Nigeria And Her Chaotic Structure By Aku Igono
I am very angry and my anger stems from the docility and laziness of us all. I am angry at the way we behave in this country. Please let me declare that I’m going to betray prudence and -if you like- decency in my choice of words, because I am angry!
The formation of government has the people as the focal element of it. However Karl Popper’s definition of democracy comprehensively captures the Nigerian citizens’ state of mind as well as well their laziness and myopic disposition. This was what he had in his head when he gave the definition of democracy as a contrast to dictatorship or tyranny, thus focusing on opportunities for the people to control their leaders and to oust them without the need for a revolution.
Let’s infer from Popper’s idea of democracy vis-a-vis what we – the people as given in the above definition – are doing to control our leaders. Please don’t misconstrue the ‘control’ in that definition to mean making unreasonable demands by holding government and its apparatus to ransom, just as the terrorist and militant elements are doing at both ends of the country (South and North). Popper’s ‘control’ means the realisation of inherent opportunities in all of us as eligible citizens to have an equal say and action in decisions that affect our lives.
Unfortunately, however, we are eligible citizens who don’t honour codes! We are lousy. We don’t behave well. Those who should show examples are in bed with the unscrupulous elements, having sold their conscience for a ‘plate of porridge’.
Democracy thrives in an orderly society, and an orderly society is a function of its people; the way and manner in which they behave. As much as I will avoid mentioning President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in this piece, let me declare that the man is guilty as all of us. He didn’t fall from planet Pluto to Earth and became President of Nigeria; no Jonathan is a product of our society. He is one of us. I dare to speak to those crowds on twitter that is in stiff competition amongst themselves to tweet missiles at government. I’m talking to those who find it so difficult to delimit and appreciate their understanding of government and religion; government and ethnicity; government and tribe, and those who see no evil in marrying personal lifestyle or likeness with the operations of government.
I seek to speak to those cancerous pessimists. Those who usually give me ‘talk to the hand attitude’ each time I dared them to their civic responsibilities. Those who feel we can’t replicate the ‘wonders’ of the West here. As we cut it for politicians and their culprits in the public service, our attitudes enmesh us more in the pool of inefficiency thereby fuelling corruption, the same thing we accuse them of. It is true that a nation gets the kind of leader it deserves.
There are so many things we can’t blame the president for; allowing a cab driver to pack you in his small car like sack of potatoes shouldn’t be blamed on Jonathan. Jumping queue in the bank and at the airport can’t be the president’s fault. We didn’t elect the president to teach us how to behave as civilised people, as his counterparts in the world over often busy themselves with ideas and actions that will move their nations forward. We elect government to ‘control’ it. Let me quickly take you to Brazil that is if the vicissitude in Syria means nothing to you. Brazilians seized the World Cup moment through the ongoing Confederation Cup to control their government. They are asking their government to do their bidding for that primary purpose it was formed. And as at the last time I checked, the Brazilian government is renewing its social contract with the people in the area of critical infrastructure.
Government in a democratic setup is like a mirror; it reflects what comes before it. Nigeria’s problem is more of chaos than leadership. Anything that thrives on chaos will score more causality. Chaos is when governors’ convoy runs you off the highway and feels he has exercised his power. More than anything, it is chaos that breeds the openings for corruption to take root, therefore what Nigeria needs are proper organisation. It is important to note that organisation can only arise from deliberate planning. We must agree that our chaotic national structure is the problem; hence corruption becomes the fruit from that structure. We can’t demand for social services from the government if we are not organised. Our present lousy structure, or is it nature, will forever leave us behind as losers while a select few organise and perpetrate themselves in power and begin to divide and throw stones at us in order to rule.
Chaos is the ongoing drama amongst governors as a result of May 24 Nigeria Governors Forum election where ‘una Governors’ displayed obscenity and what is referred to in Hip Hop World as ‘street madness’ as to who should chair the forum. It is already in the market square that one of the governors may succeed Jonathan after his tenure (whenever it ends). So brace up for more chaos in the land as one of those obscurantists’ in the NGF will occupy Aso Rock if we allow them to control government.
The Occupy Nigeria Movement didn’t achieve much because we were not organised as eligible citizens and thus it was easier for Voltrons from government to penetrate and quench what would have been our own kind of Brazillian Protest.
Let’s conduct ourselves as civilised people by looking at the larger picture of how Nigeria should matter to all of us irrespective of Religion, tribe, political association, discarding the barbaric cards of regional, religious and ethnic sentiments and giving the Nigerian project our full support. Let’s create and own our government and rise to demand for quality services at all times in a most modest, planned and organised manner. Revolution does not necessarily mean throwing stones at politicians and picketing public building. Revolution is articulating sound ideas into physical organised action that appeals to the conscience of everyone.
Catch me on twitter @IGONO
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