Thoughts On Nigeria Realities

What a cheap way to make cheap money by selling honours! Our society condones criminality. Roguish practices will never abate. They have, unfortunately, become the system.

Elder statesmen like Rt Hon. M.T Mbu and former Imo State Governor Sam Mbakwe earned their Doctorate degrees (the real thing) , after studious engagements.

Others, who parade themselves as” Doctors”, when they do not have the right, were the subject of Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu’s campaign some years ago. We must renew that awareness campaign till the message gets through the thick skulls of all impostors, including prosecution.

The night sky is always dark except when the moon shines and we all recognize that the Earth is a big ball.

All the reform movements of the last sixty-four years, the Obasanjo reforms, public service reforms from the Tudor Davis Commission of 1945, Harragin Salary Review Commission of 1946, Gorsuch Commission of 1951, Hewn Commission 1959, Mbanefo Commission, 1959, Morgan Commission 1963, Elwood Grading Team ,1966, Adebo Wages and Salaries/ Wages Commission 1971, Udoji Commission,1972, Dotun Phillip Civil Service Re-organization Commission 1988, Ayida Panel of 1995, which recommended that the Dotun Phillips recommendations should be disregarded have all added only a quarter to our national transformation.

It is my candid view after a meticulous study of these reform efforts that their terms of reference were aimed at limited subjects like civil service reforms, wages and salaries, each time the Nigerian Trade Unions rattled the various governments.

There is now need to study Nigeria in-dept, draw up a road-map for national engineering before the imminent catharsis sweeps our souls into the manifold. Systems must be put in place to respond societal short-falls.

This will not be an occasion for gathering together re-cycled ex-this and ex-that, which has been the operational strategy of begging the issues by past regimes.

One cannot identify the base thought running through the structure of our economic production and the foundation of our political system. Endless renovation of our constitutions, electoral practices, financial management structures, suggest that not much thought by the thoughtful, went into the initial exercises.

Those, who built the edifice that crumbled, are asked to assemble again. Since they have not improved their reflective ingenuities, they do another patchwork .Very often. the noisy impostors take the front seat.

Such past practices of assembling those, who had failed several times to gather and pontificate inanities of transient import has not moved our nation forward. Proudhon’s Philosophie de la Misere can explain this phenomenon better.

Our budget and financial management, accounting and audit reforms, human resources management, work-process re-design etc, still need strategic focus. The entire public service and civil service reforms have not created the atmosphere that can retain the best personnel. They quickly exit to more prosperous jobs in the private sector.

The reforms have not ensured a smooth transition to a productive life for the people. What services that are of value to the citizens can we point to? What self-worth can we claim?

Our self-esteem has plunged. Our baggages are searched at foreign airports with an underlying assumption that “this Nigerian could be a dope-pusher”.

The Core service has not yet freed itself from its colonial heritage of lackadaisical administration. What is in it for me is the prevailing ethos in the civil and public services.

Until recently, the upper echelon of our civil service was dominated by the Oxbridge group. As a result of their pro-British, conservative education, they acquiesced in the sustenance of colonial rule.

The late Chief Justice, T.O Elias, in 1975 announced to the world that British Law degrees were better than other law degrees. As a result, he single-handedly created stratagems to preserve the colonial legal heritage.

The Oxbridge experts were as efficient as they were bourgeois. The Oxbridge manned our intelligence and diplomatic posts until age and the natural processes took these responsibilities into less gifted hands. By their cleverness, they milked the country, without making it obvious.

They provided the intellectual platform that prolonged military rule. They were responsible for the “agbataeke philosophy” that set the basis for “settlement”.

Their present status in Nigeria is significant evidence of what I am talking about.

It will not be an exaggeration to trace the present free-loading to the habit of the minority that foresaw the consequences of an ungrateful nation that punishes the honest citizen, while acknowledging that dishonesty is the best policy.

A new societal ethic, resplendent in its content must take hold. An ideological framework with Nigerian characteristics must be put in place. Poor mimicry of laissez-faire capitalist ideology has not and will not create a society that can face its mounting social realities.

As soon as the ripple in the Western political economy became a subject of discussion, some loud-mouthed Nigerian public speakers mounted every available soap-box regurgitating what they read in TIME and NEWSWEEK magazines, pontificating inanities of inconsequential and transient import. It is a shame that they got paid for such trash.

How long the old order can be tolerated is a poser for the PDP. Court reversals of its claims to electoral victories have become etched in the mind of voters. The party cannot rely on vote-rigging indefinitely. The party must change its social philosophy, which is Epicurean and based on materialistic principles.

The party does not seem to have any instinctive leaning towards our people and no impulsion other than the restless pursuit of their members’ and officials’ welfare. Empedocles realized that the gods take no part in human affairs and that the idea of natural selection is strong among politicians, who believe that the “people are so simple-minded and trusting that anyone, who wants to deceive, will always find people to deceive” Niccolo Machiavelli.

In today’s world, a political philosophy based on avarice, pure egoism, the reduction of all political motives to self-interest, does not contain the vital elements that can assist in nation-building and its advancement.

We are helpless because the idea of a mega-party that could unseat the PDP is a prospect filled with doubt. This is because the other parties are business ventures waiting for the highest bidder and political hand-outs.

The occasional outbursts of the CNPP and the social classification upon which it is rested, renounces everything without detailed, definitive substitution of better policies. To keep sketching idealized socialist paradigms or anarchy is not enough.

Our political philosophy should emancipate its votaries from the constitution, aridity in political thought, superstition, negativism and primitivism that shackle our forward march. This is why the PDP should invest its energies and evolve governance strategies for the whole world to see.

As of now, we are still telling the time by the sun. We make something of everything. Just as the Roman emperor was invited to act as guardian of Egyptian independence, so a powerful state had influenced one of our leaders, in a way that is overwhelming.

In this era of peopleocracy, no external influence in other nation’s internal affairs can hold anymore. People of all races are increasingly asserting their birthrights and are challenging encroachments on their political, economic and cultural rights.

We welcome the Bill on Independent candidacy, which the Federal Government proposes to send to the National Assembly and we urge

the National Assembly to expedite action on the proposed bill.

The Bill will enable very able candidates to emerge, so that the people can choose their leaders willingly.

The crisis in American Republican party and the imminent disarray of its membership is one significant piece of evidence that any society in which a class creams off the proceeds from national production processes is doomed. PDP office holders are beginning to appreciate that the party is on slippery ground.

The Senate President, David Mark recently cautioned office holders to face their jobs instead of campaigning for 2011. It shows the height of ambition among some politicians, who have not delivered on their promises after two years in office, yet, they insult us by talking about 2011.

After the convoluted hays of transient power ends in 2011, these hare-brained politicians will bite the dust because it is only performance that will count in future Nigerian politics.

The female citizens of Kenya have warned that they will no longer take men’s political domination, lying down. This was the attitude of Greek women, who protested the loss of their husbands in wars, as narrated by Aristophanes in his book “Lysistrata”.

Nigerians are tired of bloodshed and so we do not need a revolution. We need constructive engagement with the government in order for the best to happen to our nation. The government should be receptive of constructive proposals and not treat opposing ideas as treason. No-one has all the answers. If that were so, we would have gone beyond the gates of poverty, insecurity and other basic needs, we so miserably lack.

Our nation must enkindle in our youths, the spirit of enterprise, unstoppable drive to be the best and not the last. Unlike a few young Nigerians, who have taken their destinies in their hands, many see not light but lies under the tunnel.

In the Era of the Gentiles, Atonement and the Brotherhood of Man, there will be resilience on the part of the oppressed to resist impositions by strong, political and military powers because Unseen Hands now assist them in their tribulations.

Before PEOPLEOCRACY replaces democracy, the mantra of the new Era, should be a march towards justice and good governance.

Written by
Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
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