-By Austen Akhagbeme:
To be born a citizen of Nigeria is not anybody’s making and therefore should not be a disadvantage. After all, most of us alive today were never part of the bargain for nationhood and therefore, weren’t allowed to decide otherwise. And this is deep.
But that we are here together, gives us the right and privilege to air our view by contributing to the conversation on our collective destiny as a nation today, drawing lessons from our chequered history while interrogating stark but palpable realities dispassionately.
Understanding a functional society is a herculean task. How much more of a dysfunctional society, especially the heterogeneous type, where everything and anything is primarily viewed and understood from the ethnic prism coupled with a rent-seeking disposition?
This is why I will not lay claim to any form of superior intellection or clairvoyance of understanding in analyzing the bugs that are biting us silly as a people.
As a stern observer of the Nigerian socio-economic and political space and history, I have concluded that Nigeria’s biggest challenge is squarely that of leadership. And this, more often than not, has consciously and unconsciously formed a clandestine mental framework for my analyses all the time.
We are the way we are because of the way our leaders are. Our problems are a reflection of the thoughtfulness or thoughtlessness of our leaders. We are corrupt because our leaders “taught” us so by their actions or inaction. We play ethnic politics because our founding fathers were tribal chieftains and openly gave it expression in political associations and the eventual Party formations.
Our leadership recruitment process at every level is fraught with dishonesty and irregularities because only through such a compromised disposition that the evil status quo be lubricated and maintained.
Electioneering processes have become war zones where only the fittest, not in the brain but in brawn, survive. Here, money is everything and everyone with his or her price tag, dangling on their neck.
Everything purchasable and deplorable is used to enthrone cronies into power and political godfathers and godsons’ relationships and clientele are understandably brokered. We truly have a long way to go; a longer walk to the freedom that has eluded us from the very beginning.
- Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online