There is no denying the fact under the existing circumstances that we are all helplessly caught in an agonising web of diabolic whims and caprices by a tribe of ambitious men who are bent solely on personal aggrandisements.
That government is a social contract is not in dispute, relinquishing my rights to you in return for safety, security and protection do not make me a bondsman but event playing out today in Africa’s most populous nation south of the Sahara remains diametrically and fundamentally opposed to that ideal. What we see here today did not even exist in the days of yore. Sometimes, I wonder in open-mouthed bewilderment the calibre of men at the helm. Who really are these men? Are they just country cousins, a tribe of opportunists or a cast of neophyte actors who have no exposition or workable knowledge as to what good governance is all about?
Of course, in considering this the Nigerian factor of ‘Who knows man’ comes into comes into focus which speaks volumes for the ineptitude and incompetence being hatched by the men in power that has plunged Nigeria into the ongoing abysmal mess and failures.
It has all been excuses and propaganda and the masses’ gullibility is of cashed in on such as the one being employed by the governing All Progressives’ Congress whose trademarks has always been lies and deception. On the back of heinous lies and deception, they rode to power. I will also quickly point out here that Lagos has done exceedingly well under the All Progressives Congress which would have been replicated at the centre but this has been hamstrung by the rumoured cabal that has hijacked power from Nigeria’s ailing president who may have been giving tacit support.
However, the only reason I will excuse Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the ongoing national debacle, in other words, this ignominious failure is the developmental strides Lagos has recorded over the years – I mean since Nigeria returned to civil democratic rule in 1999. We all know what the situation was like when the Federal Capital was moved to Abuja. Infrastructural decay set in. Lagos, by leaps and bounds, became a shadow of its former self until Tinubu rolled out his agenda to resuscitate Lagos from the grand conspiracy to reduce the nation’s number city to impotence and nothingness.
Today, I am happy Lagos has bounced back to reclaim its status as it wears the air and looks of a mega-city which we all thought was a pipe dream when it started at the period under review.
If that was what Tinubu had in mind that informed his interest and desire for the historic merger in the build-up to the 2015 federal elections, he certainly deserves a pat on the back but events playing out today show that he would have let well alone seeing that Nigerian was better off without the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.
Lagos State and by extension the whole of the south-west have always remained in the opposition and yet reckoned to be the most developed region in the whole of Nigeria. It is very unfortunate that Tinubu has failed by the developments in the region which he probably wanted to be replicated in other parts of the country by the historic merger that gave birth to the APC. Based on the accelerated progress Lagos has witnessed over the years I am left with no option but to overlook his miscalculations for Homer, they say, sometimes nods.
Be that as it may, Nigeria is fast and marvellously becoming a shadow of its former self as every institution has collapsed thus sending a danger signal to all and sundry.
You do not need a soothsayer to tell you things are not going well. Threats to lives hang ominously in the air as human life has lost its value in Nigeria. We hear of avoidable deaths every day which is unprecedented in the history of the country – the resultant effect of failed economic policies by the APC-led Federal Government. Youth unemployment is on the ascending order of magnitude which has given birth to crimes of varying degrees particularly violent ones.
Failed policies and marginalisation via lopsided appointments and the like have given birth to separatists feelings and aspirations especially in the south-east calling to mind the ongoing Biafra separatist movements.
Calls for restructuring to settle these problems once and for all have fallen on deaf ears with the Federal Government probably relying on guns and bombs to suppress agitations in case it turns violent. We see the agitators gradually crossing the red lines by almost running a parallel government in Nigeria. Is it a bait set by the federal government to cash in on to further kill, maim and destroy lives by the imperial Fulani army? I see bloodbath on the horizon if these problems plaguing the country are not quickly addressed under the existing circumstances.
The government at the centre has failed by gross incompetence and ineptitude which the bulk of Nigerians rely upon to formulate policies for the country thus breeding the ground for a nationwide revolt, the above-named agitation in the south-east and insurgency in the northeast are sad cases in point.
It is a thousand pities the Nigerian political class is not ruled or bound by party ideology. There is nothing wrong with any of the Nigeria’s political parties after all. Name of parties do not matter but the party’s ideology and manifesto. An ideology which politicians believe in in developed societies for all I know is difficult to change but in Nigeria politicians defect at the drop of a hat to avoid persecution and prosecution by the government at the centre considering the mass defection we have witnessed in the past two years to the All Progressives Congress.
In Nigeria, for instance, politics is seen as a lucrative business because ascending the political ladder automatically makes you a cut above others while some metamorphosed into tin gods soon after joining politics. No one goes there to render a selfless service but obsessed with the idea of what to steal from the public till while others are left to thrive in dirt and dirty surroundings.
However, there is nothing to suggest under the existing circumstances that Nigeria is on the path to redemption nor there is anything on the ground that she is on the road to recovery. From the indices on the ground, the economy is in total shambles and this will take oceans of time if it will ever recover with the crop of leaders that make up the Abuja regime.
There is no denying the fact that President Buhari means well for the country considering the successes so far recorded in the ongoing anti-graft war and insurgency by Boko Haram in the northeast but while battling insurgency and corruption we must not lose sight of the debilitating effects of the pangs of hunger which has caused more havoc than good.
Today, many of our young girls have become women of easy virtues not only in Nigeria but abroad while many Nigerians are on the death row in many Asian countries while others are serving lengthy custodial sentences for drug peddling, thanks to the failed economic policies at home which has led to the mass exodus of Nigerians abroad to seek a better life and in the process all means are employed to get rich including armed robbery!
Much as President Buhari, I gather from hearsay, loves Nigeria, I think it is high time he stepped aside and left the affairs of the country to a team of competent actors and economic managers irrespective of where they hail from. They could hail from the fringes of the Sahara desert in the north or the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in the south.
There is every compelling need for political offices to be made less attractive in Nigeria as obtains in other developed societies. Political offices ought not to be seen as a stepping stone to fame and instant wealth as obtains on our part of the globe.
Another thing that should be done as a matter of extreme importance and urgency is to address the recurrent issue of restructuring the country that will set Nigeria on the path to true federalism. Each region must begin to control the resources from its region, in other words, a loose confederacy with power division is about the best. This will naturally address the hydra-headed problems threatening to rend the country to shreds.
*Iyoha John Darlington, a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues wrote from Turin, Italy.