The euphoria over Nigeria’s experimentation in democracy is over. Realism is once again at our doorstep with the unsettling questions about our future, as we move towards another General Election to choose (some believe it is more selection, than election) leaders who will be running our affairs for another four years.
Why is our nation, home to brilliant minds, rich traditions, rich in natural and mineral resources and epochs of wisdom, withering in poverty while most other nations rapidly move ahead of us?
Why are we, as a nation, seemingly drifting aimlessly, without leadership or vision? Are our current systems, economic, political and social, limiting us in this era of intense universal competition among nations?
Can we, the people of Nigeria, afford to watch while brazen and unbridled official corruption; political instability; rudderless administration; flagrant profligacy; tribalism; maladministration and administrative lapses; congested and corrupt judiciary; unmanageable civil service, and unbelievable personal greed, demoralise our society and negate the advances we have made so far? Why have we been getting a raw deal from our various governments and headships over a very long period of our existence as a nation?
And a cowered, impoverished and totally demoralised people accepting pampered and insensitive executives; overpaid, unscrupulous legislators; immoral judiciary; callous, greedy, dishonest lawyers and crooked, inconsiderate civil servants run and ruin the country to the ground.
Like all nations, Nigeria too has changed. Unfortunately, the motherland that we see today is not what we desired our country to be. Much of the change, especially over the last two decades, has caused grave concern amongst a lot of us, to the extent of desperation and sadness. However, haven’t we haplessly and helplessly watched on, either choosing to compromise our integrity or insulating ourselves from the forces that threaten our society?
But do we just sit down and look (siddon look) on:
- While massive and unfettered corruption ravages the land, afflicting even our unborn generations?
- While selfish, greedy and insensitive politicians rule the roost and roams the land with swagger never seen in the days of old, flaunting their venality in our faces and daring us to do our worst?
- While ordinary people can no longer look up for succour from their elected leaders, from the First and Second Arms of Government, for policies and laws to better their lives and enjoy the so-called “Dividend of Democracy”?
- While the Judiciary, the third Arm of Government, can no longer be looked upon and trusted by the ordinary man to dispense justice to all, and where justice is sold to the highest bidder?
- While infrastructures and institutional legacies are decaying and crumbling daily, which those responsible for sustaining them looking on, unconcerned, insensitive, and with glee and warped satisfaction?
- While the economy is being sabotaged by all sectors and sections of the society?
- While educational standards have fallen to an all-time low and seem irretrievable and permanent?
- While the best brains in all professions designed to build a great nation have all fallen victim of the despondency and corruption in the land, and the incorruptible among them fleeing the land to other parts of the world to donate their brains to build and sustain other countries’ development and progress?
- While obnoxious leaders and public servants are sitting tight, murdering the nation to remain in power or position in order to looting the treasury and for self-aggrandizement?
- While our youths, potential leaders of tomorrow in any society, are under the influence of lethargy, devoid of ideas, motivation and ambition, and fallen prey to the malaise of the land – corruption, fraud, and drug use?
- While failed leaders continue to call the shots in our lives and the nation’s future?
- While attempts by the truly patriotic to salvage what are left of a ruined and badly run country are continually and continuously sabotaged and denigrated by the corrupt elitists cabals that have always been used to, benefited and benefitting from the prevalent mismanagement and corruption?
- While our very social and moral fibre have been so decimated and eroded to the point where “abnormality is now held and accepted as the norm, while the norm is now considered and acknowledged to be abnormal” and is frowned upon and condemned by the society? Where morality and decency are now shunned?
- While flattery, hypocrisy and insincerity are the order of the day?
- Where rumours, deceits, half-truths, outright lies, misinformation are now the tools of governance and opposition, and used to rule us every day, online, offline and even the so-called Fifth Estate – the Press and Journalism – can no longer be trusted to tell the truth and educate and inform the society with holistic intent?
- While to speak, hear and accept the Truth is now an aberration and latent in the society?
- While whole generations are now condemned into uselessness, oblivion and abject immobility and immorality while the next ones are only standing by on the edge of the abyss of despair, desperation and criminality?
- While the future of our children and grandchildren have been mortgaged in huge debts, lack of vision by visionless leaders, unplanned economy, political lies, unfulfilled and broken promises, propaganda all because some people want access to power and our commonwealth?
- While the security of our lives, properties and borders have been compromised and are no longer guaranteed?
There is hope, however… We know from the testimonies and occasional glimpses of hope from people who are fighting independent battles to correct the system.
From individual and corporate Nigerians striving all they can to better lives in their communities and nationally without an iota of selfishness and greed; striving in many academic disciplines, business endeavours, sports excellence, and several other areas of human endeavours to keep the flag of Nigeria flying and the reputation corrected even in the face of leaders who are constantly, shamelessly and ignorantly desecrating our morality and dignity as a people and nation.
But there are needs for leaders to inspire true patriotism; fearlessness in pursuit of a better, fairer and equality in a diverse and already fractured society; altruism and sincerity of purpose; selfless purposeful and incorruptible leadership, endowed with Honesty and Integrity, Courageous, Humble, with Commitment and Passion, Decision-Making Capabilities, Accountability, Delegation and Empowerment, Creativity and Innovation, Clarity. We need leaders who are clear and concise at all times–there is no question of their vision and what needs to be accomplished and they are Fair and Just; not given to the curses of nepotism, tribalism and religiosity.
Are we asking too much? Let the Truth be said always!!!!!
Adejumo writes through [email protected]