• Monday, December 11, 2023
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The beautyful ones are not yet born in Nigeria

Imperatives of active citizenship: Why Nigerians must hold their leaders accountable

Nigerians have been fed with exciting news and political episodes since last week, from the anxiety surrounding the Supreme Court judgment on the presidential election to the call of reasoning to the Stealnators not to expend a homologous sum of unstable naira on vehicles to their defence on television and Atiku’s moment of truth.

Nigeria is an exciting environment in multiple dimensions, from business, where most people are looking for money, not building businesses, to politics, where is what you can get from the government to everyone trying to service their self-interest.

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Where should I start from?

Ayi Kwei Armah from Ghana wrote the beautyful ones are not yet born to portray a man resisting corruption in his society where everything is corrupted until the webs of corruption encapsulate him. Where are the Stealnators and House of Reaping members elected on the platform of the Labour Party? One would have expected them to be different, clamouring against the purchase of N140 million worth of vehicles when the President is asking Nigerians to make sacrifices. I thought they were on the same mission as Peter Obi, whose mission is to reduce the cost of governance, and would have purchased the locally manufactured vehicles. Charity, they say, begins at home. I expect those who were voted on the platform of the Saint Obident party to be different. Now, they are silent because of self-interest and have betrayed the slogan of their campaigns. Who will put a full stop to our nemesis in Nigeria?

For the Labour Stealnators, don’t worry, Jo. Your quietness is even better than the so-called Chairman of the Senate Committee on Service, who doesn’t want to go personal. Sunday Karimi proved how Nigerians are taken for granted by those elected to help them. He was on national television without preparing to answer questions and made a mess of the country and his elected position. He was defenceless, rambling as Seun nearly stifled blood out of his voice. His struggle to defend a simple question on national television is a pointer to capacity in conflict with morality. There is a leadership question in Nigeria if those elected have no conscience but have the capacity to attend an interview without preparing and say whatever they like to us, the electorates. There’s God O. Madam Jona’s joke is more palatable than the Senator’s appearance and performance. Thank God that Seun and Channels Television never needed to start the CPR process, and if they did, we did not see that.

Are these the leaders to make a difference in Nigeria? I doubt we will be moving forward with the type of leaders who are self-centred and care less about the situation of the country and the suffering of the people. If Nigeria is a country of consequence, Sunday Karimi should have been recalled by his people to prove he is working in their interest for choosing to ride a N140m car on the bad roads ahead of their welfare and future.

Congratulations to the Senators. They will ride the vehicles on the same road plied by people who are hungry and on whose votes they got into Abuja. Had it been a country where we hold people accountable, they would not have the audacity to come openly and defend such an action.

 I doubt we will be moving forward with the type of leaders who are self-centred and care less about the situation of the country and the suffering of the people

The President wants to make changes and impacts but selectively. He would be remembered as a president who took on the economy and made difficult decisions that his predecessors abandoned for years. He could be remembered as a president who failed to get a second term in office, except there is a reversal of trend economically sooner than later. He will be seen as a fearless leader by those educated enough to know the importance of his actions in the few days in office so far.

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The unfortunate thing for him is his selectiveness. The change should have come from the Senate reducing their emoluments, suggesting cuts in government size and expenditures. Unfortunately, he dared not offend the hands that fed him in the keenly contested battle for the fufu of the country.

There is time for the President to focus on making the sacrifice for all by cutting the size of the government without reservation. One important thing the President should consider in his sleepless journey is the foundation upon which Nigeria stands. Without a proper constitution that guarantees fairness and equity, labouring on the economy is a waste of time and energy. That could be done concurrently but not exclusively to build institutions based on equity and justice. Otherwise, it is like travelling at the highest possible speed in the wrong direction. Nigeria is not united because we are yet to resolve teething issues in the marriage of convenience created by the British. I know the President knows more than we do as someone who has always clamoured for fiscal federalism. The time for him to act in words and actions is now.

I read that the government is planning a national value conference where nothing will be discussed about the country’s constitution. What another playing to the gallery and wasting resources in the making? Who is the national value for? Disgruntled Nigerians who believe the current arrangement favours one section above others irrespective of their contributions? Or to a man who doesn’t know where the next meal will come from. We have people who are more concerned about survival than national values, and the issue of national values should start with individual government entities like the Ministry and Senate.

And to the saint of the moment, Atiku Abubakar. Thank you for not giving up and possibly not returning to Dubai for some years. Your pains are apparent, but out of the pain is the truth that there was a country, and now there is an organisation, not even an institution. You revealed the truth about the rotational presidency proposed in 1995 but removed by the Military, an ideology you violated as the presidential candidate of the People’s Deceiving Party in the last election. If you believed in that proposed arrangement, subjugating your ambition will have made Peter Obi the President and saved us from the social media savvy and noisy Obidents who are violent in action and utterances online without any form of productivity and progression.

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Our ruling class do not have our interest at heart. Before and during electioneering campaigns, they appear as the beautyful ones. Once they get into the office, they become the Ugly ones.

The unfortunate thing is that people around them are learning the same traits from them and will likely do the same when given the opportunity. So, the beautyful ones for Nigeria have yet to be born.