By Chris Odinaka Nwedo
As we look forward to a secure and healthier Nigerian society, it is imperative to recognise our inviolable roles as active agents in the realisation of this positive goal. Without controversy, it is the constructive roles we play as interested citizens that make or mar the nation’s steady progress in terms of the solidity, security and quality development which are factors predetermining the health. It is clear that Nigeria cannot transit for better in absence of individual and or cooperate efforts. We all need to be part of process of positive change. It is inviolable right to be part of and vigilant participators in orchestrating the brand of change we consider compatible to the vision of progressive Nigeria. It is no longer sustainable in the light of injurious experience of today to abandon our right to choose our leaders to treacherous gangs of politicians who have for so long reversed the trend of positive growth and development of this country. The deceitful politicians appeared have been tacitly permitted by our sufferance to run the nation according to their frolics, imposing their will and candidates as we remain pitiably uninformed and complacent.
I strongly believe that Nigerians have slumbered enough to our grave injuries. We need to wake up to the challenges of eternal vigilance or we remain perpetually wood winked and impoverished by tactless groups of rulers we endorse by sufferance to keep recycling themselves. We live in intolerably frustrating economic and social environment because we constantly excused ourselves from standing out for our legitimate interest. We failed to live up to the statutory obligation as citizens to do that which is exclusively ours to do to make our burdens lighter and our prospects of triumph over existential hardship more palpable.
It is pertinent to recognise the duty of full participation in national political events are proven tools of watchful vigilance to ensure that our collective will are respected in policy formulation and implementation. Such participation is also necessary components of our obligation as responsible citizens. It is this participation that can be trusted to facilitate indispensable purposeful change without which we remain the stagnant and plagued. The routine nasty experiences of insecurity and socio-economic deprivations of today have all the more challenged us as Nigerians to contribute proportionately in evolving a quality society of our dream. God bequeathed us this geographical expression and we are under compulsion to transform the nation so that it can serve our needs. Healthier and productive Nigerian society is surely the qualitative expressions of the inputs of cooperate and individual efforts in living objectively according to challenges of conscientious citizenship.
My proposition is that it should be our commitment as Nigerian citizens to add value to the nation by not only doing what we are inclined to do as individuals but supporting cooperate efforts targeted at objectively national interest. The logic that a functional society is an expression of active support of the people can no longer be challenged in the light of what is happening around the world. As Nigerians we should be increasingly determined to be part of the processes that bring positive change, a change that makes our society able to comprehensively cater and care for us. It is self-evident that every enviable society is production of the contribution of its conscientious citizens.
This election is a resounding call for commitment to the goal of responsible citizenship. It is another rare opportunities for redressing the errors of past uniformed choices. The mistakes of choosing to be disfranchised can be redressed this time around by ensuring that we have our voter’s card which is the principal instrument empowering us to assert our inviolable right to vote in better candidates. However, having a voter’s without disposition to make effective use is self-defeating and censurable. The choice we will make during the election will contribute in the determination of the nature of future of Nigeria. Consequently, we need to be willing and prepared to make a choice based on knowledge. We need to voice out courteously our objections to policies and programmes that are objectively incompatible to our collective needs and actively assisting the government as much as we are disposed to. We have been derailed and driven far away from our proper destination as a nation by the ridiculous cleavages. The panacea to this is reorientation that enables us understand that our unchangeable goal should be credible leaders and not the religion or where the leaders are going from. We have all been groaning under the burden of imprudent leaders due to poisonous parochialism. A good leader will necessarily change Nigeria for better but not so for a good religious or tribe’s man.
The idea of Nigerians determining their fate as a collectivity through the ballot boxes is now more compelling, considering the supposed failures of the present crops of leaders in areas of right judgement. The leaders of all tiers of the governance have not proved to have represented the people for the fact that their choices are summarily antithetical to the interests of the people. They ruled the people capriciously according to the dictates of personal political ambitions. We have seen how the rulers of all strata horrifically turned the truth upside down for clandestine political interest. In the campaign, the rulers tell lies, make lies big and repeated the lies for the gullible to believe. The never-ending propaganda of lies is scandalously profane as conducts of most of the politicians demonstrated that these profaning adults are too fallible to be trusted in any way. The demeanours of the politicians necessarily exposed their incapacities in terms of right judgement consequently they can no longer be permitted to go on without vigorous supervision. The puerile finger pointing between the leading political parties trivialised whatever may be the integrity of the principal contenders. So far doubtful lies, hate speeches and non-issues dominated the campaign discussions.
Democracy of prudent leaders and active followers will perpetually elude Nigeria if the situation is not robustly challenged. The nation cannot be meaningful with this brand of fruitless political representation. Nigerians need to speak vociferously with their votes against the evil philosophy of self preservation by the out of control and egocentric politicians. For me, the therapy to shambolic trends in our political fortune is the conscientious involvement of the people. I believe it is the duty of Nigerians to make contributions in changing the current wrong political orientations that significantly weigh down prospects of a healthier Nigeria. Constructive change of national attitude has become necessary and it is my understanding that issues of predisposition to service and morality should be given priority in all future choices of political candidates. Without the prudent decision and commitment to doing our best as conscientious citizens we can neither mobilise for better nor strengthen the institutions essential for productive democratic processes.
It is generally assumed that the discomforting social and economic development in Nigeria has their genesis in narrow-mindedness judgement of the past which considered political duty to the nation as indecently too carnal to the heavenly bound. This infinitely wrong proposition needs obliteration or the nation is abandoned to the proprietorship of crude Nigerians. I think our votes and our voice remain successful channels for constructive influence on the political trend and leading the way to formation of values with potential to inspire accountability in our the system of governance. We can insist on candidates who value education, quality infrastructure and national integration, those who recognise and appreciate the strength of strong national institutions as panacea to some ramifications of our developmental troubles.
The coming election is accurate time to demonstrate our power and ability to organize and articulate our grievances. It is time we abide by the proven methods of active citizenship or invent more adaptable tools for expressing vibrancy and vigour in the national discuss. We should come out actively in a campaign against corruption, political indiscretion and economic mismanagement if we feel we are discomforted by the malfeasance. Yes, it is undeniable that we are living in discomforting deprivation, we have been cannon-folders to the nation’s ubiquitous self-serving politicians and double-crossing fixers who constituted the main structural obstacle to justice, security and deepening culture of freedom. Fixers draw-up programmes of selling national institutions and fix their names as new owners. Fixers propose hardening economic measures to ensure that funds are available for their incredible prodigality. Even when the fixers profess to work for collective interest and represent spirit of national patriotism their record falls far short of their claims. And to maintain access to power, they the impose either their siblings or decrepit war horses, conspire among themselves, co-opt rivals, incite hatred with false propaganda and surreptitiously sponsor malcontent and violent groups to terrorise, maim or murder suspected non supporters. Bad politicians and fixers have incapacitating impact on the nation’s progress as they endeavour to take absolute economic and political advantages. It is incontrovertible that the operations of the bad folks adversely affected objective perception of the nation and the prospects of growth.
Imprudent leadership in Nigeria has its root in tactless total dependence on the redistribution of petroleum contracts and centralization of financial and political power in the office of the presidency. It is apparent that the preoccupation of most of the aspirants to the presidency has been how to share the oil money and give profitable positions to associates and friends in the project of milking the nation. All together, the combination of insecurity, petro-dependency, and the need to hold or have access to the presidency drive members of the treacherous compatriots to fix elections, organize political violence, constantly reshuffle alliances, clamour for ethnic representative and avoid institutionalizing stable political parties.
Political violence in 2011 April election was predicated on failure to impose northern president on the nation. The violence almost plunged the nation into regional war. The desperate intrigues and horrific campaigns of violence by some unscrupulous folks, who needed the power, must not be seen as evident concern for the north because the north has always had absolute advantages in relation to power distribution in Nigeria which were never translated into anything positively progressive for the region. And now, even when political powers are distributed along ethnic considerations and presidency to the north as usual, the benefits may never go beyond the reach of the vicious political gangs. It is redoubtable that those pushing for all manners of zoning and constricting political spaces have any interest of the entire people of Nigeria. Our votes and our voices are enough to decimate the capacities of these surreptitious conspirators for the greater interest of the nation.