Within the last five and a half decades, Nigeria has had course to experience eight (8) military and seven (7) civilian leaders whose styles of leadership and records of achievements were grossly unacceptable to many.
Understandably, the first republic derailed because the frontline actors who were still basking in the euphoria of political independence lacked cohesion in their quest to building and preserving political structures that would have consolidated the newly won freedom.
Consequently, seed of intolerance from opposing political groups and varying cultural viewpoints in a multi-ethnic nation were inadvertently sown and allowed to germinate uninhibited. Just as Yakubu Gowon put it, “as at today the country is still in need of an enormous and prescribed amount of the spirit of multi-ethnic tolerance among the various ethnic nationalities and their subsisting interests.”
The country’s politics eventually assumed a ‘zero sum’ character, with politics of bitterness replacing the hitherto competitive politics that existed before independence. Serious business of governance was virtually replaced with petty rivalries, utter incompetences and despicable performances.
The citizens too literally went crazy, or what would have led a fellow countryman to deliberately order drugs (from abroad) which are either known to have expired, about to expire, or deliberately manufactured to be less potent than what a normal drug should be.
A Nigerian Student once said government will only secure her loyalty and patriotism “only if they can be snatched from her’. Yes, that feeling is not peculiar to her alone.
Wait a minute. This was a young lady who scored 256 in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and performed excellently in the Post-UTME test with the required grades
in the WASCE O’levels but could not gain admission into the university to study her course of choice; while another student, probably a ward of a university Don or the haves in the country who scored far less than her in both examinations gained admission into the same university to study the same course.
Considering that scenario, isn’t that asking too much from people who are facing social and economic injustice melted upon them to be patriotic? Millions of Nigerians feel that way. That what a reputable Economist posited that every man should takes care of his or her own income and the National income would takes care of itself. Did I hear you say the statement lacks patriotism?
One can only hope and pray that the CHANGE we voted for will translate into a meaningful change in the attitudes of the government to the governed, such that the President, Governors, Senators, Representatives and other public officers will realise that they are tenants in Aso-rock Villa, Governor Quarters, Hallow Chambers and others and agree both in thought and actions that the Mass are the landlords that must be respected and dignified.
To be continued….