Kakistocracy, a form of government constituted by the worst deem wits a society can produce. Nigeria entrenched this system of government by deliberately establishing a political economy of the stomach. To further ingrain this system of government, the benefiting brain dead political class, destroyed education in the country, took control of the people’s mind by stealth and the mental faculties of the masses. The role brutality, sadism and exploitation play in contemporary Nigerian leadership added the “next level” to the Machiavellian principle in the subjugation of Nigerians: that of hunger, poverty and psychological degradation. Degradation achieved through 35 years of slow liquidation of our national institutions and psyche but progressively getting more severe in the past eight years, building up to a new governance concept of “Buharification”: – a pretentious assumption of sainthood; a mindset consumed with fear of sharing governance with those who are not blood relatives; the state of deliberately looking the other way while your lieutenants do your bidding contrary to your public persona.
Jonathan’s presidency was a cataclysmic failure because of his insipient laziness. However, Buhari’s presidency is a fatal failure through a combination of morbid intellect, myopic vision and “Buharificating”. If ever either of these two names appear on the 2019 ballot, Nigerians are duty bound to speak out or be confined to the moral history of aiding and baiting decadence. The concept that one of these failures is better than the other is an unacceptable offer to 200 million Nigerians. Buhari, having spent 20 years preparing for his presidency, took six moths to introduce his cabinet. If the 2019 budget is his vision for the future of Nigeria, then the nation is dead as a duck.
In Nigeria, the problem is not Tribalism or Religion. The problem is with “Buharification”, the corruption index of the next 50 years. We seem to have refined and adapted the first franchise of Buharification in Imo state as a test run. Anything that favours only an individual and his family will never set Nigeria free. As country of many nations, we failed to engage with and harness approximately 200 million individuals, 250 subcultures, with nearly 300 languages to our advantage.
In the last 100 years, United States of America – the biggest economy on earth, owes over 90% of her wealth to the diversity of human and knowledge capital imported from other parts of the world. Present day wealth in America, developed from the industrial revolution built around steel with Andrew Carnegie (Scottish) leading the way. This was expanded with knowledge-based wealth built around the computer with Steve Jobs (born in San Francisco to Joanne Scieble and a Syrian born Abdulfattah Jandali (Syrian) and adopted by Paul Reinhold Jobs an Armenian-American) and Bill Gates (English, German, and Scots-Irish descent) leading. Today, the next stage in knowledge wealth expansion is already unfolding with Mark Zukerberg (Jewish decent) spearheading it with face book. As it appears, America positively combined the diversity of Scotland, England, Syrian and the Jews to develop upon the enormous wealth foundation already built by African slaves a hundred and fifty years earlier. Today, they are projecting into the future and had designed an act to ensure that America remains a nation of diverse cultures with their diversity Visa programme.
In Nigeria, we do not have to design an artificial diversity since God had already built that for us. In addition, we have the most travelled people on earth, expanding our knowledge of ourselves and of others. But like a nation of the blind, enslaved in the mind, we failed to realize that we are sitting on a gold-mine and failed to exploit that to our advantage. How can Nigeria harness this diversity? Simply remove the overbearing and destructive influence of government on individual productivity. Set the entrepreneur free to produce wealth and provide employment. The creative test run during Obasanjo’s first term is conclusive that wealth and jobs are created by freeing the private sector and enterprise through pragmatic, workable government policies.
The government does not have the capacity to continue expanding the economy and providing jobs. The private sector must take over from here with the right government policies. Recruiting an additional 1000 people into the civil service, 10,000 into the police etc (from relatives of ministers and government officials) had been used in the past as political compensation for supporters. That is not job creation.
For fifty years, we came together with the sole purpose of sharing the national cake but forgot the need to bake more cake. With 27 states relying on bail out funds (forgiven debt not new income) to pay salary, that makes it 75% of states not sustainable. If you then add the financial unsustainability of the federal and over700 local government councils; the conclusion is simple: Nigeria as an economic entity is a structure designed and built to fail. Today, the leader we choose must Redefine our direction, redesign the way we deliver governance and recharge our human spirit. 95% of Nigerian problems will be solved by tackling 5% of the core issues. The issues that are trivial are many, those that are vital are few.
We must resolve to tackle the vital few first and the trivial many afterwards. This approach will ultimately destroy the systemic, deliberate and organised incompetence used as a cover up for corruption in Nigeria. It is feasible to dismantle crime and the courses of crime in our public service. It’s easier to remove the causes of corruption than fight it, thereby removing the DNA of crime from our body politics.
Therefore, there is need for a systematic unbundling of the existing federal structure of parasitic cabal that imposed itself on the affairs of our lives since independence. This political cabal is constituted by a national kakistocracy of intellectually barren political class. They ran down our education system only to send their children to posh schools abroad where they pay ten times their annual salary. In the 80s and 90s, we had Federal secondary schools that matched any grammar school in the UK; we had Universities that can eyeball the likes of Oxford, Cambridge and the Harvard of this world. The refusal to prioritise education is the cheapest recruitment tool for all the past and existing insurgents in the country.
We are now faced with the choice between slow liquidation of a nation leading to ultimate death verses a quick sharp pain that will alter the direction of our economic model. Continuing the path, we were in the last 35 years will lead to the ultimate but timely death of the entity known as Nigeria. Changing the mode of a consumer nation, 40 years into that cultural habit is the most painful thing to do and unacceptable to our psyche.
However, the definition of insanity is to continue doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result. If the US cannot stop cross bother smuggling with all its resources, technology and patriotic hype; how much less Nigeria. We have been importing and subsidizing fuel for the West African sub region while in the process pumping out a few hundred mega billionaires in Nigeria as a result – discouraging productivity within the economy.
The only problem with subsidy removal is timing in the sense that it ought to have happened the year the former president proposed the idea or earlier. Each additional year afterwards brought additional pain to the poor and no job to the unemployed but more money to the few rich and millions of smuggling entrepreneurs. Once again, the debate is exposing the truth about Nigeria: too much emotion, blind to truth and reality. I will prefer an additional trillion Naira each year to education, health and capital works, stimulating the real private sector rather than a subsidy hand out to a few.
We accept a state of permanent and sustained levels of corruption by failing to create a plan to pull the rug off the feet of the corrupt and so by default we create a plan (falsely known in Nigeria as fighting corruption) to sustain corruption permanently.
The prime national asset, the NNPC, having been transformed from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to “Nigerian National Permanent Corruption”, must first cease to exist in its present format as a political or economic instrument. To fight corruption in Nigeria, we must remove this bedrock of corruption. The single most significant corruption index to date in Nigeria is the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that was smothered to death by successive National Assemblies through a process of political affixation. As the NNPC is eased out of public sector existence in its present format, it must take with it the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
The value of these deliberately underperforming assets which had formed the bedrock of corruption in Nigeria must be released and reinvested in a STRATEGIC INFRASTRUCTURE PROGRAMME (starting with education, electricity and health), deploying the blended financing format devoid of government control in order to stimulate the productive sectors of the economy.
Since 1980, we earned more, borrowed more, stole more and worked less resulting in negative productivity, mass unemployment and excruciating poverty. In order to reduce poverty, we must generate 50 million artisan, small scale and private sector jobs in the next 15 years through a radical policy intervention. In so doing, the ethics of equity will prevail, you succeed because of your intellect and enterprise not through blood relationship. No more kakistocracy, down with “Buharification”.