IN the ingenuity of the politician, the future of Nigeria is tied to elections. When politicians, who call themselves leaders, engage in phased discussions of Nigeria, they are not contemplating legacy projects that would enhance the development of Nigeria.
Their entire concerns are elections, the struggle for power, the
decisions about who becomes what, and those marked for nothingness. The
reduction of the country to this contracted vision is the biggest
failure of civil rule since 1999. Every administration, from the local
governments, through the States to the centre, sees election to office
as the platform to perpetrate either itself or its interests in power.
When it leaves, the damage endures.
It appears the most important ambition of the politician is to grab
power, stay in office as long as he can, produce a successor that would
do his bid, and retire to continue manipulating the system.
Disruptive as this attitude is, it is heightening, to the extent that
most administration do nothing, other than engaging in schemes to hold
power which for them is an end in itself. Power is everything and
everything politician wants. He gets it first, before thinking of what
he would do with it.
Rarely do we hear politicians espousing their ideas about the future
of Nigeria and expending their energies in ensuring that their dream
Nigeria is realised. It is not surprising that most of those who gain
access to any notch of power in these circumstances, abuse them.
The abuses stem from ignorance, sometimes. In some instances,
outright greed and an obnoxious contention for narrow interests. The
evidences include governors who have no agenda for their States or the
federal, where there are no reflections of national aspirations in
projects that are being executed, if any.
Do politicians realise that each year they spend in their quest for
frivolities wastes opportunities for the country’s progress? What do
they intend for Nigeria in 2015, 2019, 2023? What is their vision of
Nigeria by those years? What do they see?
Nigeria is a country. It should be built to last hundreds of years.
The future of its institutions, for the benefit of its peoples, should
be the primary concern of its leaders. The well being of its peoples
should be at the centre of these policies.
Our future is not about elections; in the sense politicians see them.
Elections are useful as part of the quest for democratic governance.
Democratic importance of elections is over-emphasised where the people
play minimal roles in them. What is important – always – is what people
want to make of their country, elections cannot change our people, not
the way politicians use them.