Enough of politics of recklessness in Nigeria
It is disgraceful that nations across the globe only conceive governance in Nigeria as a perfect model of a despicable political system; as a prototype of what not to be! Humans, the world over, think of Nigerians with so much pity— a hapless people in a very rich nation subjected to self-destruction; a country dominated by desperate and irresponsible rulers, who have only rascality, megalomania and misappropriation to offer to over 200 million vulnerable, cowardly, sycophantic but expectant people. While the Nigerian political rulers manifest rapacity and inanities of different degrees, the masses maintain their position of hollowness, either as ill fated people dying and smiling, or as hypocrites who sing-praise their tormentors to fame, in expectation of crumbs that may fall from the table of affluence for their pick. How can a leader successfully dehumanize the same people s/he swore to serve and protect, without any organized reaction of resentment from the oppressed? Nigeria, indeed, is a traumatized country.
No government anywhere in the world can successfully coerce her citizenry into total submission to despotic rules without the complicity of the youth body. Sadly, in the Nigerian political landscape, the vitality of the youths, whom President Buhari stereotyped as ‘lazy’, is only utilized in thuggish activities by the avaricious political godfathers. To these plutocrats, who recycle themselves within the political space, young Nigerians, except their children, are not fit for any leadership position. The most visible political engagement left for the youth is hooliganism and social media praise-hood. Since we have failed to recognize that the politician is elected to serve the people, not to lord it over them, the masses will continually lie under the trodden feet of their rulers, most of whom are low heads in high places!
One gets very enraged thinking of how President Buhari’s government resents the same democratic principles that prepared the way for his emergence as a president of Africa’s most populous country in the 21st century. How this government animalizes decent, harmless protesters and exalts terrorists and bandits is what one finds very difficult to comprehend. Is it not distressing that herdsmen that slaughter our people and rape our women needed grazing reserve to stop killing? Is it not disturbing that the Boko Haram sects, after maiming thousands of innocent Nigerians, are to enjoy prestigious scholarship abroad under government’s expenses? These same people that have brought eternal anguish to families and the Nigerian psychosocial space are pampered by a government that dehumanizes decent and civil citizens.
This is happening in a country where there is no definite plan for her educated youths, who have been coerced not to ask questions about their pathetic conditions. The dehumanization of unarmed protesters under the umbrellas of Nnamdi Kanu’s IPOB and Omoyele Sowore’s RevolutionNow are some distressing episodes in a government of grief and groans, which cows every Nigerian, for a thriving perpetration of its depravities. The Nigerian masses are highly vulnerable— they are oppressed and brutalized by the politicians, Boko Haram sects, herdsmen, police, army, armed robbers and kidnappers. The Nigerian masses are literally on their own!
Political practice in Nigeria is distasteful; there is no decency and modesty— perhaps, one has to be significantly insane or mentally wrecked to fit into the big business of politicking. Nigerian democracy is simply a demonstration of crazy power seekers. When Plato declared that the ‘politician is goaded on to madness’ he might have perceived the psychotic manifestations in Nigerian politics, not the universal neurotic episodes that are triggered by ambition and obsession with power. We are in a country where we are entertained by the absurdist political theatre of Dino Melaye (a messianic misfit), the outlandish conducts of Rochas Okorocha (the lover of statues), who scored great marks on farcical theatrics by appointing his sister, Ogechi Ololo as Commissioner for Happiness and Couples’ Fulfillment. It is in this country that the Governor of Bauchi State, Bala Mohammed, appointed a Special Assistant on Unmarried Women Affairs. In all of these, there are young people with the vitality of rhetoric and physical strength to applaud them. This is the pathetic relationship between most Nigerian leaders and their followers, the blind leading people with active sight into a dungeon.
In Nigeria, the commitment of the average politician is only witnessed in electioneering seasons. During pre-election campaigns, politicians manifest a strange vigor, dedication and humility. They would visit every single community in their constituency, hug the paupers, eat with the lame, shake hands with lepers etc. After the elections, siren and silence greet every promise made during campaigns and rallies. These are the chameleonic dispositions that define political practice in Nigeria. This is not about All Promises Cancelled (APC) or People Deceiving People (PDP); it is about a group of people with a common vision to magu and pondei our collective fortunes. When you have moralists like Buhari, whose jobless son, Yusuf, could drive a multimillion power-bike ($157, 000; approximately N56 million) in a country where hardworking youths are regarded as lazy; Magu, who chased thieves to mend his pale pocket, Professor Pondei, who believed that the overall essence of leadership is to leaders, not the led, then, we have nothing else to say: the country is doomed and in urgent need of redemption!
Are you not repulsed that Godwin Obaseki is now in PDP and Osagie Ize-Iyamu is now in APC? This attests to the fact that in Nigeria, political parties have no ideologies; they are social descents for people who scheme to enrich themselves desperately. Adams Oshiomole is currently struggling to altar insults and praises; social media boys are battling to adjust to their masters’ madness as violence is unleashed on Edo State. Do you have to be irredeemably mad to gain political power and its privileges? Schools are on lockdown to contain a virus but politicians are ‘buying’ crowds in Edo State to demonstrate their ridiculous political egos. Are these people normal at all? Sadly, Nigerian jobless youths are busy in the social media landscape analyzing the potency of campaign crowds, of APC versus PDP.
The Nigerian masses are taken for a ride. This is why President Buhari would boldly announce to Nigerians that he was going to the Republic of Mali to help resolve their political crises. He forgot about his wilting country. What could be more reckless than leaders unpretentiously looting the resources of a country? What justification has the FG that it expended ₦523.3 million on school feeding program during the lockdown against the coronavirus? The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development (MHADMSD), Sadiya Farouq, announced this condescendingly at the Presidential Taskforce on Monday 3 August in Abuja. How many household did they get to with their take home ration? Is this not insanity?
It is this normalization of looting that would make NDDC moralists under IMC misappropriate ₦4.9 billion within three months and they had all the vocal energy to justify it. Believing that they were dealing with gullible people, the Acting Managing Director, Professor Pondei, resorted to mock-fainting. Social Media boys and girls were kept busy for that moment and then, there was silence!
How can a country with such reckless rulers make any significant progress? Nigeria is among the tenth countries with the world’s largest oil reserves but it cannot boost of a significant productive refinery. We continue to export crude and import fuel at exorbitant prices. If there is no enough money to meet up with their extravagant lifestyle, our politicians borrow and share among themselves. This is how they will literally sell the country to China. Though among the tenth producer of crude in the world, Nigeria is nowhere in the refining of crude. The twenty five largest refineries in the world are from Asia, North America, South America, Europe and Middle East. Thanks to Aliko Dangote, who is currently building one in Lagos. In Nigeria, as at 1953, oil was already discovered in Akata, near Eket and later in Oloibiri in 1956, which became operational in commercial quantity in 1958. From 1956 to 1966 oil and gas was discovered in different parts of Nigeria in commercial quantity. Do you know what? Oil was first discovered in Dubai in 1966 and became operational in 1969. Today, United Arab Emirate is the pride of the world while Nigeria is a laughing stock of the world! Universities are on lockdown because of a pandemic but the global space is shifting to digital strategies; not a single effort to encourage digitalization of the Nigerian educational system. Those who decide for Nigeria must be haters of education and lovers of trivialities. Political appointment is an empowerment, not a commitment to serve. This is why Nigeria wrinkles like their greying minds and limbs. This is the pathetic reality.
The unruliness in the Nigerian politics has influenced every facet of the country. This is why violence and unhealthy rascality is witnessed in elections conducted by associations of medical doctors, lawyers, creative writers, farmers, transporters, teachers, students etc. It is a wind of depravity that has overwhelmed every part of the nation. This is because Nigerian leaders privilege hooliganism and terrorism in place of decency and modesty. It is a dismal situation. Tufie!
Kekeghe PhD teaches English at College of Education, Warri, Delta State.
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