Friday, December 16, 2016

Nigeria and it's political climate - The Blind leading the blind

The Nigerian political climate – The blind leading the blind

Nigeria is a wonderful country, filled with millions of wonderful people. Say what you like about Nigeria and its people, but we are hardworking, resourceful, intelligent and adaptable; blessed with a great wealth of natural and human resources. A fact many say has made us an envy politically and geographically.
But as with many systems and many nations there are shortcomings, blights as it were on the political landscape. The greatest of these blights is the issue of corruption. It has a stranglehold on the nation. It is a cankerworm and it festers, eating into the very fabric of the Nigerian existence.
We’ve had presidents, lawmakers, senators, stand during election periods, making insane promises; swearing to take us to our Canaan. Sadly, that Canaan seems to get further away even after seventeen years of democracy. Who do we blame? The people or the government __ some might argue the people are the government since government is formed from the people. Isn’t that what the most basic definition of democracy is? Government of the people by the people __ let me also add allowed by the people.
I turned on the radio this morning, and one of the breaking news headlines was the rejection of Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by the Senate. The reason for his rejection was his failing an integrity test. The senate said it reached this decision based on a report submitted by the DSS.
The report accused him of corruption and hobnobbing with high profile Nigerians facing corruption charges and also living a high profile lifestyle that his income could not afford. A few of his misdemeanours were living in a forty million rented apartment (Not paid by the commission’s finances but a private individual) and flying first class after repeated warnings from the president not to.
This report brought to mind a similar report several years back, in 2007 to be exact where the then speaker of the House of Representatives Dimeji Bankole announced to the Nigerian public that the sum of $16 billion dollars had been expended on power between April 1999 and June 2007 with no result. It was the acknowledgement of the worsening power situation that led to the creation of a committee to probe the staggering amount, headed by Godwin Ndudi Elumelu who later opened public hearings.
After the second phase of the hearing took place and submission of findings began, allegations of a N100million bribe was levelled on the committee thus destroying the validity of the process.
These situations though different bear a certain similarity to each other giving me a fear that perhaps all these so called crackdowns on corruption are simply cheap talks which results to nothing more a slap on the wrist with the system returning to a business as usual approach on things.
This begs the question __ how do we have justice and fair play on the economic and political landscape of this nation if the people supposed to be protecting our rights as citizens are the ones abusing them?
In the United Kingdom, David Cameron resigned for his failure with Brexit. He regretted his inability to keep the UK in the Eurozone and for that singular reason found himself unfit to continue as Prime Minister. We have other examples in many countries where leaders, captains of industries resigned their appointments when their names appeared in the infamous Panama Papers.
But not only do our leaders not resign when evidence of their shortcomings come to light. They continue to administer justice in whatever capacity they see fit. Take the charges levelled against the senate president for gross issues of corruption for instance, in-spite of these charges he continues to run the affairs of the senate.
Who is telling the truth? What is the way forward? Where are we going as a nation? These are questions I think every Nigerian and especially the youths have to ask his or herself in the coming years ahead.
Can the continued plundering of our nation’s resources be allowed to continue at the detriment of our starving people? I think not. Is our present president up to the task of turning around the nation’s dire circumstances? I do not know. Many would argue the situation has worsened considerably since he took over.
Be that as it may, I want to take a cue from one of Michael Jackson’s most beloved songs ‘Man in the Mirror’. Change is not an event but a process. And every change no matter how little starts from somewhere. Michael postulated asking the man in the mirror to change his ways. Who do you see when you look in the mirror? If you are like me and you see yourself I’d advise you be the change you want to see. Take the cell, as infinitesimal as it is, a change within it affects the whole body system.
We need a call to shy away from this culture of acquisition, the habit of accepting wrong as right. We need to stand for our rights and most especially the truth. A nation not founded on truth and transparency is headed for a painful fall.
It’s my opinion that America is this great today because their founding fathers founded their nation on Christianity and truth. Though it is necessary to note they have deviated from the tenets their nation was built on but that doesn’t dispute the fact they are one of the greatest nations on the earth.
I believe we can be like that one day if we stop acting like the three blind mice. The blind following the blind __ I long for an economic and political climate where we all see, because seeing is believing and believing the first step to achieving ___ achieving Greatness.

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