Let’s quickly question the absurdity of the jokes travelling around with the presidential hopefuls springing from within and outside the country. In a classical remark by the irreversibly dogged musical revolutionist during the vicious wavy reigns of the Military, Fela Anikulapo Kuti described the situation in Nigeria at the time as ‘e don finish.’
At the time, it was like Fela threw his hands in the air in embrace of despair, ‘e don finish.’ But the current dearth of a critical interrogation of officialdom in relations to the basic principles of modern governance has led to an even more terrifying moral and political void. With no speckles of doubt, the current scathing mess makes Fela’s ‘despair’ a moonlight game.
With the recent upsurge in presidential hopefuls, eliciting jeers from the very people who are at a crossroad, the interrogation of officialdom is not taking a serious shape, unfortunately. It is a sorry turn!
In the light of the multi-faceted and the collective elitist failure spread across spiritual, economic and political realms, there are those who believe that a national elite that cannot coordinate national integration will also mismanage national disintegration. This is what we have seen with the present administration. The Nigerian political class is so corrupt and incompetent that it is simply incapable of the cultured and civilized procedure that can lead to the dissolution of the old order.
In 2015, the masses may have voted en-masse all right, but the unforeseeable future post 2015 came as a rude shock to them. This used to be the case pre-2015 elections when once the vote-counters appear to shortchange voters, they desert in droves to look for petrol cans and burn their voters’ card in a ritual act of electoral suicide and political self-immolation.
Unfortunately, from our democratic menu, we are currently being served by a leadership that is wobbled in its contradictory priorities, a leadership with no mind to engage imagination. Their minds have been so immolated with unforced errors of judgment. And sadly, in a world made flat by globalization, the infirmity of their mind is their greatest political and physiological ailment and it has made them unfit to play in the relentless battle for global political ascendancy where armies of the mind take up position every minute.
Since no nation is an island unto itself, every human society is subject to maximum buffeting by the tumultuous wind of change and innovation. This means that the evolution of nations is wholly brewed in innovation of governance. Over the years, the Nigerian society has been battered by political jobbers as nationals have constantly been sucking the breast of optimism, clapping with one hand with the hope of making sound.
The country’s ailment needs sound minds to manage it. There is a dire need to challenge the current officialdom and change the course of travel. Instead of getting serious with this business, it has unfortunately, been turned to a joke with presidential aspirants springing on the streets of social media, some with no political affiliation or association, with no network of backers, with no intention of going beyond the call. Everything has been turned to comedy. It is a sad state of a nation’s evolutionary journey.
Our leaders never had the symbol of change agents. We have been looking for signs and signals of that new beginning, of a great stirring of the huge black behemoth. Alas, it has turned out to be a backbreaking mirage; a damp chase that suffers a huge disconnect from the great yearning of the Nigerian multitude. Our current leaders have turned out to be a continuation of the past and followers are fueling their passion of destruction. Until we engage our mind and rationalize why we keep clapping with one hand, our shadows will always elude us.
Rather than a genuine national consensus and seriousness of purpose, these comedic presidential hopefuls are the cocktail of contradictions that have borne our political journey aloft and may yet shipwreck it.
It requires a sober rectitude, tactical astuteness and strategic brilliance to plot one’s way out of conflicting passions. But for a country that has found itself in a great foxhole, Nigerian politicians have continued to dig in with frenetic fury. The post-colonial Nigeria has been helped along in its perilous misadventure by a string of broken leadership.
The country needs the most seriousness it can muster. There is no better time to try. There is no better time to try the Nigerian version of populism. There is no better time to challenge the current officialdom. This is the time and seriousness of purpose must come with it.