We live in a very perplexing period. We live in a time when the revenue is dwindling; promised have been rolled out and expectations are high. Despite the abundant potentials for greatness, Nigeria had been facing some difficult challenges that inhibit national cohesion, political development, and socio-economic progress. We live in a time of mutual suspicion and constituted ready fodders for the embers of conflict.
We live in a time when our multi-ethnicity has been compounded by pronounced religious differences, exploited usually for political considerations by ardent political classes in contexts of extreme poverty and very low educational development among the mass of the populace.
We live in a time where there is a skewed power arrangement in favour of the federal government which has greatly resulted in bloated administrative machinery at the centre; with a disconnect between the centre and its developmental policies and the intended recipients at the grassroots. We live in a time where there are cross- border banditry, terrorists’ attacks, smuggling, illicit trans-border trafficking in drugs and human beings, which have severely undermined the authority and legitimacy of the Nigerian nation-state.
We live in a country where corruption remains the single most debilitating problem confronting its development efforts whose corrosive impact continues to undermine governance, stability and progress. It distorts and undermines efficient allocation of resources, and by extension the country’s capacity for competitiveness. It reduces the net value of public spending as well as the quality of services, public infrastructure, and the volume of tax revenues.
We clamoured for change, we got change, and things have to change. Change has actually come and it will never be about being something rather about doing something for the masses that now have power to hire and fire through the PVC and card readers.
Political ambitions should be about doing something, it should be about giving back to the community, and it should be serving the people of the community. It should be services delivery; it should be about providing quality education for the masses.
It should be about security of the life and properties of the citizens. It should be about commitment to election pledges. It should be about health care delivery and real low cost housing for the poor and the less privileged. It should be about providing greater happiness for the greater number of people. It should be about the youth that represent the large segment of Nigeria’s population.
It should be about providing free education and affordable health facilities for the commonalities rather that plotting about returning to the various elected offices. It should e about securing the life and properties of the citizens but about becoming the president, vice president, or governor without clue of how to secure the life and properties of the citizens.
It is not about proving ‘motorable’ but is about being the local government chairman or Assemblyman that the resident will never have the opportunity to see again. It should be about making law for that will be beneficial to the mass but now it is about securing another term into the senate.
Something has changed between the previous breed of politicians and the modern politicians. There certain number things that the politicians can no longer take for granted. They need to know that supporters who are not card-carrying members might not believe their promises.
Too many have been broken, and there have been too many appeals for its credentials as a party of liberation to be accepted as proof enough that it is the best option as the party of delivery too. The politicians can no longer take for granted that its assurances of tackling the scourge of corruption will be accepted at face value. They are fooling themselves if they believe that public worry over the spending of state funds recklessly and their lack of taking corruption seriously when senior figures are involved will not boomerang.
Some months back, President Goodluck Jonathan lost grip on the upper legislative chamber. Some senators of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, threatened to impeach President Jonathan. Some people thought it was about time because he could not manage the issue of insurgency in the country.
However, to astonishment of Nigerians, it had not to do with doing something for the people but it was about being something. They intended to impeach him for working against their political interests in their various states primaries. It was gathered that they even ready vowed to team up with the House of Representatives to impeach the president if doing so eventually becomes an option they would have to explore.
They never thought of impeaching when he could not bring back the 276 Chibok girls nor when he lost Mubi and Chibok to Shekau that had been kill and killed many things. In a bid to show their bitterness towards the president, the senators boycotted legislative activities by adjourning a sitting without considering a single item on the Order Paper. The same activities Nigeria voted for them to do.
Their same action was meant to frustrate the consideration and prompt passage of the 2015 budget and Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), as they threatened to also shut down the government in pursuit of their personal goals. It is now about swiftness in looting the national treasury. It is about how to jaw-jaw over non-issues while important matters are left on the burning pot unattended to.
It is time for Nigerians to hold the politicians responsible for all their promises. It is time to bring them back to issue oriented campaign. It is time to vote for change, it is time to support credibility and uprightness. It is time to make it about us and now about them and their ambitions alone.
Ibrahim Ola Balogun