If I Were The President Of Nigeria
The task of ruling a compound -complex nation like Nigeria is not an easy task for anybody. The nation Nigeria is one country with too many problems; from religious suspicions to ethnic distrusts and then political mistrust to inter- intra party rivalries. Then you arrive at gender biases, economic and social conflicts, and class and masses disequilibrium.
A nation like Nigeria survives by faith and prospers only by faith – calling to those things that are not as though, they are. There are too many wrongs that need to be made right in the country. However, Nigerians are quick to look outside for the solutions to their problems. Nigerians especially the leaders always believe that the solutions to the problem of the country lie outside the shore of the nation.
That is why you would see the Deputy Senate President of the Parliament write a letter to the United Nations, and other international bodies wishing that they come to his rescue; stating that his country's Government was witch hunting him by filling criminal charges against him for alleged Forgery of Senate standing rules.
Members of Ekiti State House of Assembly at one time also went to the office of Amnesty International demanding assistance in other for their colleague Hon.Akani Afolabi to be released .Akani, who was at the said time was unlawfully detained by the Department State Security Services ( DSS).
These set of leaders never believed in the strength of their constituents to get them help, rather, they feel that foreigners hold the key to their freedom. This is very sad, because it’s coming from law makers; men who should understand democratic principles and the importance of citizen participation in democracy. Democracy is built on citizen participation; the citizens are the alpha and the omega in any sane democracy .Although this is debatable in most developing nations, as most political leaders are synonymous to tyrant. Notwithstanding, democracy is citizen centered; a government of the people meant for the people.
The strength of the citizens in any democracy is determined by two factors: knowledge of their rights; insistence on their rights at all times and the acknowledgement of government on the strength of the citizens. These two factors also determine how viable a democracy would be in any nation. Citizens' insistence on their rights is the bedrock of good governance in any nation and this is tied to how much of these rights that the citizens know. For example, if citizens are aware of the yearly budgetary provisions in their constituencies and monitor to see the execution of such projects, government would take the issue of budget implementation seriously. If budgets in Nigeria are implemented up to seventy percent, the lives of the masses would be greatly improved.
When citizens make it as a culture to ensure that their constitutional rights are respected at all times, government would end the game of grand standing. In any way, what is the essence of privileges if they cannot be enjoyed by those meant to enjoy. A privilege is not yet a privilege until it is enjoyed; the same way a gift is not yet a gift u until it has been taken by the person meant to receive it.
In Nigeria, the Constitution of the land is framed from the outset to short change the masses. Otherwise why should a Constitution provide for rights and privileges for people and put a caveat that the rights are not justiciable? Citizens have not made a strong case why their rights and privileges' should be the priority of governance and not bogus allowances as it have been the case in Nigeria.
Government derives its power from the people; the strength of a tyrant too is derived from the patience of the citizens. Nigerians are by nature very patient people; this why from 19960 till date, corruption has been the priority of most of the country’s leaders. There has not been a dispensation in Nigeria’s political history that had been immune from the cancer of the corruption. This too can be attributed to citizens overwhelming tolerance for corruption. Nigerians are quick to find reasons why corruption should be tolerated. In most culture, a public office holder who leaves office without some evidence of assets acquired from looted funds would be seen as a failure. Such a politician would be regarded as a man who could not take advantage of his time.
In Nigeria, a politician who shuns the vices of nepotism and tribalism would be termed wicked by his or her kinsmen, such an individual, his home and even his family would be consumed by all manners of insults and in some cases receive even death threats or have his relations kidnapped; a punishment for doing what is right. This happens in Nigeria because the system sees nepotism and tribalism as norms. For this reason, lopsidedness and favoritism have become features of Nigeria’s democracy.
Corruption thrives in Nigeria because as a nation we have become used to corruption and any attempt to fight corruption is resisted by the masses, the same people who are the victims of the evil. Try to prosecute a Nigerian for corruption, his tribesmen and women would come in processing, protesting, chanting solidarity songs for the corrupt fellow. They would adduce different reasons why the person is being probed: “because he is a minority, because he is in opposition, because he refused to take bribe from them they are blackmailing him”. That is what his people would say.
Try to protest against a government that is nepotistic, the government would come out with propaganda on how corruption is fighting back .Nigerians are very pretentious people; they know the truth but love to believe a lie. They hold the solutions to their problems on their palms but would prefer to go to Mecca and Jerusalem to pray to God to reveal to them the solutions to their problems.
If I were to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, there are many things I won’t waste my time doing. I won’t bother to build houses for the destitute; I won’t waste my time looking for means to feed the poor. I would not even contemplate fighting corruption. I would not advocate for separation of power among power among the arms of government.
If I were the President, I would give the people freedom and that is all I would do. Give the people freedom and the people would be free from all cries of marginalization, inequalities and such like. Give the people freedom and the system would be free from all social contradictions. The freedom of the people comes through dialogue.
Nigerians today are living with anger and hatred for their nation. President Muhammadu Buhari needs to engage the people immediately and seek to know why Nigerians are killing Nigerians, government fighting government, corruption fighting corruption, fathers raping their daughters, mothers killing their own children and citizens avenging its own nation.
If I were the President of Nigeria , I would seek to know why these anomalies abound in my nation, I would listen to the noise around the country; RESSTRUCURE NIGERIA NOW.
Written by Ominabo Wealth Dickson.