At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we will continue to reiterate our doubtlessness in the widely-held belief anchored on the conviction that Nigeria – like other similarly unfortunate geographical entities inhabited by disenfranchised people – is bedevilled by problem of poor political ‘leadership’. With deep thinking about, and careful observation of, ‘better life’ in ‘saner’ climes, it is an anomaly to refer to most African ‘ruiners’ as ‘leaders’ except, perhaps, due to lack of knowledge! The irony is that these so-called ‘leaders’ do not see themselves as being incongruous! Yes, they are entitled to their opinion on self-worth even as they remain within that infamous, not-yet-improving, poor ‘leadership’ cadre. So, the challenge of this irritating poor political leadership must be unallowed to escape the radar of constructive criticisms and positive actions if Nigerians want to get out of the pit they are – currently! There has never been any equivocation, from us, concerning the identity of the political charlatans/con-artists that were, and still are, the bane of Nigeria’s political and economic development! They are predominantly (if not totally) part of the political elite that has been churning out the earlier-mentioned ‘leadership’ – for long. This infelicitous reality has been Nigeria’s unneeded excruciating heavy baggage for more than half a century!
Fifty years – for a serious people – is not a joke not to mention sixty-three (in 2023) for a country that attained political ‘independence’ on the 1st of October, 1960, that is still unable to get its priorities right! What is the main reason for this? Again, it is simply the preponderance of ill-prepared, intellectually-lazy, clueless, catastrophic groups wrongly empowered and assumed to be ‘leaders’ in Nigeria’s political space. Notwithstanding “…..the widespread lunacy ravaging Nigeria’s political terrain…..”, as we posited in an earlier intervention, “…..there are men/women with impeccable moral integrity. Yes, these men/women possess the capability needed in reversing this current negative trend [in our polity]. They can pilot Nigeria from the backwardness being experienced towards sane modern development…..” Surely, people with high moral integrity will be resisted by the earlier-mentioned political charlatans/con-artists we always talk about! To succeed in their trade, charlatans and con-artists/scammers are basically impostors! Characteristically, impostors, in every field of human endeavour, will fight tooth and nail against intention(s), attempt(s) or action(s), by anyone and anything, to unmask them and reveal their true identity! However, their ‘unsustainable’ resistance has only been succeeding up until now, and can only continue to succeed, with the inadvertent ‘support’ from the same unwary disenfranchised Nigerians!
This ‘support’ is basically a result of some curable weaknesses such as poverty of all types, ignorance, unnecessary fearfulness, pretentiousness, inability and/or unwillingness to speak truth to power, and sycophancy! These weaknesses are what today’s medieval politicians are still leveraging upon! They have been sustaining this through the same old campaign strategies and fake promises inherited from their ‘progenitors’ including surreptitious ‘terrorisation’ of opponents and critics. We agree that Nigeria’s political pitch is terrifyingly hazardous! It has been the same story – year in, year out! These spineless mediocrities, surrounded by people of similar or lesser values, have poor self-esteem! Hence, they must hold transient power to use its instrumentalities and paraphernalia of office to not only subjugate others but also to contribute in placing the country in retrogressive mode! It will be unbelievable and painful for the oppressed people to still continue hoping that these charlatans/con-artists – without being prompted – will fulfil their fake political campaign promises! These promises are what they are: fake! These fake political leaders are relevant only when many people are pauperised with very scarce means of legitimate economic empowerment! This is why they prefer giving debasing peanuts (or palliatives?) to poor people.
We give ‘credit’ to these impostors/swindlers, from generation to generation, for being able to effectively distract and nudge Nigerians towards running around circles for this long! We really hope Nigerian people are waking up because it seems they do not make use of history! They seem to not learn from history! They seem to suffer from collective amnesia! For this reason, history keeps repeating itself! All we complained about yesterday are repeatedly perpetrated, right before us, today, by the same shameless people who shamelessly refuse to cover their faces in shame! Regrettably, it is now clearer that high moral integrity has taken the back seat in the organisation/execution of many of our activities as a people! Unfortunately, these irritatingly unashamed characters are the loudest and most visible in Nigeria; they are even celebrated! The country and its people now accommodate all kinds of nonsense! This has been scandalising many law-abiding/hard-working compatriots in places where sanity is held in high esteem! This is regrettable but it is the current reality! There is progressive perversion of many Nigeria’s societal values – in the life-time of many honourable elderlies – that insisting on correct procedure(s) is now seen as being stupid! The country is increasingly more like a ‘jungle’ or ‘no man’s land’ where anything goes! We must continue to tell ourselves the blatant truth; Nigeria is at a dangerous precipice of total failure!
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After looting the public treasury in a well-organised heist, these same fraudsters later come to the public domain to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s economic challenges! Many imbeciles (even among those considered “educated”) do eulogise them! What sort of silliness is this? This is an insult to the collective intelligence of Nigerians that are using their brains for the advancement of human beings! Time has come for those who genuinely wish Nigeria well to come together! This is in order to fine-tune sound strategies for the well-sought-for needed national rebirth! These strategies are to assist in sprouting and nourishing enabling conditions for encouraging and supporting men and women of unimpeachable moral integrity! There is a caveat, here and now: we are not under any delusion that ALL those identified, today, with unimpeachable moral integrity before getting into power will ALL remain with those virtues, tomorrow, when in power! We are not oblivious of what illicit wealth and power – absolute power – in Nigeria’s circumstance have done, and can still do, to people in power! We have seen several scenarios! Politicians easily forget ‘where they are coming from’. So, “…..anything and everything is possible, and should be expected, in today’s Nigeria…..” Nigerians must prepare to constantly defy frustrations from politicians!
Nigerians must work seriously on strategies for guiding against political disappointment by building and reinforcing institutional capacity that assist voters in easily voting out the “bad eggs” and in lieu of them, voting in “better” ones! Politicians’ awareness of electorate’s capacity, capability and willingness to seamlessly remove them from office, through the ballot, is what keep them in check! Certainly, these vampires have been luxuriating on Nigeria’s ‘blood’. Retrieving Nigeria from these vampires that have long been draining it of its ‘blood’ is a serious task that must be done! These blood-sucking vermins must be challenged and defeated! Thus, successfulness of the rescue mission might be time-dependent but it is not impossible! It is not unachievable! Nigeria may be lagging behind but it is not too late to start the rebuilding! Now is the time! On a final note, we need to continue to reiterate the fact that Nigeria and Nigerians cannot afford, and should not encourage, the continuation of the very costly sustenance of the deafening silence in the country! This gives a very wrong impression of them consenting to past and current political shenanigans. We will conclude this interaction with the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968) which states that “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
*Andrew A. Erakhrumen currently teaches at the Department of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.
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