By Chris Odinaka Nwedo
It is not doubtful that a large percentage of Nigerian citizens do not know that a healthier and properly functioning Nigerian society is also in their own interest. This proposition is inspired by the implications of the provocative utterances and violent penchants of some politicians and supporters who vow to implode the nation if not given electoral victory. My concerns rise and fall on the susceptible supporters and sympathizers who are prepared to earnestly fulfill the vow notwithstanding the personal cost. The attitudes of these vast gullible citizens have perceptibly given impressions that the existence of Nigeria was co-terminable with the end of February 2015 general elections if their candidates fail to win.
Consequently, the feeling of imminent end of the nation was at the veneer of the palpable fear and involuntary mass movements away from the parts of Nigeria susceptible to violence. It was disgusting that the malcontented citizens again worked so hard to extend invitations to the brands of disaster that visited the country after 2011 general election when parts of northern Nigeria were literally enveloped by orgies of violent destruction. It was substantially a spiteful experience of cruel slaughter of susceptible folks.
Is it not denigrating that Nigeria should find herself engulfed again in redundant waves of violent destructions and deaths thus seasoning the distasteful insecurity represented by horrendous campaigns of Boko Haram ideologists? My conviction is that the never-ending threat of violent destructions and cruel deaths that punctuate the political campaign speeches should have no place in our democratic political contest. The threats of destruction are not only disrespectful to the basic principles of our democratic freedom and inviolable political choice but deeply hurtful to any prospect of survival of Nigeria as a geographical whole. However, with the experiences of 2011, it was clear that terrorization of the citizens and violence have become incorporated as tools for political power negotiation. This brand of political disorientation remains profoundly contemptible and retrogressive.
Unquestionably, we found ourselves here because significant percentages of Nigerians do not seem to understand that a healthier Nigerian society is wholly in their interest. A healthier society is inherent in an active, perceptive and people predisposed political leadership, a service oriented governance. This can be described as a political order embedded in an efficient service, a leadership establishment inclined to the mandate to protect, to provide and to care. We can talk about protection and care only in a perspective of good governance. Logically, good governance attracts the confidence, acceptance and support of most citizens, because, this is a dispensation that supports and espouses the rights and privileges of the citizens. It is a governance that partners, and inclusive in policies and quality services. Because the government is fundamentally for quality service delivery, it implants procedures to ensure that there is transparency in decision making, accountability, and appropriate use of resources for capacity building and development which helps to ensure its sustainability. Good governance implies impartial development of sectors and sections of the national society thus supporting and improving individual aspirations of the citizens. Essential to this is the tendency and capacity of the leadership to capitalize on the prevailing technology in improvement of education, self-development and all ramifications of security.
We begin to negate the indispensable requisites such as capacities and service orientations if we look at candidates based on rudimentary sentiments such as ethnicity and religion. Nigeria is enormously impaired by these harmful primordial sentiments because they create mistrust, tension and violence among national communities and hamper integration and cohesion. It is for personal aggrandizement that imprudent political mercantilists deploy the despicable, barbaric, shameful sentiments to keep the nation sectionalized for surreptitious political interest. Nigerians must not forget that the mayhem particularly in some parts of the north was instigated by this same reprehensible primitive logic. Well meaning Nigerians must help in discontinuation of these orgies of self-repudiating violence for none of the premises for the violence are sustainable.
It is unknown that the people of Ogun in general gained anything exceptionally for more than a decade Chief Olusegun Obasanjo ruled Nigeria both as a soldier and a civilian. Undoubtedly, Obasanjo’s close relations, friends and cronies gained extraordinarily. People of Bayelsa have as at today not been insulated from contemptible deprivation, poverty and preventable mortality, yet, this is the state of origin of President Jonathan. In Bayelsa state, the citizens still move scarcely clad and living in mud houses unsure where the next meal is coming. And throughout the decades Nigeria was ruled by northerners, the north was deeply polarized, impoverished, deprived of both education and healthy socio-economic infrastructures. The rulers of northern extraction bartered the ordinary northerners to perpetually suffocating grief by policies of dispassionate indifference. The ruin of dependable groundnut industries in Kano and lots, too numerous to list here happened when northerners were superintending both the politics and economy of the nation. Today the situation in the north is made more complex by uncontrollable campaigns of devastation by the region’s burgeoning groups of religious fundamentalists who are weaponising millions of disfranchised northern youths as potent tools in wrecking the society. The social policies in most states of the north approved by its system of governance make vulnerable youths outcasts and forced to without what they need.
It is incontrovertible that Nigeria will not be healthier just because the president is from my tribe or religion but because the president has vision for integrated national growth and development. He /she should be one whose qualifications, legitimacy, capability and patriotism are not contestable. Nigeria needs a leader with a definable roadmap and prepared to take monumental steps to lead the country away from decades of decadence. We have been in the miasma of corruption and degradation for so long that it has become an imperative for us to work and pray for a good leader for objective governance instead of bigotry, subjective governance and retrogression. To be frank, 2019 elections should provide exceptional opportunities for Nigerians to reflect and act with discretion. We need to resolve to move forward collectively by objectively deciding who attracts our mandates. It is despicable that we have been voluntary victims of bad political choices, painfully to our injury. It is now obligatory to support and uphold a leader with traits of positive quality, vision and enthusiasm for an affirmative system of governance that partners and inclusive of every Nigerian irrespective colour, sex, ethnicity or religion. It is laughable that we have for so long become disoriented, mismanaged, and taken advantage of by political miscreants who for clandestine personal political motives gave us lethal weapons by means of hate speeches and incitements. With these slaughter tools we have inadvertently harmed ourselves and valuable relationships imprudently.