Now We Know — What To Do

The 9th of April has always been a remarkable day — a day distantly but inexplicably tied to my existence on planet earth which is worth celebrating. That celebration will now forever be tainted with the realization of the unfortunate consequence of choice. 9th of April, 2018 will now be remembered as a day when the final remnants of the scales of political deception fell off my eyes.

The journey to this final unraveling has been a long and torturous one which began precisely from the 29th of May 2015. This heartbreaking journey robbed me of my passion to write for some time as I could not bring myself to terms with the constant and quite shocking lowering of the standards attributable to Nigerian governance as we know it.

Of course, by now the destination of my regretful rambling must come sharper into focus to you. The final decision of President Buhari to run for a second term as Nigeria’s President made worse the lingering foul taste of his purposeless and inconsiderate leadership. The glee with which it was announced by lackeys and sycophants has crushed my faith in the existence of a political Messiah and has germinated in my heart, a deep seated resentment towards any peaceful redemption of this geographical expression called Nigeria.

Still hope, as fragile as she is lingers still, starved but alive and will eventually overtake this gut-wrenching feeling of helplessness so it is still my desire and hope that peaceful redemption is our lot after years and years of abuse by those who we handed our trust via the ballot.

To understand the reason for my verbose verbiage, it is only fair to look back briefly. President Jonathan squandered a golden opportunity to be the greatest president Nigeria ever had after providence delivered leadership on a platter. In my anger, I like many other Nigerians sought a replacement — any replacement. Any replacement turned out to be Muhammadu Buhari and the rest as they say is history.

With the benefit of hindsight, I was blind as many of us were - we were blinded with rage and our rage led us to this man who had no notable achievement other than service in the military who had run and lost three consecutive presidential races since the 4th Republic.

Why did I support him? We needed “anything but Jonathan” but more importantly, anything that stood a chance of rooting out the malignant cancer that was PDP. Indeed, there was a vacuum and an opportunistic merger filled it and bore the frustrations of millions of Nigerians admirably. The merger which birthed the new political nightmare christened APC fed fat on our emotions which culminated in an unprecedented upset in our political history.

Even the repackaged image of the front-runner was unquestionably swallowed hook, line and sinker by the well oiled and efficient propaganda machinery by the nation’s intellectuals. Arguments raged on social media — friends became foes as sides were picked and tents were pitched.

Today, with all that has happened for the past three years, how gullible do you feel if you actively supported the emergence of this …distant and blissfully unaware type of leadership? How does another four years of this dismal performance and dreadful leadership feel now that intentions have been declared — now that we know?

I spoke against Jonathan so it’s only fair I do the same now while conceding on Mr. President’s right to contest a second time. There is no honour where power is concerned apparently — that is the first lesson to be learned. This is because the zero-accountability system we operate is largely responsible for the leadership we end up with at the end of every election cycle. There may be good men with good intentions but they don’t stand a chance against the system that preordains what kind of leadership we eventually end up with. Thus, the eventuality of bad/poor leadership is set in stone.

Maybe it’s time to finally look at it differently; what if we focused on the oppressive system that churns out bad leaders instead of looking for good men who will ultimately be corrupted by the system? How do we change it through the ballot? Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that one but the best place to start is the legislature.

I think we can say we have a congress of the most irresponsible lawmakers since the inception of the Fourth Republic which has set our democracy back by years. The once hallowed law making chambers has become a farce. Our constitution needs a total overhaul and more inclusive amendments that caters to our unique differences instead of the very cosmetic amendments we have seen recently. We must be wary of the mistake of thinking it all starts and ends at the presidency — it doesn’t! The executive arm can only be as effective when accompanied by a vibrant legislature.

Not too young to run? Sure! But we must not make the mistake of thinking youthfulness is the only criteria for progressive governance. We must be sure that the over attractive perks of office is not the motivation for that would amount to exchanging old chains for a new set.

The important thing is to not let our choice be the outcome of extreme emotions and devoid of common sense which I agree is hard, considering how passionate most of us are but we have seen first hand where it got us.

We have to break the cycle somehow. We broke a myth in 2015; we can break another in 2019 — forward movement only.

It’s been a while. I hope I made a little sense here and someone out there can relate. 😀

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