About The Author

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I am one of the many Nigerians who wail for this nation. The fortunes {human and natural resources} of this nation are in great danger going by every day events that continue to unfold.  I am concerned.  President Buhari is concerned. Every sane thinking Nigerian should be concerned. The President has not hidden his worries about it.  Statements credited to him in distant shores confirmed his fear for the morrows of this nation.  Some say a great nation, but I say a nation that has potential for greatness.  We have not achieved any feats to place us in the radar of greatness.  Nigeria since the advent of the current democracy has not been blessed with great leaders.  We have only had foisted candidates who sail to leadership through path of religiosity, regionalism and communalism.

These leaders ascend leadership with specific programmes rooted in regional, religious and political sentiments such that strong consideration is given to candidates’ religious and regional affiliations before votes are casted them during elections in Nigeria.  This is the helpless situation we have found ourselves as Nigerians.  Our founding fathers set this trend.  Most of them were regional champions who lacked virtue of tolerance and human unity beyond political, religious and regional affiliations.

The only thing we could be proud of in our democratic experience is that we witnessed a smooth transition from an incumbent government to an opposition party.  Outside that, nothing more is glamorous around our democracy… rule of law is not held in utmost reverence, the people are more impoverished by the day despite huge promises political office holders made to win our votes. We preach morals and practice deceit. We abhor the rule of law and act as if lawlessness is better.  We see praise-singers as dependable and trusted partners more than critics such that dissenting voices are hunted and opposition frightened in a view to cow it.

Come to think of it, do praise-singers help leaders fare better?  No.  Only critics do.  Critics get leaders to work.  Critics wake them up from their slumbers.  Critics save nations from the tyrannical tendencies of their leaders.  Opposition is a basic ingredient of democracy. It is allowed everywhere if democracy must thrive.  However, to some good extend, the difference is the case in Nigeria where you could lose many friends for just being a dissent voice; where you could lose government patronage for calling a spade a spade; Where one could be framed up simply because his position on issues is different.

Praise-singers on the other hand are people whose ‘eyes’ are blinded with tiny bakes of cake or scenting porridge. They are the band-wagoner who follow the vessel whether drowning or harbouring. They are like the tunas that only swim in the direction of the tide. Today in Nigeria, national consciousness is fast fizzling away like bubbles in the wind.  Party consciousness is stronger than national consciousness.  Praise-singers are mostly those that like to call a spade a spoon either because of sentiments of tribe, political affiliation or religious ideologies in the case of Nigeria.  They see nothing wrong even when everything is going wrong.  They are blinded to the truth.  They do not see things from balanced perspective.

Today, even the voices of the so-called sages who we hitherto held in high respect are turning frivolous.  The hitherto critics are fast compromising on the basis of strong regional sentiment.  They scream to high havens when their preferred candidates or friends are touched.  They want their friends to be pardoned and their foes prosecuted.  They close one eye against the misdeeds of their friends and open one eye as broad as they could to search out all the wrongs of their foes.  They blend their criticism with sap of hatred and division.  They are more of regional champions than national champions.  They see the fault of their enemies and condone the wrongs of their friends.  These actions unfortunately continue to fan the ember of divisiveness, hatred, wars and restiveness.  Nigeria has long lost its fabric of unity and unless urgent steps are taken to strengthen the silken thread once more, this nation soon will be like a rudderless ship heading for the deeps.

In Nigeria as in most other African and other 3rd world countries, citizens’ social stance has been divided into many categories according to each and everyone’s socio-economic status.  There are in Nigeria for instance, the elites {mostly the economically empowered and political fortified echelons} and the masses {mostly those with economic earning of less than 2 dollars a day} found majorly within the rural areas as peasants who toil day and night, yet can’t afford 3 square meals.  They are strategically schemed out in vital decisions taking and have become the end sufferers of political deceptions and violence. They are only relevant for the purpose of availing the elites their votes and helping them wield the sword of violence should they {the elites} have political scores to settle with opponent.  They are least educated and in most cases are not carried along by the elites in making decisions that concern the entire populace.

Imagine for instance a situation where Senators and Members of House of Reps once opted to avail themselves of immunity, appropriated billions to themselves as wardrobe and car allowances or where the executive arm of the government that preaches financial prudence spends billions of Naira in maintaining the aircrafts in its fleet in a poverty-ridden country like Nigeria where the greater number of the masses on daily basis are living face to face with viral poverty, hopeless hunger and the Boko Haram menace; where thousands of fellow country men, women, youths and children are languishing in different camps having been displaced by wars and restiveness.

Taking inventory of the violence that beclouds the nation, the spark-off points are usually in very rural areas among people who have been fed with ideologies that defiled every morality and saneness.  This happened because of the gap that exists between those that have mounted leadership positions and those that look to them for social justice.  Should there have been a systematic co-option and education of the masses, the nation would have been free from the level of idiocy and maladies we experience today.  Every untamed mind must be occupied and it lies on what occupies it first.

Education is a basic pointer to change. No positive change is ever known to have occurred where ignorance abound. A situation where the greater numbers of Nigerians are not educated, one begins to wonder the feasibility of a positive change in a country that is in dire need of change.

The lack of education of Nigerian citizenry has resulted in a situation where the helpless masses resort to crude form of efforts of self-emancipation.  They have no better way to air their grievances than what we are seeing now. It was Thomas Jefferson who opened our eyes on the need for a country to mass-educate her citizenry for political stability, economic progress and patriotic stance.

“If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be . . . whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; … whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right…. Ignorance and sound self-government could not exist together: the one destroyed the other” – Thomas Jefferson