Opinion: 25th Anniversary Of Uninterrupted Democracy In Nigeria: A Jeremiad By Ojo Akinyemi



It is immune to incredulity to overtly underscore that Nigeria is currently undergoing a few and far between and hard as Chinese algebra reformation under the administration of His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. It is also crystal pellucid that Nigerian masses are dolefully wailing in anguish, as a result of some of the sinister policies embodying the current administration since its inception. Nigeria, as a giant of sub-Saharan Africa, is well awash with plethoral resources in all facets of life. Yet, our living standard is being encapsulated in abject pauperism, acute hunger and unceasing moroseness. The masses are now living a down in the dumps lifestyle. Majority have become mendicants just for survival. This is at odds with the tenets of democracy. “Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results, but bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results” …James Allen.

First off, it must be made limpid that I am one of the staunch adherents of Mr. President, but it needs to be veraciously averred that Tinubu-led administration is excruciatingly anathematic to the wellbeing of the masses. People are now hoping against hope, broken homes abounds, extra-judicial killings on the increase, corruption is abysmally spiraling, prices of essential commodities for the sustenance of daily living are exponentially surging, Me-feeling has now obviously taken over We-feeling, the political muckamucks are looting the government treasury with impunity, leaving the citizens in perpetual economic debris and its concomitant sufferings, moral values are at the tip of nihilism, security architecture of the country is at its critical low ebb, bribery of those who are supposed to maintain law and order is now a springboard for the commission of crimes, human values have been objectified, graduates loitering the streets as a result of joblessness, cyber fraud keeps soaring. Where is our refinery in PortHarcourt? Could all these be the expected dividends of democracy? All these have made the common people to engross in enervating wave of panic on what tomorrow holds in stock for us. Goal congruence is now in shambles. This, in no small, culminated in unimagined brain drain in the Country. Elofokanbale syndrome has now been seen as so sham and zero-sum to the Nigerian masses, until heedful remedies are swiftly taken. Though, it is a well known fact that Mr. President is not a magician, as he inherited both assets and liabilities of democratic system of government, but he needs to walk his talk in the niche of time and not otherwise. NIGERIANS ARE TIRED OF PERPETUAL FORLORN HOPE. “To keep false hopes is to prolong misery”. ….Amy Tan.

Worse still, some of the head honchos of the states, who are closer to the masses and supposed to be showering fertile ideologies and corroborating the apex government towards ensuring that, the central authority did not fall on her face, are even cavalierly egotistical, overweening and orotund.

Disappointingly, some of these political muckety mucks are still owing workers’ salaries, despite the geometric rise in monthly Federal Allocation to the state government, while some are yet to pay palliatives (wage award) to a set of workers in their states. We still even have some state workers who have not benefited a dot from the outgoing Thirty thousand naira (N30,000.00) minimum wage regime, in spite of their passionate plea, hue and cry and remonstrative cacophony to achieve it. What is even the assurance that the strifeful minimum wage will be paid to all Nigerian workers?. Little wonder majority of them are saying no to sixty thousand naira (N60,000), which cannot effectively cope with the current economic situation to which we are plunged. The question is, if a bill is sponsored to lessen their leviathan basic salaries a jot, are they ready for the off? In fact, the remote and proximate causes of all these absurdities are beyond human ken. To say the least, Nigeria is under siege. “You can get everything you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want” ….Zig Ziglar.

First olive out of the bottle of the current condition of the country is non-existence of good governance. Without mincing words, Nigerians have been suffering from poor governance overtime, because of underutilization and mismanagement of multifarious resources with which we are endowed.

It is therefore considered imperative to rekindle the memorabilia of all our political poobahs, ranging from the President of the nation to the Chairmen of Local Government on the meaning and import of good governance. Synoptically, it relates to the political and institutional processes and outcomes that are necessary to achieve the goals of development. The true test of ‘good’ governance is the degree to which it delivers on the promise of human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. But poor governance is enmeshed in corruption, implementation of unfair policies, cupidity, jiggery-pokery, deception, absence of the spirit of otherness, failed state, poor economic growth, pauperization and much else. For Aristotle, a good government governs for the common good and happiness of the people, but in a bad one, the rulers govern for their own private or selfish gains. It is true that everyone desires and searches for good life and happiness and abhors pains. “Blessed is the leader who seeks the best for those he serves” … Anonymous

Apropos to the Nigerian Labour Congress {NLC} and Trade Union Congress {TUC} National leaders, who are supposed to attenuate the excesses of the political big cheeses and manumit us from these seemingly intractable Augean stables aforementioned, are not living up to expectation. The responsibility of union leaders is to protect the welfare of its members and the masses by extension. Conversely stating, the action and inaction of these leaders, since the last regime, have been inversely related to the ends and pith of the office. What could have propelled this abysmal attitude? Why is egoistic disposition taking preponderance over leadership in Nigeria? Is minimum wage the only problem in the country? These are logjams to our progress. Could it be deliberate or reflex? Have they forgotten that, man is created without any material acquisition and will also return with no one? Do you even know that life in itself is full of value for those who conscientiously promote sanctity of human life, while the wicked will suffer the wrath of God? What is even the wellspring of your brass-neck? Still and all, there is still time for positive change.

It is deemed apt to make allusion to religious injunctions on good and bad leadership in the society. Therefore, the following quotations from the three major religions in Nigeria clearly illumine the position of the Supreme Being on leadership. The Holy Bible says in Proverb 29:2 that “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.” The Holy Quoran as well avers in Surah 3, AI Imran verse 161 that “And it is not attributable to a Prophet that he should act unjustly; and he (leader) who acts unfaithfully shall bring that in respect of which he has acted unfaithfully on the day of resurrection; then shall every soul be paid back fully what it has earned, and they shall not be dealt with unjustly. Also, in Ifa Corpus, it is cemented in EJIOGBE that, Orunmila showered good deeds to his deities and they were all glee and hilarious. In fact, when Orunmila was about ascending to Olodumare (God), the deities were profusely crying, as they did not want him to leave them, because of his good deeds. EJIOGBE assures that the wrath of Olodumare (God) will definitely be upon the wicked. It is therefore not polemical that all leaders must, as a matter of necessity, lead righteously and faithfully, considering the above religious quotations.

It is markedly significant for me to say that the long-drawn-out challenges, which the country is facing are not restive to Balm of Gilead, if all hands are on deck towards extenuating them, if not total extermination. Let me reel off, inter alia, the silver bullets for the protracted problems menacing the nation as follows:

Government must give prominence to rule of law in the country, as it is the bedrock of good governance.

Government must give zero tolerance to every act of corruption and bribery. Also, the security personnel must be rejigged and made to be alive to their responsibilities as expected of them. Aiding and abetting crime commission should be totally shunned, especially those at the check points.

Prioritizing the tie of brotherhood must be seen as veritable propulsion for long-standing peace, equity, fairness and justice in the society.

Avaricious proclivity, which has been inextricably enmeshed in man, especially our leaders in various capacities, must be plummeted if not total evanishment from our daily intercourse with one another.

Leaders should as well subordinate individual interest to general interest and purge themselves of the collection of gratification as a succedaneum for the actual protection of the welfare of their followers.

Citizens must, as a matter of necessity, conscientiously discharge their duties and obligations towards ensuring sustainable development of the nation.

Government should reignite price control measures through Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), and others. This will immensely reduce arbitrary hike in the price of essential commodities.

Consequentialist theory, as propounded by Bentham Jeremy, should be a necessary springboard for any policy formulation and implementation.

Government must necessarily immerse herself in Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Mental Magnitude Regime, as it is a catalyst for good governance, and any loose cannon in the government should be immediately relieved of his or her position in order to succeed in the practicability of this regime.

Government must give preeminence to democratic education/right education for all, because it is a building block of any nation.

The cost of governance, such as, jumbo pay to the political office holders, especially the elected positions must be drastically smothered.

Tersely stating, all government officials and leaders, in any capacity, should see themselves as servant leaders and not draconian leaders, as this is also a formidable pizzazz for sustainable development of the nation.

On the whole, it needs to be repeatedly parroted that, obnoxious and wrongheaded policies should be reversed, while lootocracy be replaced with munificence and spirit of otherness. Nigerian masses deserve dandy and copacetic and not harrowing treatment by those we voted into different political positions. They should surcease from being locuplete on the sufferance of the masses. We are not lollygaggers but yet wringing with agony as a result of bad leadership. Why must we always be at the receiving end? We all, especially our leaders, need to religiously uphold the substance of the new National Anthem. It is not a jaundiced view to, on a final note say in no sesquipedalianism that, this piece is politically unbiased and devoid of any modicum of campaign of calumny but a holler and rede for good governance.

Ojo Akinyemi is of Department of Social Sciences, Rufus Giwa Polytechnic, Owo, Ondo State. Contact: 07038374883

Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of Precision Online Newspaper.

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