Let me begin my thoughts on Nigeria beyond 2015 by taking you back to 1776 America. The most famous and perhaps the most eloquent expression of a people’s right to “dissolve the political bands” which tie them together was penned by Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence.
Thomas Jefferson on the right to change one’s government in 1776 said: “That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive … it is the right of People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government.” Thinking along this line, the postponement of the presidential elections was a travesty and a permanent threat to our democracy. In plain truth, it is a subversion of democracy.
Nigeria is depicted as absorbed in controversy, confused in direction, brutal towards its citizens and in such turmoil it has tragically lost its golden opportunity to attain change.
Every sophisticated device – crude and primitive – has been used by President Goodluck Jonathan to evade his constitutional obligation. The Jonathan regime is managed and mangled by people of infertile minds. They consistently refuse to accept, enact, and implement changes that will lift oppressed and poor Nigerians from poverty.
When a people are mired in oppression, they will realize deliverance when they see one. Stumbling and groping through the wilderness finally must be replaced by change. Where are we going looking ahead beyond 2015? Yes, it is necessary to register and vote. We must do more than register and more than vote:
1. We must create leaders who embody virtues we can respect, who have moral and ethical principles we can applaud. Leaders that will win our enthusiasm that enables to rally support for them based on confidence and trust.
2. We must demand high standards and give consistent, loyal support to those who merit it.
3. We must be a reliable constituency for those who prove themselves to be committed political warriors on our behalf.
4. We must learn to refuse crumbs from our elected thieves and oppressors and steadfastly demand a fair share of the loaf.
5. We must be prepared to take our demands seriously and fight for them vigorously.
6. We must combine political freedom with political maturity to express our aroused and determined new spirit to be treated as humans and first class citizens. “Education without social action,” Dr. Martin Luther King Junior reminds us, “is one-sided value because it has no power potential. Social action without education is a weak expression of pure energy. Deeds uninformed by educated thought can take false directions.” We must armed ourselves with knowledge as we go into action and confront our oppressors.
7. We must turn our energies from trivial gossips, lies, fabrications, hate, bigotry, ethnic rivalry and acrimonious rancor that divide and separate us, that make our lives a wasted and a withered trivial sensations.
8. We must move away from sluggish passivity and smug complacency.
There is no justification for the curse and pain of poverty foisted upon us by the native tyrants in our age. Venal and inept, Jonathan surely needs to be replaced. Without the change that we all thirsty for, 2015 and beyond offers us troubling vision and nasty future.