OBIcracy vs gerontocracy, plutocracy and kakistocracy
In my recent interventions, I had explained the concept of inflexion-point and how Nigeria of today happens to be at that juncture. I followed it up by discussing the concept, theory and practice of OBIcracy. Today, I will discuss the three detestable philosophies of Plutocracy, Gerontocracy and Kakistocracy, which are being compared to OBIcracy.
Plutocracy is a political philosophy in which a state is governed or ruled by the wealthy. Under this philosophy, the power of the ruling class derives from their wealth. Usually, there is a transition from democracy to plutocracy. The state starts from a democracy, a quasi-democracy or a pretend-democracy in which the state pretends to be democratic, but its principles and practices are anything but democratic.
Then the ruling or ruining elites gradually introduce and execute plutocratic policies. Such plutocratic policies in Nigeria include indirect primaries, which makes it easy for the rich to buy the delegates and even other candidates as it happened in the recent APDP (APC+PDP=APDP) and ultimately, the electoral operatives; the insistence on physical voting, which makes it difficult for the poor candidates and parties to have ‘structures’ (offices, officers and agents across the country).
The new paradigm requires us to put our best foot forward, to start with our first and best eleven rather than ‘managing’ whatever any group presents to us
In the last mega-primaries, delegates were bought for as much $25,000 apiece and much more for coordinators and delegate-wholesalers (bulk dealers in the delegates market). In the Ekiti elections, votes were sold and bought for between N3,000 and N10,000 apiece while in Osun, it was alleged to be more than that on the average. No poor party or person can afford that, even for a Local Government elections. Poverty has been weaponised as the poor who are bent on putting food on their table choose to monetise their votes.
In the forthcoming presidential elections, some of the candidates want our votes and they do not give a damn about buying the votes and have the capacity to buy the votes. The emphasis is not on what they will and can do for us; it is about their ability to overwhelm their opponents and the voters with CASH! Unfortunately, the monies are from the public purse. Under plutocracy, we go for cash and discountenance verifiable records of achievement, competence, commitment and character. Surprisingly, plutocrats are deeply religious because they draw their principle form the Bible. They believe fully in Ecclesiastes 10:19: Money answereth ALL things, including political power!
We also have the political philosophy, principle and practice of gerontocracy; a form of ‘oligarchical rule in which an entity is ruled by leaders who are significantly older than most of the adult population. In many political structures, power within the ruling class accumulates with age, making the oldest the holders of the most power.’ In Nigeria where the youths consist of 60%+ of the population, people who are 80+ are striving to lead! How can they linkup with the online generation? How can they communicate with the millennials? What kind of vision can those on the injury time visualise? How can ‘A-grade’ elders visualise a society which by the normal course of nature, they will not be a part of???
And then, we have kakistocracy; ‘a government run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. This is the worst-case scenario in which Nigerians, with their eyes wide open, go for the worst, least qualified, most incompetent, the most Machiavellian or most unscrupulous? How can Nigerians who are creating and breaking records in all fields of human endeavour all over the world, and who need a conducive environment to replicate their global records at home, go to bed with kakistocracy?
Fellow Nigerians, ‘Chineke nke igwe ndi agha (the Lord of hosts), who knows the end from the beginning promises us that ‘never again will I expose you to the contempt of other countries… I will do great things; I will restore the years eaten by the locusts, the cankerworm the caterpillars and the palmerworm and … Nigeria will never be humiliated again (Joel 2: 19-27). But all the promises of God are conditional and these ones are no exceptions! We have to do the right things, seize the opportunities that He has created with both hands, and think of the future, not just about stomach infrastructure of here and now! It is our responsibility to SEIZE THIS OPPORTUNE moment! The slate almost is clean and it is up to us to write the right things on it!
For us to optimise this scenario and come out of the inflexion point stronger, we MUST embrace a paradigm shift. The new paradigm requires us to put our best foot forward, to start with our first and best eleven rather than ‘managing’ whatever any group presents to us. Thus, we should ask henceforth, always and with all seriousness, whenever anybody presents himself or herself to serve us, IS THIS THE BEST? This is and should continue to be the refrain anywhere anybody is presented for service in any part of Nigeria today and evermore.
Frantz Fanon tells us that Each generation must discover its mission and fulfil it or betray it! (Wretched of the Earth). The mission of this generation, which has become sharpened by the current state of affairs, is to ensure that Nigeria is placed on the sustainable right path; that we lay the foundation for the greatness that we have been yearning for; a yearning that has become more strident in the past 7+ years when we have been recklessly wrecked from top to bottom by people who promised us heaven on earth.
At this inflexion point, we must choose between OBIcracy and plutocracy, gerontocracy and kakistocracy. And without mincing words, OBIcracy is it! It is not the time to vote for somebody because he is ‘eminently qualified’ as a former PG student of mine told me. When I asked him to market his preferred candidate on the bases of character, competence, physical and mental alertness and integrity, he went blank. It is not time to vote for a serial contestant, who do not find Nigeria good enough for habitation. We have seen where the last serial contestant landed us. It is not time to vote for somebody because it is his turn. It is also not time to vote for people who will either privatise our commonwealth or share it with their boys (including those who are 70+). This is an opportune moment and we MUST seize this lifetime opportunity within the lifetime of the opportunity… with BOTH hands. And so help us God!
I have spoken!