2015: Nigerians are again hearing sugar-coated manifestoes

by Odimegwu Onwumere

Nigerian politicians are hyping 2015 with many of them recently picking up
forms for different elective positions from their different political
parties. This move is being laced with many of them sermonising their
manifestoes that are appealing to the ears and arresting hearts, at least,
for now.

But this is not the first time we are hearing them make speeches that
appeal to the heart, but have no commensurable outcome to show for the
electorates’ unruly approach in electing them into various political
offices. It is about 15yrs of this democracy and we are still battling with
motions without actions, orchestrated by the governments at all levels.

The democracy that we had thought would redeem the country and its citizens
from the cluster of backwardness, the country is today worst than the
military left it. If the military was using weapons to humiliate the
citizens, the democratic-politicians are using bloated intelligence,
narrow-minded brilliance and paper-education to humiliate the citizens. We
have virtually everything that was supposed to be working for us in this
country, but mediocrity has killed them all.

Nigerians are tired of the same old story in a democracy where habits of
419ners and politicians have peculiarity, by all standards. We have
civilians in power today who are most stubborn than the military. They make
promises they do not fulfill. It is shameful that elective positions have
become conduit pipe through which the elected milk their constituents dry
and bleak their eyelids as if nothing is happening.

When many of these politicians were supposed to go and sit down for failing
the aspirations and hopes the electorates had in them, they are again
deafening our ears with manifestoes that they will not keep to, as soon as
they are elected into offices again. In this country, politicians have made
democracy as a government without transparency, as against the contrary.
For example, the allocations to the states and local government areas in
the country are not audited year in year out, including the security votes.

Many of us had expected that democracy would usher in a new lease of life
to Nigerians, but we are still battling corruption in the ways contracts
are awarded, how fuel is imported, school system, healthcare, just name
them. In the name of amnesty criminals are empowered to the utopian height,
whereas they would have been in jail by now. This is democracy, where the
rule of law is only meant for the papers where it is written. This is
democracy where the purchase of arms is a subject of controversy and leaves
many with the mindset about the difference between 419 and official

About 15yrs after, democracy in our country has become a hideous burden on
our lean shoulders. Many of our politicians that were broke like riffraff
when they escaped from the hangman’s noose during the military are the ones
today calling the shots and have become trillionaires overnight. These
politicians have become burdens to our democracy, with their ever-present
posturing as subjects of discussion in our everyday life.

It is imperative to say that these politicians are not in the habit of
thinking for the betterment of the citizens but themselves. And this habit
has left everything in the country not working, except corruption, which
has become a monster that we are battling seriously with to stem. This
fight has been going on for over a decade today, without any sign that it
would be won in the near future.

What the politicians do is to rant when they have fallout with the system
and as soon as they are back to the system, they forget the followers who
were there with and for them. They have made democracy in Nigeria to look
like Nigeria’s version of the holocaust.

One Robert Half has warned that ability is useless unless it’s used. It is
a curious thing that our leaders do the needful to assuage the tension at
every quarter in the country. Our politicians should stop handling the
citizens’ affairs with their heads when they ought to use their hearts.
They should stop sharing fears in the country when they should share

Our leaders should borrow a leaf from John C. Maxwell as we journey towards
the 2015 elections, which is, leadership is not about titles, positions or
flowcharts; it is about one life influencing another.

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