100 Days After-our Expectations , By Jimi Bickersteth
Sincerity alone- Is It Enough.
The APC government was sworn into office on May 29th, granted PMB is not a president Franklin Roosevelt and here is not America,it was the latter’s famed 100 days efforts to fillip America’s problems on the head,in the aftermath of the crisis engendered on the Americas by the Great depression, and of note, in this regard,is the motivation and steering role of the president of the USA, at salvaging, whatever remained of the American dreams. It has since then become a standard benchmark for gauging performances of elected leaders.
It has also become a standard practice, though conservative and in some cases subjective, to measure the initial performance and policy thrust of public office holders, using the100 days yardstick as a parameter to test and gauge performance and reliability, viz a viz the expectations of the people, it is thus, a time-worn experiment.
In what appears to be a conflict of biological age,ideas, objectives and priorities,the nation, arguably, is waiting for Mr president, to hit the ground running. Nigerians expectations are further compounded by the state of fear and insecurity in and around the nation. It is curtailing the Boko Haram mess that happened to have caught the fancy and attention of the PMB administration. Besides, concerted efforts aimed at disarming and dismantling the Boko Haram scourge,reports have it on record that PMB has granted the dispensation and approval to the Nigeria’s police to recruit10000 policemen.
While the scope and intents is yet to be perceived,questions are been asked as to whether the nation is pursuing the UN recommended 300 policemen per 100000 persons or will it be based on ratio per person,or state,or whether the approved dispensation is just for the recruitment of officers or for men,is it the rank or the file. However, for what it is worth,history is not a clean guide to the future through past attempt have largely failed ,future ones may succeed. It was such a sound design and decision by PMB to have granted and approved for the Nigerian Police the dispensation to recruit.
PMB approach would be succeed up to the degree and extent it can connect and earnestly correct the institutionalised and organic anomalies in the Police- microcosm of the larger society;in the areas of staffing, deployment and posting, such that community policing and intelligence gathering will be giving wider berths and more space.
One must heap praises on the police boss and to some extent his immediate predecessor, for redeeming some of the soiled and battered image of the nation’s police force.But, the nation have to do more to be able to further assist the police to contain and combat civil crime and all civil unrest, in the area of modern and sophisticated weapons,robust intelligence gathering ,training and help develop its morale, psyche motivation and state of preparedness, in times of national crises orchestrated by religion and political and economic woes that seemed embedded in the nation, since 1914.
The new found level and sophistication of crime and other civil security challenges confronting the nation have far reaching implications.The simple implications of this civil security challenges is that, ordinary people in our cities now. live in fear, they put bars on their windows and double locks on their steel doors, and in spite of all the pains and efforts, did not make them safe haven.
Our people stopped going out late at night, because the streets have become tough,arms and illicit drugs are procured by street side,the resultant effect on the nation’s fortunes are unimaginable, as innocent citizens are being victimised every day,and serial murder, kidnapping, daylight robbery,and lawlessness generally became the order of the day, with the streets generally unsafe.
Something had to be wrong if men had to make prisoners of themselves in order to feel safe, and yet were not safe. The state of affairs is further worsened by mindless fleecing and heists and corruption.
One cannot fathom how tolerant Nigerians have become,that the poor and the ruling elites have no choice but to engage in criminal behaviours to compensate for society’s mistreatment of them.
Yet, as a society we have come to tolerate this. Instead of getting to the bottom of the problems,we come up with all sorts of gimmicky solutions that are supposed to help prevent crime. If we would just equip and improve the police force do their job and let the criminal justice do its job properly, Nigerians would be liberated.
It is society’s concern when we saddle police officers with defensive mentality and shackle them with unnecessary restraints designed to protect the rights of the criminals. These are people who we ask to go out and deal with some of the most hardened thugs, we ask them to put their lives in jeopardy. The inefficiency of the court system compounds the danger to which they are exposed. They’ll go and make an arrest and hours later the perpetrator is back on the streets. So, why should the police even care about their jobs.
The police see their efforts thwarted daily by a system which returns an endless parades of human debris to the streets to commit more crime. What about the feelings of police who have to track deadly drug dealers and barons who earn millions violating the law while they,the police, earn a comparative pittance trying to enforce it, a follish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
The criminals in our society are no longer intimidated by our criminal justice system, they are not frightened by it either. They are not frightened at the sights of the police, they have no fear of reprisals by law enforcement, which in any case, are noticeably absent. The people are angry. They want government to protect their rights to life,liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And this requires peace,justice and order.
The government should declare war against crime in all its ramifications, war, yes, its that cruel last option in human relations, if need be, put those unrepentant criminals in body bags. PMB’s success will always be measured by his ability to wade into this and proffer plausible solutions.
Mr president, should put in order some of the tension generated by the way he is making his lopsided appointment. The inequalities in the sharing is like the Boko Haram scourge, driving other Nigerians to the brink of extinction so quickly and easily jeopardising their chances of survival. The nation’s newly found path and new dimension is showing with absolute certainty that PMB undertook his excellent plan on the impulse of and for the benefit of ‘ his people’.
Any silly, spuriouus and weak arguments in favour of those one sided interests, will not allow PMB’s and his kitchen-cabinet put things in there proper perspectives. The nation as it were seem to think that their world as they know them revolves around the north and they are all shouting and struggling to be heard above the din and the confusion about the truth and fear of northernisation and islamisation, and this again have brought to the fore, the unresolved and hydraheaded issue aptly tagged National question and the problem associated with equity, inequality in a nation of different nationalities and diversity.
The truth is in about a hundred days in office, Nigerians are beginning to be bored with PMB,noting that there is nothing really dependable around him, the continuation of the boredom in the nation, that has led some of our people to become bombers and sadist.
The sport has commenced in the kind of game psychophants play on any willing accomplice, and here they have found PMB to be one.Whoever they are, they are trying to mask his feelings and keep him away from the truth and reality. It happened to Abacha,MY,
GEJ ,they were all used to serve vested interests – but thinking they were in charge. Pity!
But for crying out loud, didn’t the holy books teach that man can benefit in many ways by actions and speech, to seek not only the profits but the good. Didn’t Nigerians engage PMB and those coterie of advisers for their social grace. The hope that PMB is a detribalised Nigerian not Hausa or dan Fulani is fast eroded, but he should hasten slowly, easy does it,even as he tries to grasp the meanings in the truism that everything rises or falls with leadership.
This compromised and questionable leadership on offer is not the idol of our hearts. Beyond sincerity, the nation needs PMB to be passionately interested in the unity and indivisibility of the Nigerian project and estate. The nation expectations, is for PMB to reform its political life, renewal of its strengths and enormous potential and determined to give the country what president Franklin Roosevelt called a
“Square Deal”,only then can his personality capture the imagination of the ordinary individual.
The recent happenings in the nation have shown that pressy has never been a recluse, and has friends, and those friends, who are up close and personal are the one getting the jobs. His deepest affections and deepest ambitions are centred around the north,that being the case, he may soon discover that everything he stands for will take downward swing.
His publicists should note that PMB’s ‘body language’ since the March 28th 2015 presidential election is giving the nation a chance to pass judgment, especially on the economy and myriads of other daunting issues, because the people expect a determined PMB at last to make his mark on a Nigerian political system they viewed as lacking moral exemplars and proper moral fibre.
Perhaps, one should remind them that the nation as it is,is hopelessly corrupted by the monied interests and brought to the verge of moral,political and economic ruin. The toga of corruption dominates the ballot- box, the legislatures, the public /civil service, and touches even the ermine of the bench[courts] from the same prolific womb of government injustices the nation breeds the two great classes- tramps and billionaires, all living in the shadow of a slumbering giant.
The nation’s leaders have to placate a despairing people by the restoration of their prosperity and a new epoch in Nigeria’s political life, and the country’s political foundations that had endured the vicissitudes of life in the hands of corrupt politicians and mindless fleecing,the tides of prosperity and depression and a weak public sector, who refuse to go with the believe that expanding the scope of government would ensure the progress of the nation and the welfare of its citizens. We must like Mark Twain in the ‘Gilded Age’ expose the nation to critical scrutiny within the next two hundred and fifty five days. The progressives should note that their goals were for greater democracy and social justice, liberty,honest government and a revived commitment to public service, are the things that can give Nigeria’s politics the much desired character.The 1906 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Frederich Roosevelt, said” A great democracy will be neither great nor a democracy if it is not progressive.
Last line:If someone wants you in their life, they will make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Nigerians will never ever insert themselves to someone who continuously overlooks their worth. #
Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and a writer.
He can be reached on twitter