I have wanted to write about this for a very long time, but have not really had the time or been able to structure my thoughts excellently. I came across this on Facebook by Tijjani Adisa Gadani that captures my views to almost perfection and I thought to share it here:
I don’t know how to say it.
But I know that it is too simplistic to reduce the entire Nigeria’s problem to Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Or to think that the solution is in Buhari’s regime. Or even to think that the entire PDPs’ governments are destructive and all the opposition governments are progressive. In honest assessment of the different governors in Nigeria, it is obvious that there are those that would qualify for performing governors across the parties and those that would be termed disasters waiting to happen across party lines. It is true that PDP has reigned supreme at the center in the last 14 years. It is also obvious that the only thing that had remained the same is the name PDP. The characters have been as fluid as River Niger. Many of the present PDP bigwigs were from the opposition and many of the leading opposition men were yesterday’s PDP top shots.
All the governments across party lines are sending their wives abroad for useless conferences.
The governments that have failed to pay minimum wage are in all parties.
All the governments are withdrawing astronomical money in the name of security votes.
Many governments are building unnecessary new government houses.
All the governments are awarding contracts that are never intended to benefit the people.
All the governments, including Edo State, government supported the withdrawal of fuel subsidy.
All the governments like the immunity clause.
All the governments always ensure that handpicked caretaker committee are in charge of local government administration during election because they cannot afford a free and fair contest, indeed APGA in Anambra was unable to organize local government election in its 8 years of existence.
In essence, what I am saying is that, what should be worrying us is why do they all behave the same once they get into power?
The war in the media should not be about Goodluck Jonathan.
Or about General Buhari.
It should not be about PDP or ACN
These are mere mortals and transient.
We should be looking at modalities for fiscal federalism and resource control, where the people themselves would be at the commanding height of the economy. I do not subscribed to the idea that the state government should collect more money, rather the people themselves should control their resources and pay clearly define taxes to the governments. Therefore the Land Use Act must be repelled. If oil well is on my farm it should belong to me. If it is on a river it should belong to the community. If it is within the territorial water, it should belong to the state and when found within the exclusive economic zone it should belong to the country. It is those of territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone that should be shared according to predetermine criteria. The issue of state police and even local government police must be put in proper perspective, for it does not make sense to give somebody the power to govern without the power to enforce.
We should be looking at the democratic process which tied the hands of the president and governors and ensure their loyalty to vested interest. We should be looking at why are the godfathers too powerful even though their strength is not a reflection of their popularity. We should be concerned that the governments are more afraid of stakeholders than the people. We should be looking at the place of ignorance, tribalism and religion within our democratic process. We should be looking at why it is very difficult for the electorates to make informed choices when voting for governors and presidents. We should be looking at the fact that it has been difficult to tame corruption in our democracy despite all rhetoric to the contrary.
In a normal parlance, corruption should be condemned by everybody and if it is so condemned, then corruption would not thrive the way it is thriving? There shouldn’t be a hiding place for corrupt people. But what do we have in Nigeria. The Nigerian society encourages corruption, and also provide hiding place for corrupt persons. In a country where minimum wage is N18,000 for a family of 10. In a country where bank interest rate is 25% for somebody contemplating on doing any honest business. In a country where to be president you need hundreds of billions of Naira. Where the best seats even in the Church are reserve for the millionaires and money is worship. It would be practically impossible to expect people to earn their living, honestly. Therefore, fighting corruption is beyond just arresting people involve in any corrupt act, it is about making the people the real vanguard against corruption. I have not seen that even in Buhari.
Democracy should not begin and end with the electoral process and election days. It is not even about INEC preparation and declaration of results. It is even beyond courts pronouncement in agreement to INEC or otherwise. It is about the enthronement of the democracy spirit. It is about participatory democracy, where decisions is so liberalized and the people are key in the decision making process. It is about that primary school headmaster deciding on who is qualified to teach in his primary school, or whether he needed a better toilet, e-library or modern school equipment. It is about that secondary school teacher thinking of how best to make his students overcome their mathematics phobia. It is about the people initiating projects and executing the projects. Again in this land and clime, where governments abrogate to themselves the monopoly of wisdom and integrity, I have not seen that leader.
Nigeria would be great, but a country cannot be greater than its people, therefore, we need a leader who is willing to entrust the destiny of Nigeria on Nigerians.