Politics as Nigeria’s albatross
Sir: Each passing day brings to mind the fact that Nigeria is still visibly afflicted with perennial ‘‘leadership haemorrhage.’’
But the most serious aspect of this all-out assault is the belief by Nigerians that the nation’s leadership crisis was aggregated by a successive deficiency in leadership vision and in some cases made worse by public official’s understanding and interpretation of problems with clarity but lacking in political will to see or implement solutions.
Nigerians tend to think that they have not been lucky with good leaders. That is, people who pilot the affairs of the nation at the three levels of government, lack good leadership qualities. Therefore, they fall short in delivering the fruits of good leadership. The general feeling is that this set of people in government is clueless.
On the contrary, no administration in Nigeria’s history, including the present one, is clueless. Clueless suggests a lack of any vision or agenda. This is clearly not the case with those who have led and are leading Nigeria. Every administration at the federal and state levels has always come into office with specific visions and agendas. This is correct for both the military and civilian governments.
The civilians always had their set agendas before assuming power, even if they present a different one to the electorate during their campaigns for election. Because Nigerian governments have their own visions and agendas, they are not clueless. But their vision and agendas are at odds with the general inspirations and motivations of the population.
The current democracy has devolved to a pathetic state: prospective elected public servants seek office merely for the sake of politics. They are motivated by power and politics only. They campaign on lofty ideals to get the vote of their constituents, but when they are elected, they renege on their promises to their constituents. Instead, they tow the tired routine paths of their party in particular, and politics in general.
The only hope Nigeria and Nigerians have is political restructuring. Without a politics that aligns the aspirations of the leaders with the people and compels leaders to stick to their campaign mandates, preventing them from reneging when elected into power, the leadership and governance crises in Nigeria will not let up.
Finally, like the former speaker noted, unless we begin to take measures to reclaim this immunity, this country is going to continue to drift. Likewise in my view, the best way to start is by using the 2023 general elections to stop politicians that cannot draw a distinction between politics and leadership. They play politics all the way. In doing so, they use the people to further their own end which is unpleasant, selfish, narrow-minded and petty. Their politics involves intimidating people, getting things done by lying or other dishonoured means. These need to be dropped.
Jerome-Mario Chijioke Utomi.