We do not really need any soothsayer to tell us that all is not well with Nigeria at the moment. Neither do we need to look into the crystal ball to inform us where the rain started to beat us as a nation. It will be apt, therefore, to say that things are rapidly falling apart in our dear Nigeria and the centre may not hold for long if we all decide to sit on the fence or ‘siddon look’.
From the North-East to West and North-Central, there have been insurgencies of all shades. From the South-East to South-South and even South-West, the story is not palatable.
What appears to have blown up the intensity of insecurity in the last few years is as a result of Social Media which has made the world a naked place. This has no doubt, exposed the inadequacies of some of our leaders who after elections into public offices, see the offices as private property and are found of disconnecting from the citizens who elected them into offices.
It’s not news that the social dislocations and all manners of agitations including the Boko Haram that seems to be intractable in the last 12 years in the North-East are a result of a lack of good governance. The growing insecurity from banditry to Boko Haram to herders, Biafra agitations, Tompolo’s threats and Oduduwa state agitations are glaring evidences that Nigeria needs a shrewd political leadership to handle all the swirling cacophonies.
How do we rationalize a society where large numbers of elected leaders loot the treasury rather than implementing the annual budgets within their jurisdictions in order to deliver dividends of democracy to the citizens that elected them?
It’s only in Nigeria that an individual will have assets in Jewellery valued at over #14 billion and such a citizen still living in opulence as if nothing happened.
It’s only in Nigeria that public thieves are celebrated with chieftaincy titles and awarded honorary degrees in our institutions of higher learning. It’s only in our society that once you are elected or appointed to public offices, you become a billionaire overnight. It’s only in Nigeria that public funds are meant to be personalized and privatised.
It’s only in Nigeria that it’s a big favour by governors or elected officials to implement or embark on public projects for the common good of the citizens. It’s only in Nigeria that elected officials are addicted to the old order of threats and repressions as a way of forcing draconian policy down the throats of citizens.
I was overwhelmed recently when I listened to our Kabiyesi, Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan speaking in the midst of our leaders. He spoke the minds of Nigerians. Our society is drifting daily because continuous engagement by leaders has been absent. Our styles of leadership are synonymous with dictatorship even though we preach and claimed to be practising democracy. What our leaders say is different from what they do.
Like our Kabiyesi Ooni of Ife said, enough of rhetorics, let’s walk the talks’.
Neglects of our constituents after elections and open display of opulence by elected officials and their families are largely responsible for the agitations in our country. Our leaders at all levels are yet to imbibe the culture of democracy which promotes continuous engagement of the citizens.
To even worsen the situation, our country has been polarized along religious, ethnic and political divides with large numbers of the citizens cut off from government attention.
In a nutshell, our biggest problems in this country today is the lack of inclusion in governance and our inability to imbibe the culture of continuous engagement of the citizens which is the hallmark of democracy.
I made bold to say this that our leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinibu, a Democrat per excellence, leader of modern progressive politics in Nigeria, author and promoter of inclusion in governance and leader of continuous engagement in politics will thrash insurgencies and other vices in our society six months after his election as the president of Nigeria in 2023.
. Otunba Sola A Olatunji is a business mogul and Chairman Ikale Heritage Development Association.