Taking cognizance of the ills happening in Nigeria today, from the senseless killings to the high level of corruption, fraud, insecurity, social and economic failure, manipulation, brutality, kidnapping, injustice and conspiracy of silence etc. by those who are supposed to speak and defend truth and justice, APC as a national ruling party was a national tragedy that befell Nigeria in 2015. The high level of moral decay in the Nigerian society today under this administration is absurd and unacceptable and we cannot continue like this. Simply, the party flopped. Consequently, no member of APC should be honoured and decorated with the highest political post no matter the academical qualification and societal position of that person. Anything to the contrary in this our resentful situation would amount to hypocrisy and one spitting at his/her own face. As a developed mind, do not forget that anyone without morality has no integrity, and one without integrity cannot be a good leader. Warren Edward Buffett said, “Look for three things in a person, intelligence, energy, and integrity. And if they don’t have the last one, don’t even bother with the first two.” None of the APC’s presidential aspirants can be exonerated from the woeful failure of this government and the sufferings and agonies of Nigerians from the Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo to the former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige and the former governor of Imo State Rochas Okorocha etc.
Prof. Yemi Osinbajo
If one has conscience, where and how does one start to excuse the second in command from the dismal performances of this government? Prof. Osinbajo is the number two in the rank of those that have been managing Nigeria’s affairs since 2015 to this point of anarchy in some northern parts of the country, and he has promised to start wherever Buhari will stop if Nigerians should give him a chance to be fully in command in 2023. But Nigerians are currently insecure under Buhari, our economy has never been so bad like it is today and corruption is rising every day. So, what is the positive thing Buhari will leave that Prof. Osinbajo will continue? Prof. Osinbajo sometimes acted as the president when President Buhari was not around. I just hope that our foolishness and sycophancy will not becloud us again to make the same mistake we made in 2015 and 2019 and to think narrow-mindedly that Prof. Osinbajo is just a vice. Anyone who in his/her delusional mind thinks differently should tell the world why he has not resigned. The shocking and embarrassing thing is that there is even no pretence from him to hide his support of the cause of our sufferings by telling Nigerians that he will continue where Buhari stopped. “The quality of a society will be judged by what the least privileged in it achieves,” said Robert K. Greenleaf. Are you happy and satisfied with the “next level” Buhari has taken you to so far? Do you want to continue the same path? What is actually wrong with Nigerians? Prof. Osinbajo has no moral right to be the president of Nigeria.
Tinubu, the Jagaban of Borgu Kingdom is one person I will not dwell much on because the controversies surrounding him and the various allegations against him are in public domain. But anyone who worked for the emergence of Buhari in 2015, supported him again in 2019 and still telling Nigerians in 2022 that he is doing well does not deserve to be elevated by Nigerians. So, “Jagaban” is morally not qualified to be the Nigerian president.
“Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it.” Many thanks to Uthman Dan Fodio.
In a normal functional society, Amaechi the Minister of transport should have either resigned by now or got sacked as a minister. Correspondingly too, he should be answering questions concerning the Kaduna rail attack. The manifest of the rail incident showed that three hundred and something people were on board but according to reports the actual number was more than nine hundred. How was that possible? What happened to the money paid by over six hundred passengers? Or were those passengers invisible spirits that sneaked into the train? How long has such been going on? Those in the right positions are not asking these questions. This is Nigeria for you, and it remains what it is.
Just a few days after this attack, instead of Amaechi joining Nigerians to mourn those that were killed and comforting families that lost their loved ones, we rather saw him celebrating and running around a stadium in the name of declaration for presidency. Sadly, some of the kidnapped victims are still in the den of the terrorists. No moral value, and to say someone like this does not care about us is an understatement. That he even conceived the idea of declaring his presidential intention at that sad thick moment of our mourning and sorrow was a slap on our faces, and for many of us also to have shamelessly come out in large numbers in solidarity to his faulty aspiration called for the check of our sanity.
This single action of Amaechi is enough indictment of one without moral uprightness.
As a Minister of Labour and Employment, how many companies or factories have folded under him? How many new companies has his idea or policy made possible to spring up? How many Nigerians have gained employment since he became minister and how many have lost their jobs? How many Nigerians were unemployed when he came to power, and how many are employed today? Check the statistics and you will see nothing but failures. So, “Why reinforce failure “– as Obasanjo put it? I will also not be surprised tomorrow to hear that the education minister Mallam Adamu Adamu, who has not been able to solve the ASUU problem,has declared his interest of being president, and many Nigerians will foolishly without shame campaign for him.
If results are yardsticks of judgement of who has done well and not propaganda, lies and press hype, then the former governor of Imo State Okorocha was the worst thing that happened to Imo people as a governor. So, what magic will he do as a president? He was a monumental failure. If you are a leader and only you, your family members, aides and cronies point to your achievements and not the populace, you should know that you are a failure. That is the best way to describe Okorocha’s painful reign in Imo. He can only be compared with Hope Uzodinmma after his term in determining who takes the trophy of the worst governor in the annals of Imo. Do not forget that the people of Imo state christened the roads he built “China” roads. Have you asked why? Some of the things he claimed to be his achievements as a governor were the statues of some animals and known people with questionable character like Jacob Zuma of South Africa he moulded in Owerri, and a church that was of no economic value he wasted Imo State money in building instead of a factory. Meanwhile he was not able to pay pensioners and workers for many months.
Where were these people on the eve of 20th October 2020 when unarmed Nigerian youths protesting the SARS brutality were shot at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State? What did they say? Any Igbo man who is a member of that party is carrying a moral burden.
Some of these your Igbos politicians you would want to be president in 2023 were once governors, ministers and lawmakers etc., and some of them are still currently in political positions: what were/are their achievements? All they left/supervise were/are scam, sham, decay, allegation of embezzlement and corruption, pain, sorrow and regret. Many of them abused their political positions by creating portfolios and ministries for their children and relatives to head just to siphon money. Some of them are still facing corrupt allegations with EFCC. In a civilized society many of them have no morality to stand for any elective post. But here is Nigeria where everything goes. I live in Austria, I am not even a white man but I am comfortable and have my rights respected sensibly. The electorates here do not know religion or tribe when they vote, and their politicians are morally sound, respect the laws and reasonably manage the affairs that concern their citizens with conscience and face the consequences when they fail. With this exposure you still expect me to support a failure because he/she is of a particular religion or tribe? Are you daft? What is wrong with you?
During the time of “Operation Python Dance” in Igbo land, how many of them spoke justly? What have they done to stop the killings going on in Igbo land? Igbo land today is militarized. Are we at war? What is the work of the military? How many innocent Igbo youths have died because of rascality and abuse of power? Please take emotions and sentiments away. How can these same sets of people soundly represent you? They thought it was smart to remain silent, but we know that not all silence is golden – some is in connivance of evil and some out of cowardliness and selfish interest. But every sane mind knew that in those our moments of tragedies when we were in pain, sorrow, tears and agony over the death of our loved ones, that they calculatedly chose to maintain public silence, and not because what they saw was pleasant, but because they did not want to provoke those they believed would make ways for them to ascend to their desired positions in 2023 as ministers, lawmakers, governors, vice-presidents or presidents etc. Because all they always think is how to win the next election, but now the chicken has come home to roost and we must not fail to be guided properly by the truths and facts in our actions.
Enough is enough, otherwise their trend of deception continues. When the next election of 2027 nears again, they will deceptively switch from flying first/business class to economy from Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Kano and Owerri etc. to Abuja – of course they cannot travel by car because their incompetence made it possible for terrorists and kidnappers to take over the roads. How many of them or their family members were victims of the Kaduna train attack? The answer is none. They are aware of the danger their failure birthed, otherwise they would have been dragging seats with us in buses just for their deception. They will soon start eating corns publicly, fry akara and perhaps hawk fried plantain, bread and carrots etc. on the streets like us and pose for pictures. Painfully we will stupidly and proudly too use these deceptive photos – things they did not and will not do after elections – to campaign for them, exactly what they wanted us to do. But when the elections are over, and the time comes to redeem their own electoral promises, like the case has always been, they will spit at us with greed, corruption, inefficiencies and brutalities. When we complain of the pains we feel they send their political thugs after us.
In Africa, the emotions and efforts many gullible people especially the poor ones who are even the most oppressed and abused express in supporting, defending and catapulting the oppressors who impoverished them – even some times with their lives – because of tribe and religion to political posts are worrisome and becoming too idiotic. If we must get it right this time in Nigeria, we must be rational in our views and jettison all kind of naivety, emotional thinking and ethnicity in choosing who becomes the president in 2023 or else there will be an explosion, and how it starts and ends no one can tell correctly, but one thing is very obvious, it cannot end well.
In every part of Nigeria whether in the south, east, west or north we have people who are capable to lead Nigeria qualitatively, the only impediments that have continued to militate against getting these right leaders that could take us to the promise land are because the system is unjustly structured and corruptly, too. And political cabals and criminals are having filled days to the detriment of the progress, peace and happiness of all of us. Having said this, let me state this fact emphatically that I am not, have never been and will not be an advocator of zoning the president. But Nigeria is not run as a normal society. It has very insincere structures with failed people as leaders and many sycophants as followers. It is a country where politicians lack the political will to do the needful of correcting the abnormalities for the benefit of all. Therefore, if the politicians have agreed to zone where the president should come from as we have been severally made to understand, there is equally nothing bad about that, and I respect it. It was on this ground I say the time is now for the Nigerian people to forget the civil war, heal the wounds and make the Igbos to have that sense of belonging and strongly support and campaign for an Igbo president for 2023 – nevertheless, not an Igbo man in APC.
However, do not forget that I have continued to say that Nigeria’s problem has never been the zone that produces or that should produce the president. The major problem of the country is its unjust fundamental base inherited from the colonial masters and unfortunately and insincerely sustained and sealed in the 1999 constitution as amended. So, it does not really matter where the president should come from, Nigeria will never attain to its potentialities until the injustice as enshrined in the 1999 constitution are revisited, addressedand Nigeria restructured. If Nigerian politicians stubbornly continue to refuse to sit in a round table discussion and fashion out acceptable terms for all to equitably and justly stay together, Nigeria will not have a chance for survival. It is only a matter of time as Nigeria continues to wobble and fumble. Those who say they do not see any reason for restructuring are liars.
2023: Nigerians are already aware that any APC candidate whether Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa or Fulani etc. is not a choice, as they hope for a new beginning in a new president from PDP.
Uzoma Ahamefule, a refined African traditionalist and a patriotic citizen, writes from Vienna, Austria.
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