The Oasis Reporters
August 9, 2018
” To Thine Own Self, Be True ”
Because we are almost always untrue to ourselves, we are always untrue to this our country Nigeria which is why we have been unable to grow this country to occupy her place in the comity of great nations. It is this condition which has become the dominant narrative in almost every aspect of our national life. It has informed the warped political arrangement called zoning in the politics of the nation.
In adopting zoning of political appointments, did the political thinkers
ever ponder over the possibility that at some point a position could be zoned to an area and there may be no candidates viable enough for the position? If this is a possibility does it then mean that a buffoon will be foisted on such an appointment simply because he or she comes from such an area? All these anomalies distil from the fact that we are untrue to our individual selves in the first instance and in a larger context to the nation.
William Shakespeare obviously must have realized that there was a deficit in the manner his society was run and therefore had to come up with this stern admonition. “To thine own self, be true “. In the academia and particularly in a research project, the researcher had better be warned of the consequences of situating the research. If the outcome is to benefit society at all, the researcher has no choice but to keep an open mind and to truthfully record what plays out before him/her without bias and whether you like the outcome or not.
This nation sadly has become hostage to her internal contradictions while we keep avoiding the issues germane to our ability to make progress. If we had the courage to face these contradictions and we possess the courage to face then head-on with the ideals of truth and honesty as a guide, there would have been no stopping this nation. But because we view almost every subject matter from the myopic lens of ethnicity, religion and nepotism, we are condemned to getting it wrong all of the time.
If an applicant were to appear before an interview panel you can bet as things have now degenerated to, that such a candidate will be grilled through questions such as his/her State of origin, religion, tribe, family background, if you know any Senator, Member of the House of Representatives, Governor or even trite issues as political affiliation. The nation has completely relegated merit which ought to be the key consideration and because of this anomaly the young ones are lacking in inspiration while the spirit of competition has all but been consigned to an early tomb. This malice has not spared religious institutions in this country which are supposed to be the moral compass to our country.
Is it any surprise therefore that some religious leaders particularly of the Christian faith have turned their backs away from winning souls to the Salvation that the Lord Jesus Christ provided by His death on Calvary’s Cross to the business of predicting who will or will not be president, governor, Senator etc, or which important personality will die or live through a particular year. They have closed their eyes to the poor governance and massive corruption going on in the land the moment their dirty hands are greased with money even if such monies were meant to ‘be deployed for the betterment of our lives. Nigeria is in this terrible mess today not because we lack capable hands to pull us out of the quagmire we have put our nation, but simply because we lack the capacity to tell each other the truth. Nigeria therefore for all intents and purposes is only serving individual or group interests of certain people or gangs while the nation haemorrhages.
Our country is unfair to virtually all of us to the extent that it has failed abysmally to provide equal opportunities to all of us. The moment there is such a failure in any organization, that organization will experience stunted growth.
Let us consider the Nigeria Police as such an organization, how can anyone justify a situation in which super police officers have emerged and are everywhere flaunting themselves as such. Some seemingly ” blue blooded ” Police Commissioners will serve in as many as 7 States as Commissioners at different times while others on the same rank are literally condemned to desk positions or as Directing Staff at the Police Staff College.
Why not peg the period a Police Commissioner can serve as State Police Commissioner say at best not in excess of 3 years to allow others have the same opportunity?
This was the practice when I was still in service in my former constituency. This encourages competition and builds excellence.
On the political scene, many a politician have yearned for the opportunity to lead either at the Local Government, State or National levels some have succeeded while many others have failed largely not on account of the capacity to provide good leadership but because they lacked the resources to navigate the tiny labyrinths of the political landscape. Of the few who have succeeded, many had no roadmap for their political journey. In Nigerian, if one believes most political adventurists, such must believe just anything. If a candidate after 3 previous attempts to be president and after the third of such attempts announces his retirement only to throw himself up yet again and succeed, it will not be too much believing on the face of it that such a candidate is prepared for the job ahead. Where it becomes obvious that such an individual is hardly prepared for the arduous task of governing us because of failing health and other sundry issues such a nation is in deep trouble.
It is still unclear who is responsible for unleashing the likes of Lawal Daura, Abba Kyari and a few other individuals upon this nation. These two principal characters and a few others together called the Aso Rock cabal where not frontline troops during the campaigning which brought about the present government but from nowhere, they have seized the victory and are completely in the driver’s seat. Either working in concert or individually, they have twisted the governance process from a collective enterprise to a pursuit by a few individuals. The decision making mechanism has been hijacked by the cabal given that the President appears obviously to have lost control. It has been the character of this government for long delays in the decision making architecture.
For example it took unnecessarily too long for the cabinet to be formed back in 2015 just as it took too long for get budgets passed.etc. In all of these, Nigerians patiently waited while offering prayers when the President was in and out of foreign medical facilities.
In the circumstance, will it be fair for any right thinking Nigerian to want us to vote again for this manner of a drab government?
We are having history repeat itself or if you prefer that our nation is repeating history as the Federal capital is adorned with Billboards put up by an organization calling itself GOGAN, putting up campaign posters of the President and openly campaigning for 2019. The billboards carry the inscriptions ” Support President Muhammadu Buhari 2019 Good Governance “.
In the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan years and in the lead up to the 2015 elections a similar body by the acronym TAN played the same role now being played by GOGAN. About 2 weeks or so ago it was reported in the news that the President had those openly already campaigning for his ‘re-election to apply the brakes just before he left our shores on a 10 day vacation but even before departing, he had gone to inspect the renovated campaign headquarters somewhere in the Federal capital. What this means in truth is anyone’s guess. To me, this is a classical case of doublespeak in the lead up to yet another election year.
As things currently stand, this country is wobbling to an unpredictable destination with the tectonic realignment of the political forces. Because of the complete poverty of leadership, the President went to sleep as Chief Odigie John Oyegun and co political adventurists as the dictator of Kaduna State chopped away the APC piece by piece. The stark realities are staring all of us in the face. What is left of the APC having been reduced to an opposition party can continue living in denial as to the implications of the realignment of forces on the ground and since politics is a game of numbers even a truck pusher can foretell what will come to pass.
The President has chosen for whatever reason(s) to excuse us of his presence even with the current mess not yet cleaned up. In saner climes, the President would have cut short his vacation by returning home to address the madness by operatives of the Department of State Security under the instructions supposedly of his uncle Lawal Daura at the National Assembly on 7 August, 2018. The Acting-president Yemi Osinbajo acted quickly to restore sanity. It is clear that some people are still yet to come to terms with the current realities of our politics which is why some masked men will wake up laying siege on the symbol of our democracy. Lawal Daura and his boys on 7 August must have forgotten that we are in a democracy to the extent that the claim of ” Orders from ABOVE ” typical of the military era cannot and must not be an excuse for impunity.
With Daura having been relieved of his job unmasking the criminals who attempted to desecrate our democracy should not be a difficult task. Some people in the polity are saying that the events of 7 August at the National Assembly amounted to an attempted coup which by law should carry the same punishment as a real coup.
Written by Col.Gora Dauda (rtd).
R-APC Chairman in Kaduna State.