Nigeria Matters

Going Nowhere Slowly

“The history of political theory is written
In the light of the hypothesis that theories
of politics are themselves parts of politics.”
George H. Sabine
Thomas L. Thorson.

By the time the dewy eyes of genuine mourners of late President Umaru Yar’Adua dry up, Nigerian politics will go into over-drive. Political contenders are already flexing their bulging muscles and they are loaded with what it takes. Where can any honest Nigerian find one billion Naira to squander on a frivolous agenda of being the Nigerian President?

The Guardian Nigerian newspaper of Thursday, May 13, 2010, had as its headline as follows, “Govt Immortalizes Yar’Adua, names highway, airport after him, lists ex-president’s achievements, Ex-govs visit Jonathan.”
I enjoyed the tribute to Stanley Macebuh.
I met Master Stanley Macebuh in 1950, when I was attending Christ the King School, Aba and he was schooling at Ngwa High School. Our contemporaries were Masters (as were then) Ola Balogun, Emmanuel Obianwu, Bill Aniche, Cy Ezike, Charles Orizu, Austin Obiora, John Uchendu etc.etc. If I want to narrate our relationships, I should get a writer of elaborate prose.

As soon as Stanley took over the Guardian management, he wrote profusely. I joined issues with him on the issue of Liberalism and Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard Speech entitled, “The Decline of the West.”
May his soul rest in peace.

Hadjia Turai Yar’Adua, the re-incarnated ‘Queen Amina of Zazzau’ knew very well that Nigerian governments and people do not honour past leaders and that political associates do cross-carpet to the new leader in a jiffy. She knew that the health of the late President was very bad, but she calculated that he would be better honoured if he died as President instead of as a former President. This is logical and just. Her calculations worked out brilliantly. She must have had a Job’s experience.

President Yar’Adua was passionate about Nigeria’s progress but ill-health was a stumbling-block. He will be missed by genuine patriots. Turai must have learnt and will further learn that what the teeth of her close political associates showed was not always in their minds. Politicians do not campaign among children because they do not vote.

The same Guardian edition carried the article written by Rev. Hassan Mathew Kukah, entitled, “The Patience of Jonathan.” The article could have been given other titles like “The Wonder of Jonathan,” “Jonathan and the Grace of God” etc, but let’s adopt the Reverend’s heading, for that is what flowed from his pastoral, pscho-linquistics.

As I have said many times, God is overturning, overturning and will continue to overturn Nigeria, in this Era of the Gentiles, Atonement and Brotherhood of Man. God has shown that “He is able of these stones to raise up children to Abraham.”

It is “God’s work and it is true.” “It is the monumental act of divine epiphany.” (Mathew Hassan Kukah).

I have been a privileged observer of Nigerian affairs since 1960. Most Nigerian politicians “have remained impervious to moral standards.” This has not changed in spite of hallucinatory proclamations and psycho-baubles, since 1960.

Conceited and arrogantly disposed politicians are posturing as a result of their ambitions to govern in 2011. The future is not in anyone’s hands because “Man proposes but God disposes.” All should learn to talk about the future with circumspection.

The 2011 elections will be fiercely fought by the PDP. The party’s authority has waned by the unquestionable fact that the PDP has failed to provide the political and economic leadership to steer Nigeria away, from “the most abusive and barefaced forms of exploitation” (Che Guevara, 1964).

If the mega-party can get better organized and put forward a credible platform, it can form a coalition with other political groups to make us take giant strides forward from 2011.

With nocturnal supplications and righteous living, the leaders of the mega-party could convince Nigerians that they mean well and will pilot Nigeria better.

Recently, the Guardian Newspaper has been awash with the sentiments unsolicited pieces of advice, of many citizens. These have been both objective and subjective commentaries. There have been photo-opportunity mourners and self-advertisers, since President Yar’Adua died. Some mourners, who can pay, have taken up newspaper columns, in mournful out-pouring of sorrow, both genuine and fake.

Our Presidents often failed because every Tom Dick and Harry tugs at the President for one favour or the other, distracting the President’s attention from serious State matters. Governors issue wild invitations to the President to visit their States.

This President should have no time, to attend to promotional and public relations pass-times. The evidence I will look for is to document the number of “State visits,” this President will undertake. He may wish to whittle down invitations to gaieties and social festivities for the job he has in hand is a 24- hour one.
He needs time to ruminate over the legal, political and economic under-pinning of Nigeria’s under-development. He has to consult with experts and knowers and demand that any visitor to Aso Rock can only be admitted if such a visitor comes with constructive proposals on Nigerian governance.

Surely, there are political comedians, political mavericks, who would seek political patrimony, at all costs. They will then splash newspaper advertisements in thankful, praise-singing and adulations like brainless maggots. We should remember always that honestly earned money is sparingly spent and “anywhere you see wealth, there is always an element of crime.” (Honor de Balzac).

Nigerian politics has a history of chance happenings, throwing up unforeseen circumstances. However, Nigerians, are self-governing and really do not need governments but for the dictates of international relations. They go about their businesses, provide their own water, electricity generators, and other things that give their lives value.

As a result, a fiercely monetized society has become well-entrenched, with the vices that go with it. The lack of a working system has imposed on our nation, desperado cultism.

The lucky ones wear gaudy, flamboyant over-sized clothes, strut the corridors of society, seeking notice and unearned recognition at social events.
They are not much given either to the reading or writing of books like their American counterparts. They do not engage in popular political discussions based on ideology. They pursue contracts in all Ministries and Parastatals.

Since politics is the only easy-money yielding enterprise in Nigeria, a do -or -die psychosis has been unleashed on the nation. A primitive political culture of killings, arson, mindless violence and a morbid form of political philistinism has taken hold.

Many encomiums have been poured on President Goodluck Jonathan. This is perhaps why Dr. Reuben Abati , in an article entitled, “Hurry up, Jonathan”, wrote “that it is very easy in a presidential position in Nigeria, nay in Africa, to get carried away with the ceremonies of office”.(Guardian Nigeria, May 14, 2010).

In the article mentioned above, Dr. Reuben Abati listed the looming distractions and concluded by saying, “But can President Jonathan just please hurry up and focus on the important issues of national interest, that he himself had identified to start with.” I second that motion.

It will be very embarrassing for us to come to the unpleasant conclusion that as Abati wrote, “In every manner, President Jonathan gives the impression that he is yet to take charge of his office.” Escapism is the right approach to evade confronting the

issues and ceremonial parades
bring the fact home that gaiety and social festivities are romantic.

Recently, as the Delta delegation left, other delegations, and groups arrived in ASO VILLA .In less than nine months, electioneering campaigns will be in top gear. The way all manner of visitors go and come from Aso Rock, I am not confident that we shall have much to rejoice about in 2011.

Our constitution does not address the issues of social justice, equity and social change.

We have not called a National Conference of the Federated States of Nigeria to ascertain where we are going and the type of socio-economic system we aspire to build.
Those who earn millions of Naira and those who get the twenty thousand minimum wages are all Nigerians but they stand on a footing of manifest inequality.

There is a radical shift by Nigerian youths to hip hop and other American life styles, with their infectious impact.
Perhaps, the mass failures in NECO and WAEC, could be the result of night-outs in dingy bars and discotheques .The Nigerian youth may not have what it takes to intellectualize in the years ahead,
Are we going down or up?

Nigerians are so enamoured with presidential office that whoever is in ASO VILLA, is adored. I learnt a lot about the Nigerian character from the tragedy of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. Did You?

Reflecting upon the political development of Nigeria, “the question is not whether we have failed but whether we are content with failure”. (Arnold Benneth).

Jonathan has a crowded programme and let him remember that “the greatest talkers are often the least doers.” He should ignore “those who advise but don’t have the wisdom to go with it.” The nation expects him to work assiduously for the common good.
Nigeria is blessed. There are no earthquakes, no monsoons ,no serious droughts, no endemic epidemics, no over flooded terraces, no winter-but as Confucius said, “Weep for the man who doesn’t know his good fortune”. Do we?

Some have called on Jonathan to run in 2011. This should be based on performance.

President Jonathan’s emollient attitude when the hawks were annoying everyone is the reason why he has the people’s support. It is, however, time for action before the same people assail him with discontent after the discovery of some truths in Nigeria’s “continuing dialectical process” Mao Zedong.

The cyclic pattern of change in Nigeria’s political development calls for “elevation of practice and knowledge to a higher level .Such is the epistemology of dialectical materialism; such is the unity of knowledge and action.” Mao Zedong.

So, knowledge of law, politics and economics propel political leaders to understand social engineering in a more profound manner.

My advocacy of a National Conference of the Federated States of Nigeria is important since the experience will yield solutions to our persistent contradictions which are the identifiable reasons for our under-development. We are crisis-prone because we do not understand each other’s foibles, frailties and even idiosyncrasies.

We have tried “federal character,” lowering of academic standards to accommodate the intellectually weak states. Yet ,the pendulum is now swinging at a low oscillation, because instead of being pulled up, the ignorant pulls us down.

How many of our politicians write books like Awo, Aminu Kano, Zik,
Balewa and Sardauna did? No, they waste time in ministerial offices looking for contracts brandishing their Senatorial insignia to intimidate directors in ministries.
This republic must learn from other republics otherwise we shall soon hit rock-bottom.

Besides the moral suffering of having been so vilely deceived and robbed by Nigeria politicians since 1960, Nigerians now feel another, the pangs of which are momentarily increasing -another interim administration that is going nowhere slowly.
Perhaps sickened by the thoughts of another failure, the President has, so far, found it necessary to repair some occasional blunders. Some politicians are now being quizzed.
They no longer have the wit to extricate themselves from their difficulties. They are weakened as by a thunderclap.

The world is witnessing a lot of people’s protests as a result of growing political consciousness among the masses. Greece, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Spain, etc are specific examples of revolutionary pursuits. Nigerians tend to be very patient if they feel that the government is doing its best. This is why government must pursue righteous governance and social justice.

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