Active followership ensures productive governance.

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Chris Odinaka Nwedo

A political Rally

With Nigerian society increasingly witnessing an ‘intense political rascality’ gratitude to discreditable conducts of some of our political classes, it became necessary that Nigerians should actively stand-up for participation in defences of rights to welfare and quality governance. The inauspicious events in the polity also in the past dispensations have gravitated to make more pressing the need for ordinary Nigerians to start understanding that they are virtually unrepresented by their representatives at the critical points in national policies and programmes. It has become essential that we begin to think for ourselves and standing out to demand for what are rightly ours in terms service and positive leadership direction.

Nauseating prettiness of the leadership evident in pervasive corruption, political unruliness and overt pretences have strongly impacted damagingly on the quality life and prospects of meaningful engagement in the system by the rest of the citizens. These realities justify appeals for abandonment of the natural inclination to leave Nigeria exclusively in the hands of the treacherous few. The helpfulness of some of the traditional indifference and submission to whims and caprices of the few have become challenged by the imperatives of doing the right thing for real change we deserve in our society.

Figuratively speaking, grounds have been shifting to provide atmosphere for Nigerians to begin to access proper handles for steering clear of political deception, oppression and deprivation. It is the duty of all to be essential component of a successful national narrative as participants and not spectators. I believe that it is an inviolable obligation for the people to breathe in the service consciousness, swiftness and efficiency in the management of Nigeria’s national wealth in favour of collective interest. It can be explained that the reason why the national condition got deteriorated unchallenged is that most Nigerians are corrupt, hypocritical, prejudiced and gullible. We have always had leaders that profoundly reflect the nature of our people. Many of our national media institutions are despicably biased and perverted and more uncontrollably is the social media that is seemingly ‘kidnapped’ by rebellious armies of propagandists who do everything to market all conceivable falsehood. These detestable armies of sharks invade, attack and attempt to drown every objective criticism of the present government.

During the political campaigns one naturally would dismiss these media viruses as campaign tools but the continued havoc is incomprehensible. They have neither respect for truth, objective analysis of the national conditions nor the sacrosanctity of the individual’s views. I am afraid of the immense potentials of these awful militants for further devastation.

Nigerians on election day

No society veritably grows with this brand of virus infestation. When you quieten the truth, how do you get the right? When things are not right how will they be good? I do not think that with these vicious propagandists that judge every statement with scripts in their hands are well disposed to see present government succeed. Sustainable reconstruction of Nigeria is onerous task of all. The government and its agencies must be open to constructive suggestions and must be inclined to galvanise views and efforts of every well-meaning citizens and concerned partners. Today’s discomforting efforts to speak truth to power and the conscious struggles for appropriate rights to the so-called dividends of democracy are the only chance for a new order for service delivery and accountable leadership in future.

In a face of constant assaults of political sorts, Nigerians are in dire need of active methodologies, more pragmatic apparatuses for steering the wheels of the society away from those in power who do not mean well at all. We have been hoodwinked for so long by these vicious groups of politicians who used misleading tools such as false ethnic and religious propaganda to readjust positions as they criminally subvert the will of the people. Threatened by imminent forfeiture of the felonious advantages, they caused divisions among their ranks and have re-converged more potently. I believe a productive change Nigerians need is incomplete without disappearance of the nation’s human-worms who are absolutely responsible for the depletion traditional values of fraternity and care. These values have become substituted with bestial deprivations that are orchestrating prevailing national damages and causing pains. No one disputes that the tools in the hands of Nigerian human-worms is corruption. It is a surreptitious weapon diffusing the hardship and tribulations. Corruption hurts the vulnerable disproportionately and undermines the nation’s potentials for catering for the needs of the people. While it is blamed for crimes and joblessness, it is responsible for mismanagement of material and human resources readily available in the nation. For Femi Fani-Kayode, the Nigeria has continued to be ruled by charlatans while those who deserved to rule had been denied the opportunity.

Nigeria cannot regain her true identity without change structured on a transparent institutions and processes where the powers of the people are absolute and irreproachable in the determination of their needs. The idea of people determining their fate as a collectivity is now imperative considering the failure of the leadership in areas of right judgement. The deficiencies in the management of recurrent crisis within the national elite establishment and the traumatising culture of misrepresentations by the elites exposed the difficulty of the rulers in terms of right judgement; consequently, it is irrational to leave the politicians without effective control. Our new political dispensation is today marked by narratives of vicious legislative radicalism, confusion and disillusionment. The discomforting developments have always been defended by denigrating lies and deliberate falsehood by the wrong doers. As some disgruntled parliamentarians shamelessly engaged in fierce reckless physical fight for leadership positions, the disgrace is continuously and effortlessly defended as means of substantiating the robustness of national democracy. Indeed, nothing was done to denounce the national embarrassment. It is disgraceful that the legislators never considered as priority the urgent needs of the nation for security. Imagine that the 6 years old continued havoc by Islamic fundamentalist that displaced about 1.6million citizens was not part of their topmost concern. These vulnerable victims of man’s inhumanity to man seem successfully abandoned in camps scattered between Nigeria and Cameroun.

They are unprotected against scorching sun, rain and flood. The victimized citizens are treated cosmetically and remembered if it matters politically, and by means of their calamity many of the politicians and fortunate contractors have become stupendously rich and influential. The legislators were prevented by police from murdering their adversaries in the hallowed Chambers the same way some of them may have murdered to snatch votes for the Chambers. Occupying positions for easy access to money and sordid influence were top ranking in their priorities. The need for urgent legislative activities for evoking the confidence of the nation that the so-call change is meaningful made no sense to the double-dealers.

With the dissemblers’ distracting outing and the tight-corner Buhari appeared to be, confused, the new Nigerian government has not done enough to demonstrate in action commensurate capacity to deal the many challenging Nigerian questions. The confusion is giving rise to fanciful speculation that the government will soon swing into action. It is part of the national fraudulent culture in governance that the unreasonable procrastination that points to incompetence is rationalized and blamed on the past PDP governments. It is the opinion of many that Buhari and the APC government are yet to demonstrate to Nigerians that they have the capacity to impress the expectant citizens. The government must realize that people are becoming exhausted for want of action. Can we afford to excuse Buhari’s incomprehensible procrastination on a hypothesis of slow and steady wins the race?

Toluwani Eniola observed that ‘despite the reasons proffered for the delay, it was clear that Buhari’s three months in power without substantive ministers has hampered governance. The great expectations that followed the APC’s campaign of change have made many to be impatient with the style of the President. The disillusionment of Nigerians with past governments has drained every iota of patience for the Buhari government. Prof Ben Nwabueze, however, observed that the president ruling for months without cabinet was really incredible, “but, incredible as it is, we Nigerians, as a people, ought to have foreseen it from our experience of the dictatorial way former President Obasanjo who, like President Buhari, is a retired army general and former head of the military government, rode roughshod over the constitutional limitations on his powers”. For ordinary Nigerians, if Buhari is fighting corruption let us see heads roll and loot recovered, they want to see work, talk is simply inundating and counter-active. With the long wait, Nigerians expect that the ministerial list would be a perfect one. Nigerians are waiting to confirm whether the patience was worth it.’

The panacea to upsetting trends in our political fortune is a diligent involvement of the people. The changed values of our political orientation are partly logical consequences of past mistaken assumption that politicians are to be prayed for and not to be advised or supervised because every authority comes from God. And there are copious citations from every scripture to prove the hypothesis. Nigerians seem to be understanding belatedly that constructive criticisms of the leaders both spiritual and secular are ways God speaks and redirects them. We read how Moses was helped to facilitate his mission by a human counsellor even when he had scripts and instructions from God. However, as necessary as this need for praying, strong opposition is crucial but if the leaders disregard the core values of morality and good governance. It is my understanding that issues of morality and governance are strictly providential. The providential nature necessarily made them sacrosanct. Man possesses dignity rooted in Divine. He was created in the image and likeness of God and therefore exempted from unwarranted cruelty.

Nigerian rulers, spiritual and secular create the mistaken impression of infallibility, thus their decisions are considered irreproachable. This is why things mostly go wrong under our watch. This is because we often do not see ourselves as possessing ingredients capable of spicing good leaders and good visions. Fortunately, good masses are good aids as a single tree does not make a forest. A true leader understands that correct aids are indispensable components that make mission possible. A leader rules dictatorially the moment he disparages good counsel. This is the phenomenon in Nigeria where people because of ignorance or lethargy swallow hook and sinker damaging ideas without scrutiny.

I read with scorn and self-pity how President Buhari is praised endlessly all over the place. He is attributed with feats beyond human. However, it is significant he understands he is in bondage gaged by limitless burden of debt by those vesting him with Divine robes. Basically, as one said to be ‘incorruptible’ tested and trusted, he must endeavour to stay without stain. This burden is fundamentally wrong load for an old man struggling against both natural and unnatural forces in seat of power. I mean the Buhari’s toga ‘incorruptibility’ is at extra cost and disproportionate. He cannot afford to fail.

The Nigerian House of Representatives

I have no doubt that Nigerian civil society groups have crucial roles in helping to re-orientate, enlighten and provide opportunities for moderate views and more prudent evaluation of people entrusted with challenging national tasks. Nigerians are far behind the decent roles they have obligation to play for the society of their dream due partly to the fact that effective tools for the mass consciousness are not properly in place. It is understandable that mobilisation and consequential institutionalization of full democratic processes have remained uneasy task in Nigeria because of lack of civil institutions with capacity and disposition to honestly work for protection of collective national interests. We lack dispassionate civil society organisations open to, and supportive to culture of productive politics. I assume that CSO with capacity and will to instil in the people the culture of objectivity and tolerance are taking too long to evolve. These roles cannot be left in the hands of politicians and\or government controlled and funded national institutions that have become deadly infested by poisonous elites’ interests.

If unbiased, CSO have facility to organize and articulates grievances. Today, more than ever civil society groups in Nigeria should be reinvented to enable them add more vibrancy and vigour in national conversation. They have not been active crusaders against corruption, political indiscretion and economic mismanagement for long. They need to start reacting with vigour and objectivity to political and economic guidelines and methods for transparent society and better government. CSO cannot afford to be complacent or idiosyncratic but focussed and systematic. However, it is cautionary to note that not every group that tags itself Civil Society Organization can be truly trusted. Some CSO are potent political apparatuses, liaison officers of dictatorial class, paid and funded by forces inimical to national interest. These are the ones representing the enduring interests of vicious compatriots on account of whom the nation continues to be humiliated and disparaged. The roles of these are having debilitating impact on the nation’s socio-economic and political development.

Nigeria is as good as the level of work done to make her fit for purpose. Politicians are not completely equipped to return the nation on the part honour without diligent efforts of you and I. If a single tree does not have what it takes to make forest, our narcissistic elite classes cannot to begin to do now and alone what we should do together to make Nigeria functional and a place to call home.


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