Musings On The State Of My Country, Nigeria

Musings On The State Of My Country, Nigeria
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By Sanusi Muhammad

It appears to be repeating the obvious that Nigeria’s continued existence will be at risk if the rich and the wealthy are not receptive to the clear warning of anger and poverty-induced disillusionments in the land that is ushering security challenges across the divide.

First, it was a stern warning from the wife of the President that most Nigeria’s leaders, “as a result of a long time of injustice done to” the mass of the people, “cannot go to” their “villages and sleep with” their “two eyes closed” is an indication that governance in Nigeria has woefully failed overtime; nothing is working other than unbridled corruption!

Her passionate plea to her husband; and those working with him to “fear Allah, and ……know that, one day, we will all return to God and account for our deeds here on earth” paints a clear picture of how the application, or implementation of policy recommendations and remedies of the Buhari-led government have so far fared! Of course, that’s the wife of the sitting president of Nigeria questioning the relevance, effectiveness or efficiency of public administration through government policy directives and their implementations.

This is the question on the minds of the common people on the street!If reports from across Nigeria are also anything to go by, then, one can safely say that the man on the saddle of power as the governor of Bauchi State is a very likable person! No sooner had he mounted the saddle of governance than he started doing what truly portrays him as not only being in charge but also as helmsman who understand why he was elected to govern over a strong population. And within a few months in office, Senator Bala Mohammed has demonstrated that strategic governance does not reside in building an empire or throwing money around but in building a team and being pragmatic in allocating resources to where they are needed most, in the most appropriate manner! He has proved that responsible leadership is not about the administration of an enclave.

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Rather, it is about the efficient management of the institution, because public institutions are located within the institution of the state.He won election, not because his opponents in the state didn’t have laudable ideas but because their handlers were so full of themselves that, they didn’t know how to market those ideas to the electorates at attractive bargain.

For instance, Sen. Bala has proved to doubting Thomas that it can happen anywhere and anytime! Visit Bauchi state now: the state wears new looks and the people are appreciative and economically empowered! The governor seems to love the people and the people seem to appreciate him in return with prayers and loyalty!

While drawing inspirations from successful climes that attained greatness through focus “on intellectual development”, the governor attribute the scourge of poverty bedeviling the society to leadership failure where it exists. He insists that “how we organize ourselves and how we utilize our God-given “natural resources” is the only thing that can “take us out of poverty”.

The foregoing painted in graphic relief, the unfolding yet-foreboding cataclysmic nature of Nigeria’s fragile democracy. Even, the aristocratic and flamboyant deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, for the very first time, saw crude poverty in its garnished form when he bluntly called for a paradigmatic shift in our applied economic theories, and an overhaul of our public administration system.

The perception of many Nigerians today is that once the president reels out favorable policy statements, promises and intentions of government (that may never be delivered), government goes to sleep and everybody is on his or her own. Whether or not God be for us all, henceforth, is entirely a different story for another day! For instance, the president promised on assumption of office to recover all abducted Chibok and other Nigerians in Boko Haram facility, but, unfortunately, the story as we speak, has gone from bad to worse and to the worst with several cases of abductions, destructions etc. years on, the Leah Sharibus of Nigeria have been languishing in the terrorists den for being what and who they are.

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The Emir of Potiskum, Umaru Bubaram Bauya, escaped death by the whiskers while on an official assignment; and that was after no fewer than four members of his entourage were brutally murdered by the marauders. More Nigerians are being beheaded. Then, and, as always, provocative, medicine after death, ‘all whip, no hay’ Press Statements from the Presidency that is obviously far removed from the people would follow!

So, where do we go from here, because it appears as if effective governance has taken flight and replaced with cluelessness? As things stand, politicians are just muddling through! Our policies are neither working nor pragmatic. So, nobody is sure of anything! Like laboratory rats, useful only for experiments, failure to source a creative distance from where we currently pitch our tent, in addition to poor welfare that is painfully customized to suit poverty in our land, has stolen the common man’s heart.

So also, the crestfallen status of the Rule of Law and its negative essence has become more palpable in Nigeria’s socio-political firmament. Is it any wonder then why “we have abundance of” natural resources that are still being wasted”?

Staying with the philosophy of nationhood, that Buhari’s erstwhile persuasive ‘body language’ has failed Nigerians says a lot about the conspicuous challenges of the Nigerian state as a chronically ill society with patronage, patrimony and preference. Available indices are also unhelpful! For instance, Nigeria’s economy is projected to “have a suppressed economic performance at around 2% by 2020”, due, primarily, to government’s failure “to fix structural constraints”.

And, unless bold steps are taken to address, especially, the “pace of growth and job creation”, the number of Nigerians stuck in poverty is also most likely to account “for a quarter of all people living in extreme poverty worldwide”. Evidence before the world has shown that Nigeria’s security architecture has already collapsed. It is even being alleged in some quarters that we are using anti-corruption to incentivize corruption.

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Is it any surprise why there is no war in Nigeria but there is also no peace; why motion is in excess supply while movement is in wanton scarcity?Again, what happened and where did we go wrong? Why are our leaders engaging in ‘Marlian’ rigmaroles in ways that do not offer us a valuable anchor to believe that they understand even the basic socio-economic issues that have unfortunately become existential threats to our unity?

What are the roles of Nigeria’s Ahitophels and political janjaweeds, whose counsels are never destined to yield to persuasion or dialogue, in all of these? Above all, when last did we feel safe in Nigeria, irrespective of the differences in governments and administrations over the years? What are the Service Chiefs and other security goons doing to stem the tide? Why not we establish a Presidential National Security Committee to handle our security challenges independent of the known security structure to see the difference? That is overdue!Nigeria seems to be heading to uncertain destination courtesy of clueless and inept leadership style of leaders. What our leaders seems to have specialized more on is depriving the people access to good governance.

In place of service delivery for the good of the people, corruption and stealing are protected, encouraged and nurtured in style. More of public funds are wasted on the ostentatious living styles of the leaders than on healthcare delivery and provision of portable water. The bigger and smarter criminals amongst them pursue more of cosmetic projects to shield their crimes against their peoples. But Allah dey!

Muhammad is a commentator on national issues


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