Hillary Clinton, Yes We Need To Make Hard Choices In Nigeria But Nigeria's Problem Is Not Bad Leadership But Simply Bad Followership..Pharm Ikeagwuonwu Chinedu
..We Are All Guilty And Have All Lost Absolute Sense Of Patriotism In Our Mad Scramble For Power
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a former United States Senator from New York, First Lady and Secretary of State is a woman I admire in many ways. In years to come, the history of democracy cannot be written without outlining her genuine and sincere contributions to global democracy. She has not only re-defined International Diplomacy but has also fought for the rights of people left out and left behind of governments policies worldwide, the people she termed ''those who feels invisible to their government''. This great Amazon has made one of the best speeches on earth and I honestly wished we had a Hillary Clinton in Nigeria. But listening to her speech few days ago concerning Nigeria, I was convinced that she was largely misinformed on the true state of the country.
Nigeria has made bad choices, not hard choices, Senator Clinton stated in a New York event she attended, challenging the credibility and quality of the country's leadership under President Jonathan's watch. This I may not argue as she has her reasons, but her statement would have been better said this way Nigerian Citizens have made bad choices, not hard choices.
When on that cold winter morning of December 2001 I embarked on an ill-fated trip to the University of Maiduguri to contest for an elective position into the Executive Council of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), it never occurred to me that I was on a journey of self-discovery. When I look back at all my years in students and youth activism, I can confidently affirm without apology that the WORST STUDENTS UNION GOVERNMENT IS BETTER THAN THE CURRENT POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT WE HAVE IN THE COUNTY TODAY. The political orientation of an average Nigerian student is greater than that of our Political party card carrying member in the country today and the worst Student Union Leader is centuries ahead of most of the Politicians masquerading as our National and Regional Policy makers today..HOW DID WE GET TO THIS STAG
The answer is not far-fetched. Because of our greed, sectionalism, apathy and unpatriotism, we have destroyed Nigeria. We have thrown competence, integrity, capability and experience to the gutters and welcomed MONEY POLITICS, AMALA POLITICS, ITS OUT TURN POLITICS, HOW MUCH CAN YOU PAY ME POLITICS, DOUBLE REGISTRATION POLITICS, COURT INJUCTION POLITICS, HOW MANY OIL WELLS DO YOU HAVE POLITICS and all those nonsense that have absolutely nothing to do with Democracy.How does these have anything to do with Jonathan Goodluck?.This is the area where I disagree with Senator Clinton and this is where I believe she got it wrong
Where did we learn to acquire black market court injunctions with most of them flying throw the windows to stop a legitimate electoral process in Nigeria. When did we learn to bitterly criticize in a scheme to run ourselves down? Whereas a student's Union Opposition constructively criticizes a sitting government to bring out the best for the general interest of all students, Opposition Political parties criticizes to destroy a government at the detriments of the citizenry. What happened to constructive criticism? We don't even have an opposition shadow government, what we have are just praise singers for any government in power. When did we start glorifying money bags and drop outs who seeks power, sometimes we even send emissaries to them begging then to contest, because of what's in it for us. When did we learn to collect N500 to vote during elections, to vote people who are unqualified and ask them to hold offices in trust for us, are we that cheap or is it ideological poverty? When did we learn to internationally disgrace our leaders not because there are good evidence of corruption but because we felt that their ENGLISH was not good enough, what has happened to our sense of patriotism?. What has all these got to do with Mr. President?. How did we get to this stage?
BAD FOLLOWERSHIP is the bane of Nigeria's young democracy. It is the precursor of bad Leadership and the eternal mother of Corruption. The federal government is responsible for most of the concerns of the country including economic productivity and security. But the president cannot be held responsible for every Bank Staff that defraud the Banking sector nor should he be held responsible for the failure of our parents to teach our children the sanctity of human life, turning them into political and religious tools for violence and Terrorism (Boko Haram) and killing women and children in their sleep. Come on, these and others have nothing to do with the President. It has more to do with us. In our mad scramble for power and sectionalism we have thrown decorum to the wind. We have also destroyed our youths and Students Unions that was once the last bastion of the common man and now we want to destroy Nigeria
Yes, Senator Clinton was right, we have all made bad choices. we make bad choices every day we refuse to train our children the basic principle of love, tolerance and patriotism .We make a bad choice each day we collect N500 to vote at the polling Units. We make bad choices each day we send emissaries to known corrupt miscreants to contest elective position for the reason that we will get some economic tips from them (I see it happen daily in Nigeria).We make bad choices each day we fight and kill each other on religious, ethnic or sectional ends We make bad choices each day we celebrate corruption in the country and say it's a tradition. We make bad choices all the time and we make bad choices out of Political apathy every day we say Politicians are the same and Politics doesn't matter, and then allow persons of questionable characters to hold positions of trust for us. We have really made a lot of bad choices in Nigeria
But then, we can decide to either continue dwindling in bad followership choices or we can decide to restructure, reconstruct, restart and rework Nigeria by starting to make hard choices today. Making hard choices requires sacrifices but the question is ''Do we have the will for Sacrifices''? When some of us left our Jobs in Europe and across the world to come home to support Comrade Tony Nwoye for the Governorship of Anambra state in 2013, we came, being mindful that even if the electorates have not yet acquired the will to make good choices for themselves and that even if we may not believe in the system anymore, we still believe in Comrade Tony Nwoye having known from his antecedents that as long as there is a single breath left in him, he will not stop making hard choices for Anambra State. Hard Choices requires sacrifices, giving up of personal interest for the best of the country. Let us start learning to love one another and above all, let's imbibe the spirit of Patriotism
We are all guilty but it's not yet late to make amends. The sky is still blue. We can all get going by starting to make hard choices today.
Once more I salute Senator Hillary Clinton who has been a source of inspiration to people like us who will never stop at making the much needed hard Choices for Nigeria.
Pharm Ikeagwuonwu Chinedu
Anambra State PDP
16th May, 2014.Stockholm, Sweden