The solution to Nigeria’s political problem neither require psycho-analysis nor any psycho- therapeutic interface . It has nothing to do with ideology or lack of it . Simply put, it requires the collective will of the people to rid the corrupt and myopic leadership off the corridor and center of government through a constitutional means. But when or whenever peaceful changes is made impossible the alternate becomes inevitable. Arguments and counter arguments have been posited about Nigeria problems. In this article, I will not waste my time to re-write what umpteen writers have discussed. Never-the-less, it need be said that there is consensus by opinion leaders from diverse field that Nigeria needs an ideology to progress. These group of people contends that lack of ideological direction had significantly impaired the growth of the country. Contrarily the group were unable to agree on a specific ideology. While some recommended socialism others opts for a blend political philosophy that hinges on social-welfare – the likes of what is obtainable in the Scandinavian countries notably Denmark; yet few others suggested capitalism.
Another school of thought, more radical in outlook; often influenced by the outcome of some pseudo-revolutionary approach of some African leaders; the likes of Jerry Rawlings of Ghana, and late Thomas Sankara of Bokina- Fasso, etc argued that the bane of Nigeria success is its corruption. They concluded that to move the nation forward, corruption must be addressed and fight to extinction. This group of leaders/thinkers have their rallying point on China – a country like Nigeria, globally classified as a third world nation in the 70s and bedeviled by corruption. But today, China is able to sustain a formidable democratic tradition by cleaning the polity of corrupt interests and persons. Corruption in China attracts death sentence (execution by firing squad). This drastic solution (policy) was all the Chinese society needed to restore sanity to their political system. The zero tolerance for corruption has brought into power, leaders who are genuinely interested in serving as opposed to stealing; and this has refined the Chinese politics and transformed its economy. As a matter of fact, China is today a global force, that even the powerful U.S.A government have to recognize and negotiate with in any critical areas of international relations.
Nigeria has all it takes to be a good and great nation. It is endowed with avalanche of natural and human resources. Its potentials to lead the continent and black race and possibly sits among the icon nations of the world has never been contested; unfortunately, that which supposed to be its strength and source of greatness is being used to demystify its might. While nations of the world continues to advance in their reach for the sky with the innovations and inventions; as labeled in age, such as: Apollo age in the 1970s, The Jet age in the 1980s, The Computer age in the 1990s and most recently, The information/Internet age of the millennium. Nigeria appeared almost stand still. Wherever and whenever change take place, it is with curse and cost. In antithesis to what is obtainable in other parts of the world, Nigeria’s development could accurately be described as transitional; peripherally, from Colonial age to Independent age , to Military age to Democracy age. All the ages characterized by different political actors dragged Nigeria into political plagues so much so that the erstwhile giant of Africa and the most populous black nation on the face of the earth became stigmatized as the most corrupt nation in the world with pitiable economy.
If nations greatness in measured by its peoples’ hospitality, Nigeria will definitely be among the greatest in the world. But nation’s greatness is determined by anything but its peoples hospitality. It is measured by the country’s ability to produce and sustain good social, political and economic system that is responsive and meet the needs of its people. A system that is guided by the rule of laws as opposed to the arbitrariness of the powerful few, a system whose operators are transparently honest and accountable for their actions and inactions. A system that is proactivelly involved and invest in the future of its citizens. Considering these standards as measures of greatness, Nigeria failed woefully. This is not to say that the country planned to fail, regrettably it failed to plan. One of the reasons for this; was the occupation of the oval office by circumstantial political leaders. Record indicated that none of the 14 past and present Nigeria Presidents and Head of States willfully desired or contested for the office. They were “sort of installed” by powerful few who actually rules behind the scene. Few people who genuinely desired to rule the country at the presidency level were either frustrated or schemed out of the contest or outrightly killed by the political stakeholders.
Because of the circumstances of the ascendancy of the past and present presidents to office, usually unprepared, uninformed, immature, vision less, unexposed, they have nothing to offer. They became obsessed and engaged in naked use of power. Rather than fashioning policy that is geared towards the nation’s development, they schemed to perpetuate themselves in power; and lavish the nations wealth on those they considered “dangerous” or critical of their inordinate ambition. Such outspoken and fearless fews were often silenced with political appointments, government contracts, or intimidating cash bribes. Such pranks became known in different regimes and quarters with different names and labels. The word bribe was substituted with “brown envelopes”, “chop make I chop”, ‘jeun s’oke”, “gbemu” etc.
The intensity of this indecorum increases from one administration to another; and unduelly promotes greed and insensitivity. Those who are supposed to defend and speak for the masses became complacent and fend for themselves. The primary responsibility of government was neglected, while those vested in its business became reckless without any grid of accountability. Consequently, the socio-economic and political structure began to progressively disintegrate. Citizens nationalism orientation became corrupted and sense of false political identity began to emerge. Because of the institutionalized corruption, the notion of selfless service was replaced with the urge to benefit financially from the leaders of government business. Political/elective office or party affiliations became the path way to wealth building and a celebrated means to social relevance.
With this background, Corruption became endemic and visible in all sectors of the Nigerian society. The question is not whether any sector is corrupt, but its degree. The executive, the legislative and the judicial arm of government are all corrupt. It is almost impossible to see any sector that is free of corruption, not even the private or the religion organizations. This vice has done so much damage to the Nigeria nation within and outside, so much so that no amount of branding or re branding can make an impact without taking a drastic action. Ghana and China confronted corruption in their country once and for all; today the result of such action transformed their political economy and make them relevant in the global politics.
In the western world, where nobody is above the law; any apprehended corrupt public office holder is tried in the law court, and when found guilty pays the price, unlike Nigeria where the corrupt public office holders continues to gallivant and parades themselves in our streets as sacred cows. I think it is the right time for Nigerians to think out of the box and follow the part of the nations who has made conscious efforts to rid their countries off the corrupt political rogues. All of us can not continue to pacify ourselves by taking solace in belonging to a wasted generation. Rather those political thieves, and corrupt leaders should be apprehended and held accountable
. If it requires their lives to be wasted in the fashion of Rawlings pseudo-revolution or Chinese enacted anti corruption policy, so be it. May be it would deter others who are potential crooks. After all killing the corrupt few for the good of all appears altruistic.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.