BY BRAEYI EKIYE
A search through the Wikipedia platform describes politics as the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups or other forms of power relations among individuals, such as the distribution of resources or status. I think this description aptly fits into Nigeria’s political experience over time, albeit negatively, as it relates to the vital and purposeful use of the utility value of leadership for the advancement of society.
This is why the times call for enlightened, courageous, selfless and above all, patriotic leadership in the administration of the nation for the effective harnessing of her enormous human, mineral and material resources for real growth and development, such leadership that instantly evokes effective and even distribution of resources of the state and equitable allocation of sound and patriotic minds for appointive offices.
“HE LIST OF SOCIOECONOMIC, FINANCIAL AND POLITICAL POLICY SOMERSAULTS AND CONTRADICTIONS OF THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION IS ENDLESS. THESE SOMERSAULTS AND CONTRADICTIONS HAVE PUT THEM AT RISK OF GOOD HEALTH AND COMFORTABLE LIVING; THE VERY BASIC NECESSITIES OF LIFE THEY NEED TO LIVE WITH AND LIVE WELL”
The leadership has no patience for corrupt practices, economic and financial crimes, unintelligible service delivery, and pure existential acquisition of the commonwealth to advance self and lavish lifestyles. Leadership that abhors questionable character. Leadership that encourages in words and deed, creativity, integrity and excellence, particularly in infrastructural development, leadership that acts by both body language and in words and action, frowns against unseemly party politicking which has been a disservice to internal democracy and the smooth and effective running of our democratic process. There is no doubt, therefore, that the prevalent aforementioned vices have, over the years, held the Nigerian state hostage in its search for political stability, meaningful growth and development since 1960 when Nigeria gained her independence from British colonial rule.
It is noteworthy that these vices have for long clung to Nigeria’s party apparatchik. Political parties, their members and even gullible followers (electorate) have blindly devoted themselves to a self-seeking system since Nigeria’s independence.
The result is that the stench from this uncontrollable evil system and its bubble has forced Nigerians, largely youths across the country, to call for an immediate change of political system and ‘guard’ or ‘actors’.
They urgently want a new Federal Government put in place via the February 25, 2023 elections, just a few days hence, to redirect the rudderless ship of state.
They want the ship berthed safely by a competent and patriotic leader to herald a new and vibrant, selfless, and enlightened government that would usher in accelerated socio-economic and infrastructural development, unity of purpose, peace and security in the nation. Yet, Nigerians, desperate for a change of government for the better, are waiting to be told, a few days to the general elections, how these political gladiators intend to implement their promises to the electorate and sources of funds and the judicious use of it, timelines for implementation of projects, policies and programmes for the benefit of the sufferings of 95 per cent of Ni geria’s over two hundred million population.
Going by the strategies of various political parties and their presidential candidates, one is not enthused at their campaign slogans and promises, programmes and projections in their manifestoes all in a bid to hoodwink gullible electorate. Nigerians are tired and sick of being fed with such outdated political sloganeering, promises of better education, industrialisation, poverty alleviation, privatisation, uninterrupted (24/7) electricity power supply and the much anticipated agrarian revolution for food security.
We have been fed with these for too long. The electorates are confused about the talk of poverty alleviation, youth unemployment and redress of it, and the highfalutin promises and clichés that offend their sensibilities, and clearly clownish shows at podiums of political party campaigns across the nation.
Added to these are unseemingly party activities leading to the choice for elective offices and self-service in government. All of these are playing out unfortunately in the present dispensation and governments from Shehu Shagari’s rule to Olusegun Obasanjo, Shehu Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan.
The military, in their interregnum, from 1966 to 1979, and from 1983 to 1999 did not prove better in the equitable administration of the Nigerian state vis-à-vis proffering solutions to the ‘National Question’, an equitable revenue allocation for mula, the unity and security of the Nigerian State.
Added to these from available data, Nigeria and Nigerians’ main problem today is poverty and illiteracy- crass in every sense of the word.
Most Nigerians are living a ‘tixy dizzy’ life pattern and are stripped of the nutrients of life to keep them keeping on in the face of abject lack and poverty. That is why their health status is in a deplorable state, barely managing to keep alive.
Parents and guardians can barely foot school fees and other bills across the nursery, secondary and tertiary institutions, let alone put food on the table for their families. The soaring prices of commodities in the market are totally out of reach of most families, as they live on credit facilities, whose facilitators are on their necks.
This is yet compounded by the Central Bank of Nigeria and an All Progressives Congress insensitive government’s new naira currency policy that has finally dealt a devastating death blow to the suffering masses. The list of socio-economic, financial and political policy somersaults and contradictions of the present administration is endless.
These somersaults and contradictions have put them at risk of good health and comfortable living; the very basic necessities of life they need to live with and live well. Equally important at the front burner is the core issue of poverty and hunger which should be pragmatically addressed by political parties and their candidates.
They should show the electorate how they intend to reverse this cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabrics of the majority of the over 200 million Nigerian population. Except for the People’s Democratic Party candidate, Atiku Abubakar who has touched the core issue of restructuring, other political parties seem not to be conscious that addressing the National Question is the panacea to solving most of Nigeria’s problems; the peace, security, unity and accelerated socio-economic and infrastructural development of the nation and her federating units.
The PDP should, therefore, decisively tackle this issue if and when the electorates favour its candidate as the next president of the country, having regard to the fact that Atiku is sensitive to the issue of restructuring and to the overwhelming benefits to the nation. The new government, therefore, should give Nigerians a good reason to have a renewed hope, not only in their government, but also in themselves, that at last, they are free; free from injustice; inequitable allocation of resources and status by government; free from selfseeking inept and corrupt governments and their officials, vendors and contractors; free from insecurity and all that is not good and proper for the good governance of a nation and her federating units.