The post-colonial Nigeria has been continually abused by its powerful constituents. There is now a thickening plot to submerge the country in a perpetual state of despair.
And suddenly, the Peoples Democratic Party grandees are at it again, offering an impenitent apology for sins they didn’t confess to and fighting back when they are challenged with name dropping. And unsurprisingly, the All Progressives Congress continues in its unforced errors of judgment, name dropping corrupt elements in a manner that scored the administration another low.
The late Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Chief Bola Ige, captured the perplexities of the 1960s when he wrote in People, Places and Politics, that he and other Action Group leaders wondered whether God still existed going by the entrenchment of evil by the reactionary political alliances in the country. Ige’s generation was ‘unfuturistic’ to have regarded the 1966 coup as the deux ex machina. The present turn of events in the country has seen evil of unparalleled proportion unleashed on the people with their future retailed at maximum discount for power. The country has become a game board. Here is a toast to 2019!
The ignominy of the past few months has been unprecedented. Instead of situating the anti-corruption war within the global context of the war being waged by borderless or asymmetric corruption warriors in tax haven, such as the greedy elements who looted and still looting the country’s vault, the APC and PDP are busy frolicking gods, playing the blame game of ‘you too,’ defending corruption and clouding the country’s woes in a kill-joy public holiday in Lagos.
What is at play here is not the contest of ideas and philosophies of government, nor the push and pull between liberalism and theocracy, nor arguments as to how the almost total alienation in the polity can be addressed, what is at play rather, is leadership deficiency and discourteous haughtiness of the looters of our common patrimony.
It is like an African thing. Unfortunately, the cradle of human civilisation remains rooted in embryonic civilisation. As it has been famously noted, although humankind first developed in Africa, it has not continued to do so there. Humankind has since left the African soil and if it has been there since, it has been human-unkind. The black man’s mouth is a cutlass fit only for bush-clearing. These are hard truths and realities the black man has accepted as a way of life, but has mysteriously refused to do anything about it. This is where the PDP and APC comfortably situate the Nigerian state and its nationals.
For an ideology not to die or lapse into historic irrelevance, it must undergo periodic political metamorphosis and a dynamic reinvigoration of its cardinal tenets. This is what is missing in the PDP and APC’s political evolutionary journey. The parties have refused to look inward and foreclose external possibilities, and not willing to achieve linkage with like-minded groups and associations thrown up by social convulsions.
Nigerian rulers have for a long time been complicit in the destruction of moral values and principles, and consequently there is no lodestar around which to build a country every Nigerian would be proud of. What we have, at best and as role models unfortunately, are accidental wanderers who found themselves in a fix between their talent for greed and dearth of national spirit. Hence the only thing to do is to play the ‘you too’ corruption game.
But notwithstanding, modern Nigeria is a fusion of boisterous and conflicting competitive ethno-religious groups that is in dire need of a carefully measured but firm handling. However, if the ‘you too’ game festers, the contradictions the country is groaning under today will explode in the long run.
Nigeria is in need of iconoclasts with sublime understanding of how to situate the future but urgent requirements of a prosperous country within a wider framework of a flexible society anchored on disciplined and responsive values — those who have strong affinity for political street fighting based on principles and surgical issues. No, not the photo-shooting and ‘instagraming’ accidental politicians who are here for name branding.