Nigerian democracy will never sustain without ethical governance. Whilst corruption is costly, the absence of governance is fatal. Mere anarchy was let loose upon Nigeria. The political actors and their audience are no longer able to distinguish between Nollywood and Nijawood. The lines between reality and fiction, which was hitherto blurred till was completely wiped out. Our entire socio-political superstructure is morally and ethically bankrupt. Hence, the ruder is fast coming off the Nigerian sail. With sacred institutions of state, desecrated, decimated and destroyed; Questions are being asked on whether this ship will reverse the damage or disintegrate.
In all human endeavours, leadership behaviour is supreme. Leadership provides vision, direction and pace for progress. A culture develops through acts of leadership. Leadership is demonstrable only by actionable examples not through written speeches or preaching. In Nigeria, citizens scrupulously follow the body language of their leader not their written speeches.
Leadership behaviours are leavers of cultural development in any society. Such that when Babangida and Abacha started distorting all manners of rules and regulations that their own government established, the nation imbibed and spread the “yahoo” crime culture; the foundation of today’s criminal enterprise. Our politicians thereafter having tasted and fallen in love with that “yahoo” criminal culture of impunity, embedded it into our national political tradition up till 2022. Their greed undermined their senses, morality and ethics. Whereas the political culture of the last thirty years damaged the fabric and image of Nigeria in arithmetic proportion, what our political leaders cooked up on the 25th of February and 18th March, 2023 will manifest in an AI, turbo charged crime generation on a Google scale. If Nigeria were to allow this level of daylight impunity to stand, Nigeria will end up as gargantuan criminal enterprise. In the new criminal enterprise, we may have to content with government sponsored kidnappers and government certified negotiators.
In 2023, with fake Bishops for electioneering, open ended election violence aimed at disenfranchising “non-preferred” voters, distorting and rewriting lawfully obtained results, to deliberately switching off the BIVAS machines; we are in the process of establishing fraud, robbery and obtaining by false pretences the pillars on which we build our future. We have over 100 million young Nigerians, watching and waiting for the nation to affirm that this is the new direction for our national development.
This direction will embolden them to: change their identity to suit what they want to do next, move the goal post to achieve their next objective, distort their academic or corporate results in order to advance to the next level using pretentiously falsified prior results. Cultures that celebrate legitimate success and enterprise will continue to progress and develop. Political cultures whose leadership spit out divergent views from two different sides of their mouth and promote the tradition of acquiring stupendous wealth devoid of enterprise will be damned on the path to ultimate liquidation.
Yet an average Nigerian will leave that ethical cesspool laced with leadership decadence to become a shining star anywhere else in the world. Whenever you take an average Nigerian professional, entrepreneur or sportsperson outside Nigeria, they will immediately blossom simply because you removed the knee of the Nigerian political leaders off their neck; their talent, skills and knowledge can then breathe again.
The messages to Nigerian leaders from different agitations within Nigeria are the same: “take your knee off our neck”.
Do not expect to borrow the plumage of the vulture to compete in a beauty parade meant for eagles. Not even the mafia operate outside a code of honour. Their code is rigidly adhered to by the high and mighty within the mafia system. If the mafia believes that they must operate within some form of organised system (a set of agreed guidelines), how much more a supposedly civil society.
The story of contemporary Nigeria is synchronous with Lagos, Rivers, Adamawa, and Kogi States politics of 2023, best defined as: “THE BLIND MYOPIA OF IGNORANCE”, the state of mind where we look away from a raging inferno of evil because it favoured us only to shout out when it touches our fortunes. It encapsulates the void in wisdom that is playing out in Nigeria since 2015.
After the bloodbath of Lagos state, the attrition of Rivers State, the naked dance of Adamawa et al; Political players covered their faces at the sight of the injustices that favoured them and thereafter took out a national advert only when it distorted their fortunes. Oh history, thou art ignored in this nation and men have fallen victims of their own ignorant stupidity. Hence barbaric animals in pretentious human clothing will soon lick their own vomit. It is time for humans still left in the contraption called Nigeria to step out and reclaim their humanity. If left, still yoked under the burden of the impending godfather criminality, Nigeria will suffer irreversible damage. We must oppose this “silence of fascism” (Chimamanda).
We borrow to fund corruption. $200 billion borrowed. 96% of 2022 revenue to pay the debt. Contemporary Nigeria could well be just a nightmare existing only in our imagination; but what if it is a reality? Why do people keep deceiving themselves? Neither tribe nor religion will free impoverished Nigerians whatever section they are from. How has regions in the political oasis fared in the last 24 years?
The only freedom there will ever be in Nigeria will come from good governance, powered by competence, character, capacity and good conscience. The absence of all four produced the factory line of incipient corruption. Whilst corruption is costly, the absence of governance is a fatal foundation for Nigeria. This prevailing evil is not a sustainable phenomenon nor is the contemporary darkness eternal.
In 2015, Nigerians were sold a dummy under false pretences. That dummy turned Nigeria into the poverty capital of the world. In 2023, Nigerians witnessed a criminal political heist without pretence, polish, or creative cover to try and explain it as what it is not.
It is pertinent to remind ourselves that Pharaoh could not discern why his heart was hardened. At the end, his chariots of war, all his tools of torture was directed into the black sea were they perished. We will not just continue preaching good governance, we must act on it. A few things are taught, most things are caught. Otherwise, we have over 100 million youths watching and waiting to put into practice and with google effect, the latest level of warfare and national robbery showcased on the 25th of February and the 18th of March 2023. Which one is it going to be, stick with the criminality of darkness and poverty or turn to the freedom enshrined in law and order, good governance, prosperity and ultimately freedom?
Chidi Okemadu M.Sc. (Arch); M.Sc. (Mangt. & Fin.); M.A. (Ed) CeFA, MCIM, MCIOB