By Austen Akhagbeme

Just yesterday, the former ASUU President and former INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, fired a familiar salvo, while speaking at the 2022 Workers’ political conference organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC in Abuja.

The former electoral umpire who supervised the 2011 and 2015 General elections in Nigeria seems to be disturbed about the continuous recklessness of governance by a few rogue elites who are pushing the nation into a trajectory of doom, gloom and total collapse.

While one may be tempted to dismiss Jega’s observation as one coming from a disfavoured and presently disadvantaged elite, it is equally pertinent to say that this time around, we must focus on the message rather than the messenger.

Is Nigeria truly governed by a “rabid and reckless band of elites” who are hell-bent on running the nation aground? Are we truly on the trajectory of extinction as a nation, vis-a-vis the existential challenges of insecurity, ethnic politics, skewed federalism and threatening youth unemployment bedevilling our land? And most importantly, can we be redeemed by a careful and painstakingly elected leadership come 2023 given the quality and type of aspirants we have seen so far?

Every day in Nigeria, events that seem to lay credence to these questions and assertions unfold right before our eyes. They are not far-fetched. For example, the ongoing fuel crisis and the lack of courage to call out those who imported the bad premium motor spirit into our shores is again, a pointer to how uncaring a government can be.

That the minister of petroleum is not on the ground while the nation groans in pain and productive man-hour are being wasted in long queues around fuel stations across the country, is another indication of a dumb leadership apparachik powered by a blind bureaucracy.

Now, can we confidently say that Prof Jega is right or wrong? Those who thinks that the erstwhile electoral umpire is wrong are actually economical with the truth. Their stand may be coloured by their personal perception of the persona behind the message. Let us throw away “trivialities” and call a spade its true name. And I think that is what Jega has done.

  • Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online
News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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