Power they say corrupts people; and such is a yardstick we reason on how to deal with when political leaders with questionable performance are presented for re-election. Again Nigerian politicians know by instinct and experience that public opinion of which I am expressing herein, is a fickle servant and a bad master. What matters is performance. A history’s verdict! This is a matter of serious concern.
We admit that for a nation like Nigeria to survive, and thrive on, national security is very important, because national security is essentially about national sovereignty territorial, political, economic and cultural and, above all, human security. It follows then that any move to form a national security council will entail detailed and pervasive discussions in every section of the population since the people are the ultimate stakeholders of national security and sovereignty.
Evidently, our government deems such consultations unnecessary and has reposed in itself the authority to make decisions on an issue that pertains to the interest of the people at large. In the first place, such authority has not been bestowed in the uncultured state administrators of the day either by the people or the constitution.
A major project executed successfully rightly makes its sponsor popular. A botched enterprise generates dismay and antagonism, even loss of office. Victory has a thousand fathers; defeat is an orphan. In functioning democracies, public opinion gathers steam to reject a failed and illegitimate project, especially when twinned with arrogant governance. We have heard of hostile public opinion have forced the previous regime to talk of ‘reform’. But this seems to be more lip service than mature attempts to sort things out organizationally to show the public that the leadership have rectified past shortcomings and are equipped to handle future challenges. The Nigeria governor’s forum savages each other neither the people who elect them nor their follower’s interest. They pick few among their people who dance to the tone they play, other factors can be rebellious.
President Yar’Adua’s long absence fro office has generated controversy. Evidently, dynastic habits die hard. Similarly, the PDP chairman, Vincent Ogbulafor, makes soothing noises about the necessity of internal party reforms but under Yar’Adua’s leadership. This begs the question: can a leopard change its spots? If the sitting governors and the ruling party; PDP helmsmen are considered part of the problem that deter Nigeria from moving forward, can they trigger meaningful agenda for the nation? Does cleaning the Go-Slow regime require new brooms? The sitting governors as well as the ruling party; PDP helmsmen rose to prominence on their godfather’s and selfish reputations. The public gave them the priceless privilege of becoming governors. They repaid this honour by being poor role models and wrecking national institutions through partisan zealotry. We dislike dictators with distractive tendencies. Two decades despots tragically had our democracy. Who will Judge against such ruthless actions— elected autocrats both — have paid Nigerian in bad coins relatively with benign treatment.
Nigeria and Nigerians is pacified before now. This outcome emanates from a combination of public chivalry and maturity; the governors’ dodgy legitimacy and the pervasive influence of powerful had downgraded our national integrity. But it had revealed our weakness as a society that waffles about holding its leaders accountable for their actions and glosses over bad governance. Suffice it to say that all those points have converged around two significant factors, namely, the indifferent manner in which the greatest sons of the soil have been treated since the attainment of national liberation and the politicization that has crept into the history of the struggle for liberation itself. One surely comprehends the political truth in our times of our freedom fighters at present occupying political positions which diverge from one another. That is natural, for politics is a matter of many men and many minds.
It has given different picture in Nigeria. Our governors appear rebellious. Did Ogun State and Bayelsa blended on divulge pictures? I believe Gov. Ohakim should be far from that divulging power of supremacy against the Acting President, as being rumoured. Gov. Saraki quest for power at national level is unattainable and unjustified for now. Perhaps for dynasty or continuity in power not just for our people sake. They have been catapulted to power as much by party politics as by the charismatic pulls of their family lineage. Their competence has never been held up to test, not to speak of being challenged. Bickering among senior party politicians over top leadership has often led some parties to opt for a compromise candidate coming from a well known political family.
But sometimes, autocratic decision by an incumbent leader has left no other choice than to acquiesce in. Whatever the origin, the common feature in all dynastic rules has been the anointment of a member of a political family as the leader of a major political party and his subsequent ascendance to power at national level. It is this telescoping of the career in politics, which allows a relatively novice to suddenly emerge at the fore-front of national politics, that has become typical of the African variety of dynastic rule. There have been a few exceptions to this, which unfortunately has proved the rule. Whatever might be said by members of a political party in public, particularly the senior leaders, there is inevitably some grumbling in private.
Nigeria is currently undergoing a suffocating situation, thanks to the Senate’s “Doctrine Of Necessity” or, in other words, the state of relieve from the Yar’Adua’s shylock. And many believe, and rightly so, the Arewa’s (if not an Imam) have a contribution to this. We have seen how immediately before the Acting President was declared, the head of the local councils along with the heads of a few other western missions, blatantly interfered with our politics. A former dictator even held a number of closed-door meetings with the Turai Yar’Adua; probably to dislodge Dr. Goodluck or to destabilize Nigeria.Gov. Sylva of Bayelsa should read the handwriting on the world, Gov. Daniel of Ogun State needs to understand that rhetoric which blinks.
That these governors so blatantly meddle with our politics is largely due to the subservience of a large section of our leaders across the political divide, and the bias of a section of civil society, and the civil and divided-hearts, against the stability of this nation. Militants intervening in this gesture sounds off-point! They cannot look for better amenities without a solid representative at the Aso Rock. Even the political parties and other powerful sections of the country should realize that their real strength lies not in serving the military dictators of the past but in serving the people of Nigeria. Hence, they should gear their activities on the basis of the people s aspirations and towards their betterment.
It is true that those dictators who had tasted power before now will continue to exert pressure on the country’s political coterie, to get them serve their own political wish and strategic purpose. But it is the patriotic responsibility of the latter to stand up with self-respect and uphold national pride. We hope, therefore, that the politicians who met and will meet in future the will give a patient hearing to them only for courtesy’s sake but will make their decisions and deal with national issues keeping in mind the interest of the people. The Acting President and the National Assembly should realize that 140 million Nigerians are their strength, which is much greater than the strength of these cabals.