In the elementary training on ideology, action speaks louder than voice is a maxim that can best define the superiority of action over intention. Oftentimes, people align with promises base on hope, derived from trust and belief in the personality reeling out promises either at inter personal level or social contract level. Trust is the major premise for friendship or alliance among partners. When relationship is rosy and promises are kept in good faith, partners acknowledge trust and when otherwise, betrayer of trust becomes the slogan.
Trust is the core link that connects leadership and followership in terms of governance and relationship, especially in a sophisticated political clime where there is absolute priority for trust, as a premise to hand over mandate to political office seeker just as we witnessed at the 2015 Presidential Election in Nigeria. There are diverse factors across our divides that determines emergence of political office holders in different domains ranging from affinity, financial inducement, mobilization strength and strategies. Governance in Nigeria since 1960 has divergent views, considering peculiar circumstances of emergence and abortion of previous republics till we attained the great feat of uninterrupted democracy since 1999.
18 years of continuous nascent democratic rule, mistrust among nationalities has replaced the hitherto collective urge for an egalitarian society where welfare of citizens will be the hallmark of governance in Nigeria. It is easy to apportion blames to the old political juggernauts that foisted offshoots of dictatorial era on us since 1999, their young collaborators and accomplices also deserves thorough probity for misrepresenting “unsere leute” under democratic era. Coining dubious tactics by former Governors to hold on to power through cronies under the guise of continuity, has ruined the fortune of several States in Nigeria, while those that equally defeated the odds through crafty ideas are worse for deceptive dealings with the people even though we cannot rule out exceptions.
Nigeria previously had romance with strong economy, there were era of boom before and after discovery of crude oil, but our leaders were crookedly wicked with self-serving policies and actions at the expense of the future of the Country. At every point in time, when associates of people in power had business interest, limitless opportunities were offered to them to ruin public owned industries, which accounts majorly for death of most government owned businesses now limitlessly controlled by private business moguls richer than the Country.
There are few exceptions among former Nigeria Leaders and political office holders whose wealth are commensurable to their career earnings and legitimate profits on businesses, majority among them siphoned public funds and abuse their offices to create exceeding luxuries for their families and ruined the economy through disorderliness, lack of foresight and profligacy. Mentioning names merely amounts to opening of cans of worms; private public partnership scheme and privatization through dummy organizations were their design for infesting Nigerians with abject poverty.
Nigeria is a very productive Country of hardworking Nationalities and our currency that earlier had valuable purchasing power parity worldwide is now a mess, even in West Africa, had we prioritized the revamping of our economy through proper education of citizenry on the concept of national growth, the reduction of poverty from among the populace would have shifted from the lower ebb of hell to the frontage of paradise, “mirabile dictu”. There is no argument over the fact that Nigeria was is a distasteful state before the 2015 general election which eased the hiring of a personality with proven pedigree to lead the Country out of the doldrums to an expected order of positive accomplishments.
The trust that necessitated the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari as Nigeria Presidency in 2015 was not a façade, under his leadership of the Country, the middle class now dedicate proper value to their money and earnings, the downtrodden are opportune to combat their oppressors, while the affluent aristocrats hides their dubious possessions, unlike previous era where looting of treasury, sharp practices and naked power misdirected people in power towards profligacy and high handedness accountable for the economy recession and polity negativities.
The middle class and the poor, socially and economically, painfully bear the consequences of economic recession in the midst of inflation and poverty. Just like the Jews were blamed for not devising pragmatic political solutions to curtail “antisemitism” before it subjected them to inhumane treats by Countries in Europe before the Second World War, the vast populations of downtrodden in Nigeria are behaving similar to the Jews, going by the account of Hannah Arendt in “Origin of Totalitarianism”. The downtrodden cannot continue to wallow in despair to confront the saboteurs impeding on the rebirth of viability of our economy.
If the downtrodden had bothered to take seriously the exigent need for crushing corruption at all levels in Nigeria, probably the fight against corruption would have reposition the Country for greatness as targeted by Mr President at the early hours of this administration. Nigerians ignored the sign that the top echelons of both the illiberal ruling party – All Progressive Party and the bewildered opposition party – Peoples Democratic Party are populated with men and women of questionable characters with corrupt past, these demagogues are pride as role models and mentors yet the downtrodden expects them to change without detachment from power.
When will the ineffectual personalities among Governors, Senators, Ministers, Honourables and Political Lords lose their privileges while the downtrodden will gain their freedom to develop is a subject of proper coordination among the politically conscious middle class with genuine intentions for creation of an egalitarian society. Firstly, ideology and self-respect must be rebuilt among young people who are majorly in lust with power and fame as coveted in their romance with the aristocrats’ relevance in the polity.
The perception of young people towards leadership has to be properly sharpened towards understanding of service to humanity without raping the treasury; they must be equipped with knowledge of consequences of impunity and corruption as a guide to a rewarding economy as we prepare for the 2019 general election. If circumstances that abound in our polity are properly weighed, it will be correct to state that the ruling party has not done enough to correct the ills of the past and achieve a green economy, despite this, the prevailing occurrences exposed the fact that we didn’t build our Institutions to function effectively through standard regulations, rather we reposed confidence in individuals to perform magic, which is responsible for the slow recovery rate of the economy from recession.
There is a conception that the present is nothing than an insignificant link in future generation and the chain of past. When properly dissected, you will realize that a generation that thrives in the belief that acquisition of money through any means possible (whether legal or illegal) is already endangered by wrong orientation about means of survival. There are laws of survival at times of danger, these laws are not conventional and not applicable to daily lives at normal moments, people cannot continue to suffer loss of ideology simply because of survival.
We still have about 17 Calendar Months to the 2019 General Election in Nigeria, the present administration can still achieve monumental feats if the Presidency will be proactive to issues of national importance and build mass movement against corruption, with real and genuine intention to rebuild the Country. To be proactive is to sack any Minister or Political Office Holder within the ruling party with records of corruption as dossier by the Department of State Services, to be proactive is to concentrate on efforts towards a home grown economy through manufacturing, industrialization and agriculture, to be proactive is to grant autonomy to Local governments/State House of Assemblies, to be proactive is to reduce cost of running government and abolition of self-serving policies inherited from previous administrations.
There is no doubt that a proper consideration of these proactive measures will not only add value to the image of Muhammadu Buhari Presidency , there are tendencies of positive effects on the acceptability of the All Progressive Congress in the next general election. The Peoples’ Democratic Party elements within and outside the current administration, obviously wished the Presidency poor performance in all facets of governance, with their strategies through some gullible hatchet men in the National Assembly that hitherto derailed the Anti-Corruption crusade and recent efforts to reconcile all aggrieved party members towards preparation to take over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria again at the center in 2019.
Wishful thinking without commensurable efforts amount to vanity, the Presidency and the All Progressive Congress should not assume that Nigerians are well abreast that the present predicaments are products of the Peoples’ Democratic Party era of doom leadership of the Country, Nigerians must see the difference in practical realities of A to P achievements and not professing of good intentions as the masses are tilted to believe. Issues of sabotage, nepotism and deficient blue print must be addressed “expressis verbis” to protect our collective patrimony.
The health challenges of President Muhammadu Buhari shouldn’t be an impediment towards the fulfillment of his dreams and aspirations for a better Nigeria, even though his absence arose evaluation of true functionalities of democratic institutions and laws, his team should already be conversant with his approach to governance and basic ideals intended by him to boost the growth of our economy and governed positively to the benefit of a common Nigerian. The score card of first year of this administration recorded average rating on the fight against insecurity and international image, the second year recorded similar rating in the fight against corruption while the third year is ongoing with no clear cut approach to solving impasses in the polity and only God knows what will be recorded on the next score card.
The current administration has to be mindful of urgent need for synergy among the government and the governed, the government shouldn’t lose focus on delivery of dividends of good governance to the people, the 2016 budget was haphazardly implemented and the 2017 budget in focus bears no semblance with the pedigree of Mr President, the missing link must be found wherever lost, to avoid embarrassment for the Presidency. The people must be socially and politically considered important by the government and should not suffer the usual contemptuous aloofness, hence; action should speak louder than voice.
Comrade AbdulRahman Agboola
Vice Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Polytechnics (SSANIP)
Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa Chapter