due to clueless leadership. Politicians and their supporters have crawled to the next level of desperation to access power by hook or crook without iota of shame despite glaring failure in all fronts. The situation is unbelievable and sad.
Nigerians are in a hot race for legal and illegal acquisition of wealth to sustain an ostentatious living style. Trusted public officials are the worst of the crooks. A federal permanent secretary easily transforms from an expected sincere and honest public servant on oath to a habitual pen robber, looter and confidently perfects the looting technique with pride. Ministers are vandals and rogues in search of illegal wealth. Justice is for the highest bidder as the judges are in competition for wealth accumulation, while security is for those that can afford with the Nigeria Police organization turned to public limited company. Where is Nigeria going?
Although views may, and do, differ from one to another. Causes celebres may, and do, result from the foregoing. Nonetheless, it has been observed that the present Nigerian political water is deep and murky! Politicians in contest are victims of exploitation, extortion and deceitful mechanisms for pecuniary gain.
One has to agree with the fact that most of the current political players can be as venomous as, or even more than, the death stalker scorpion! We are not oblivious of the truism that the 1999 Constitution for is it Decree 24? Of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was founded on fraudulent and undemocratic tenet! Nigerians know that their country’s political turf has been ‘rigged’ to favor the ‘anointed few! Nigerians are aware that the warped governing system has been hijacked by the vermins that put us in the mess we are! These are realities those ensuring Nigerians’ stagnancy in mess, want to perpetuate! Nigerians know more! These scenarios are very terrifying and discouraging! However, the bubble has burst! Many Nigerians are now, gradually, seeing through the tricks and lies! What remains is for political power belonging to the people—to be retaken by the real owners!
Hence, reinforced advocacy is necessary for more enlightenment of the people. It is also needed to reawaken interest in those loosing or have out rightly lost, hope in Nigeria’s civil system of governing process. It is assumed that not everyone will be interested in, or capable of, contesting for elective positions. However, stakeholders in the ‘Nigeria Project’ must not leave it in the hands of those bringing disrepute to it! It has long got to the stage, according to Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970), when, we, all, should “……have come to the conclusion that politics is too a serious matter to be left to politicians alone…….” As they are interestingly untrustworthy with our future! History has taught us that politicians, deliberately, do not learn from it! They only learn from ‘fear inducing treatments! Get yourself acquainted with these treatments by asking political office holders that electorate booted out of office! They will define them better! You may also dial back for answers in historical occurrences of 1688 in England and 1789 in France!
Let it be clearly stated that nobody except themselves—-can emancipate a people from the socio-politico-economic conundrum they find themselves! The fact in the last statement is time-tested! So, this matter constantly requires serious seriousness! Most politicians will never willingly implement policies (even if they are in their manifestos) that will improve the lots of the ‘common people’! The former are only forced, sometimes, to do the needful and rightful, when they perceive that the latter possess the capacity and capability, and will, to punish them by voting, massively, against them during elections! This is the case, in most democracies, particularly where the electorates have secured power and are willing to effectively instill this fear in their politicians!
Vote can still count if Nigerian electorates are determinedly insistent on making it so; or what is the main reason behind vote buying if it does not really count? It is time to punch debilitating holes in politicians’ various long running ‘wuru wuru’ schemes. Wuru wuru in local parlance aptly means deceitful strategies developed for deception and duping. Politicians’ lies are same in color and taste everywhere! What changes is the packaging strategy owing to factors like occasions, time and other exigencies!
Without mentioning names, if politicians’ manifestoes for contesting in the 1979, 1983, 1992/1993, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019 elections are carefully examined (apart from the font characters and sizes in preparing those documents) there will not be any significant difference in their content! Year in, year out, their “wuru wuru” has been centred on poverty alleviation, infrastructural development, fighting corruption, unemployment and the overhyped ‘fight’ against insecurity! After each round of election (selection), the unpalatable situation in the country worsens because those that get into political offices are not asked the needed questions by the deceived electorates concerning stewardship based on pre-election promises. It has been a case of “nothing dey happen and nothing go happen” for those politicians backed by their malnourished ‘dogs’ and the hopeless confused poor.
This is a reason for the same people, who contributed to the sinking of Nigeria, to always dare to put themselves forward for elective positions. Case of Sen. Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan of Yobe State readily comes to mind!
Nigerians, (the masses), appear helpless in trying to get emancipated from manipulations by these brand of crooks!
Nigeria’s civil rule is supposed to be a ‘participatory democracy’ but it is far from that, yet, truly so! If Nigerians want it to be so, then it must be earnestly made so by all and sundry. Those benefitting from the present lopsidedness in the polity only pay lip service to the enthronement of ‘participatory democracy’——a concept they secretly abhor!
Importantly, serious attention should be paid to how elective political offices holders are recruited at the level of local government areas. It may sound unbelievable, but it is real, that the State Independent Electoral Commissions (SIECs) are mere rubber stamps of whichever party is in power in the state. There is nothing independent in their operations because they are remote-controlled and receive dictations from the governor-in-council. In most local government areas, majority of the people do know, and/or are not even interested to know who and who are selected as councilors of their places of domicile! To even develop an interest in any local government election in Nigeria is equivalent to declaring yourself a psychiatric patient in need of urgent public attention! Increasing and strengthening active political participation in local government administration are very vital for achieving the seemingly elusive ‘participatory democracy’ including free and fair elections. Apart from securing reliable representatives at this level of governance, there is also a need for intense demand for political reforms that will assist in freeing local governments from the vice grip of overbearing state governors!
Similarly, it appears that the importance of States and National Assemblies is still lost on many Nigerians! These entities are, collectively, the bastion of any democratic rule, without which governance structure can be considered to be anything but democratic! This is why States and National Assemblies are the first casualties of coup d’etat by a political faction, military, or a dictator! People should get more interested in those they want as their representatives in those hallow chambers. The mistake of huge political apathy of 1998/1999 that assisted the dregs of society in taking up the mantle of leadership in the country’s political space should be avoided!
Nigerians have always maintained that there is no difference among almost all the present ‘political parties’ as constituted! Nevertheless, since the military 1999 imposed constitution is still in operation, and does not give any room for independent candidature; then people with tested good character and intention should be called upon to form and nurture new political parties and/or simply takeover and reform the present ones. We take a cue from a Nigerian colloquialism: “borrow to yourself a sense”. It is only a witless people that will not do the borrowing” concerning those presently reinforcing grinding poverty and insecurity in the land.
Muhammad is a commentator on national issues