Is Nigeria disintegrating politically and Economically? Part 2

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It is bad leadership that holds Nigeria on the ground to suffocate her. True leadership, right leadership is what brings any nation to the top. Nigeria has no true leaders, she has no right elites but she has hundreds of exceedingly paid governors, legislators and ministers who use expropriated national wealth and positions to defend themselves and colleagues while the masses are impoverished. We have governors who behave like Emperors. They are wild and defiant as they conspire for political survival. These governors are inclined to tie the so-called followers on their waists as they hunt perilously for political relevance. They do anything for love of power. It is not surprising that most Nigerians define politics as ‘a dirty game’.

Politics as far as Nigeria is concerned is a treacherous game of calumny and incrimination of rivalries, a game of mendacity and deadly manoeuvrings. It is also clear that our political elites use unjust structures in the polity to pillory divergent political or ideological expressions. And when out of power they are treacherous as they desperately clutch on any weed like a drowning man to come afloat again. The happenings in the nation’s political party groups show pragmatically that we are further degrading politically as a nation. The intra-party hostilities and factions, the inter-party re-criminalisation, the invectives, the negative ethnic emotional contents of the national politics, the desperation to take over, the subjectivity of morals, the false propaganda, the mischievous politicisation of critical national questions collectively lead to a distinctive conclusion that Nigeria is surreptitiously railed to a slaughter ditch in the name of democratic party politics.

The characters of Nigerian political parties at all the tiers are not only puerile but also perilous to sane political comportment. Opposition political groups are becoming purely tactless stone-throwers and intensely subversive. The situation is expressive of the fact that there are no true or effective political party systems in Nigeria. Today what we have as parties are mere platforms for accessing elective political positions and they are most bankrolled and manipulated by the moneybags. These makeshift platforms also provide medium for plethora of folks yelling perpetually to avoid imminent political extinction. These are discordant voices of groups of self-seeking politicians laboring for phantom political gains. These folks are, descriptively, active for their own selfish interest and have nothing articulate about what to do with the power if given.

There is this impulse to contrast Nigerians’ permissive silence and timidity to misrule and inexcusable political rascality to an on going situation in Sudan where women “protesters became symbols of freedom, strength, and solidarity in a country that has been suffering from a state of turmoil, oppression, and instability for decades under al-Bashir’s rule”. The women became the face of a revolution that liberated Sudan from impulsive and oppressive rule of one man. The protests that dethroned Omar were triggered ironically by rise in price of bread. As the protests became intense and proliferated Civil Society Organizations and opposition political parties “signed on, giving the movement more organization and capacity. There was a united vision and a united movement to end” a repressive regime that brought incalculable hardship to the Sudanese. But Nigerians are not only intensely combating high prices of bread but prohibitive cost of living life. For years now, value of life has depreciated substantially in Nigeria. Unlike most Nigerians, Sudanese understood that the powers to engender productive government were in their hands. They were less expectant that heavens are going to change their country for good if they are unwilling to make the efforts. Bruised, battered and terrified, they were prepared and willing to commence processes leading to social, political and economic changes in Sudan. Nigeria’s despots are confident of perennial victory over the folks and they are unstoppable because the masses are divided, Civil Society Organizations are partisan, while Opposition parties are factionalized deficient of formidability and credibility.

The paradox is that Nigerian politicians continuously switch alliances and defect, it means in practical terms that the discordant voices shouting the ruling party down are mostly of those craving to be heard and who are yet to switch over to the party in power. Besides, these politicians are most the yesterday’s oppressors who are the reasons for excruciating national pains of today, the pains of retrogression in our nationhood. It needs to be noted that average Nigerian politician is highly mobile, capricious and changes parties according to trend in political fortune. The wrong inclination today in politics is the reason for the current unproductive governance because not many are really standing as chastising tools against the imprudence of the power-drunk.

We are in an era of “blind politicking”. However, the ones fiercely fighting for power, as was the case in 2015, criticized imprudently and combatively in desperate do or die approach. The approaches of these natures do not pretend lack of extensive positivity and shortsightedness. In contrast, 2019 general election was more calming and reassuring only in terms of security of lives and property. However, many were sent to untimely grave.

It is natural for opposition politicians to harp the negative and defective parts in their assessments of the performances and programs of the party in power. Nevertheless this is, ideally, to pressurize for more service in the interest of the collectivity. It is not the case that tactical and benignant approaches by parties in power to critical issues are indiscriminately denigrated according to dictates of impure motives.

Surely, neither the opposition political parties nor parties in power have done enough to earn sufficient support and confidence of Nigerians. It is on account of this that most political analysts believe that Nigeria’s democratisation effort is gravely impaired. Since 1999 Nigerians were promised responsible government and improved socio-economic infrastructures as evidences of constructive transformation, but regrettably we are witnessing unprecedented levels of corruption, political lawlessness and unprecedented retrogression. The aftermaths of these developments are continuous impoverishment of Nigerians, pervasive insecurity and socio-economic and political perplexities.

However, the ruling parties at various levels claim to be working so hard but there seemed nothing sufficient to justify the expense. There is no infrastructure to support individual economic efforts, most economic policies of the government are elite-supportive. Today, the living conditions of most Nigerians are impoverished instead of improved. With the growing rate of poverty and crime, Nigerians scamper to stay connected to the political power track for safety. This is why it less and less flabbergasting that Nigerians are becoming eager human shield for corrupt and irresponsible political office holders and influential public servants who have become so powerful and thoughtless. Elections are brutal warfare where only the most treacherous survives. Powerful politicians fight ruthlessly to cease their political parties’ administrative structures to ensure absolute control of the structures without which they can hardly impose order and preferred candidates. And there is characteristically no fair and credible political contest since the democratisation starts and ends in all manners of imposition by endless chains of political godfathers. Nigerian society is ruled unchallenged by proxies with neither discretion nor positive reproach to issues of governance.

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One of the many IDP Camps in Nigeria

Ours is leadership system devoid of partnership with the people, ‘sole leadership’. ‘Sole leadership’ is leadership that vigorously carries on without the assent and collaboration of the subjects. This style of leadership characterizes nations conquered in absolute terms by the ones in command and who intend never to relinquish power in spite of the cost.

Logically, credible election processes are not supported nor imagined by a regime determined to remain in power and in total control. Even when such elections are organized, they are simply ritualistic tools to redeem and legitimize the firm grips on power. Elections summarily represent opportunities for renewing authorisations for dictatorship and political absolutism. It is calamitous that Nigeria is witnessing diminishing prospects of cultures positive politics. 2019 general election is a new high in the politics of indiscretion. Nigeria is seemingly invaded by recalcitrant groups of fierce, wrong and strong politicians more determined than ever to enslave the nation. Today we have in Nigeria an extensively exclusive leadership demonizing inclusion and dividing the nation according ethnic and religious fault-lines. They criminalize valid clamour for change and liberalization of collective political fortunes. For these autocratic democrats, elections must be won at all cost to maintain the vicious hold on power.

The autocrats concoct reasons why elections must not be held when they are unsure of absolute victory. About half of the states in Nigeria have never had Council elections for about of two decades. This is because the governors are afraid of betrayal by poor performance scorecard. What this implied is that the governors used unconstitutional and illegitimate means to administer the Council Areas. Elections at this ground level are the deepening elements in the democratisation processes. By hanging the elections indefinitely, the third-tier mobilisation process is abridged and impaired because the process is incomplete.

It is incontrovertible that governments cognisant of democratic compulsions are more likely to complete the process of democratisation. Democratization is “democratic deepening’, the continuous ability of democratic institutions to improve political participation to make the process more open and inclusive. Deepening democracy describes those active steps taken by the governance in collaboration with the citizens to make it more functional and proactive to the political needs of sundry participants. It is consolidating the processes of inclusive politics through various platforms. Political parties, free media and bills constitutionalising freedom of association are such platforms.

For some political scientists, consolidating ‘democracy’ “is the process of achieving broad acceptance such that all significant political actors, at both elite and mass levels believe that the democratic system is better for their society than any other realistic alternative they can imagine.2 “Democracy is all about inclusiveness. If there is no provision for people’s inclusion in the party, there may be little participation since one begets the other. Inclusiveness stresses how wide the circle of party decision-makers is.3 In the most inclusive parties, all party members, or even all party supporters, are given the opportunity to decide on important issues, such as the choice of party leader or the selection of party candidates. Due to the fact that inclusiveness is a matter of process and formal rule more inclusive parties will offer more opportunities for open deliberation prior to the decision stage.4

Democratic consolidation revolves around inclusiveness, accountability and dedication to platforms indispensable for making the processes secure, extending the life expectancy, “making them immune against the threat of authoritarian regression and building dams against the eventual reverse waves.5 For Nwankwo A.(1992), “democratization is a process of political renewal and the affirmative acceptance of the supremacy of popular will and consensual obligation over the logic of elitism and parochialism. It embraces both the shift in the disposition of individuals and classes towards the polity and the institutionalization of genuine representative political structures and organs of mass mobilization and conscientisation.6

Political indiscretion is a brand in the politicking culture of Nigerians. The tendencies to remain in power and control perpetually even after an apparent expiration of strength and wits are weird and wonderful. The people making waves in the two most outstanding political parties in Nigeria are collections of tired but still firing retired military officers, ‘finished’ former civil servants and ‘expired’ old political tacticians. Hanging on to power beyond relevance is a problematic legacy the national political community needs to renounce. The old apparatuses have not demonstrated enough compatibility to the current needs of Nigeria. As a nation, this is a time to deal proactively with the prospects of positive transformation. Nigerians must work in unity to take the nation back from those who impounded it.

Opinion Politics