Nigeria: Beyond Being On Auto-Pilot

by Uzor Maxim Uzoatu

The belief in several quarters that Nigeria is currently on auto-pilot has been given a bad bashing by the Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. It’s indeed striking that Tambuwal who doubles as the Chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum stresses that Nigeria is in a worse state than being on auto-pilot.

The outspoken Governor said: “So many people are making this mistake of saying that Nigeria is on auto-pilot. If an aircraft is on auto-pilot, you are sure of safety, you are sure of direction, you are sure of even possible landing because there is technological control. That is not the situation in Nigeria today. Nigeria is directionless. There are no pilots, there’s no auto-pilot. Everybody is on his own. Even the government is being run as if there is no one in control.”

Nothing can be more damning than this charge that the government at the centre is being managed as if there’s no one in charge of the affairs of the nation.

Tambuwal has thus pointedly accused President Muhammadu Buhari and his political party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) of turning Nigeria into an ungovernable entity since the party took over power in 2015. For Tambuwal, Nigeria is directionless with no leadership at the centre. According to Tambuwal, the current situation in the country makes most Nigerians feel there is no government. He insists that the country under the APC is on the edge of a precipice.

In searching for a salvation for the country’s woes, Tambuwal reveals: “That is the reason we have been talking to ourselves in our party and reaching out to other well-meaning patriots to come together to rescue this country and rebuild it. We are in such a state that we are in distress, and we need every hand from within and from our friends. There is insecurity, economic woes, and bad leadership. No state is spared from insecurity. No part of this country is safe and secure at the moment. In this present situation in our country, you can’t be talking about investment and development. You have to establish peace before talking about rebuilding the country.”

There is no arguing the fact that one man with a vision can change the destiny of a nation. Nigeria needs that visionary leader now.

Tambuwal has thrown his hat into the political ring in the bid to offer leadership to the country as its president. There are many other aspirants and contenders across the six geo-political zones of the nation.

It is incumbent on all the stakeholders to ensure that the best candidates are presented for the 2023 presidential contest. The ruling APC and the opposition PDP owe it as a patriotic duty to the country to present capable candidates who can clear the Augean Stable.

Of course it is only after the hurdles about zoning and suchlike matters are cleared that a clearer picture of choosing the leader who is capable of dragging Nigeria out of its precarious state can be seen. The grave issue of Nigeria being in a worse shape than the auto-pilot peril as identified by Tambuwal is a clear and present danger that must be redressed.

It is incumbent on Nigerian leaders to ensure that Nigeria does not tip over the precipice in the dire circumstances of the moment. Selfish political ambition should never override the larger national interest. Tambuwal and his colleagues should bring to bear on the task of reviving Nigeria their pan-Nigerian associations over the years.

Like in his recent revelation that Nigeria is worse than being on auto-pilot, Tambuwal has over the years indeed been very courageous and vocal in putting on the front burner the issues facing the country. He once stressed that a revolution was compelling in Nigeria because of endemic corruption in the country, coupled with the general disaffection of the people with the ruling elite. He had then made bold to insist that the kind of conditions that must subsist in order for talks of revolution to be taken seriously were widely evident all over the country, stressing then: “The most compelling reasons for revolution throughout the ages were injustice, crushing poverty, marginalization, rampant corruption, lawlessness, joblessness, and general disaffection with the ruling elite. You will agree with me that these describe conditions in our nation now, to a very large degree.”

In highlighting now that Nigeria is beyond being on auto-pilot, Tambuwal is living up to his trademark concerns.

It needs to be remembered that in the course of the Second Republic, Chief Obafemi Awolowo of the then opposition Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) did warn that the country’s economy was grinding to a halt through rampant corruption. The then ruling National Party of Nigeria (NPN) did reply Awolowo through a press conference organized in faraway London that the economy was in the best of shapes. Nigerians of course bore witness to the collapse of the ill-fated Second Republic shortly after.

The country can ill-afford to continue burying its head in the sand when what is urgently needed is a well-conceived plan of action to steady the purpose of the directionless nation.

Tambuwal has given voice to the danger the country faces. The issue is beyond base partisanship. Concerned Nigerian leaders need to put heads together to triumph over these dire times in the nation. One cannot but canvass for a radical change from the current state of anarchic governance to a better focused method.

Tambuwal’s charge that Nigeria has been made ungovernable is incontrovertible. The question remains: “What is to be done?” as asked by Lenin back then in Russia. The need for Nigerians to come together to rescue and reposition the country cannot be countermanded.

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