As a form of preemptive strategy, the United States of America recently announced Visa ban on Nigerian politicians who disrupt elections in Nigeria. “We are committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world.
The 2023 General Election may be more interesting than bated breath, expectations from the internal and external protagonists to the so-called “men of god or gods”. Perhaps we should remind ourselves, especially the Youths, the unpleasant political history of our distant past, specifically the 1980s when retrogression set in.
As a young Nigerian in the early stage of Adulthood in 1983, l had the unfortunate experience of the arrest of my Father by the then flagrantly notorious Godogodo (Mobile Police of Hausa/Fulani/Kanuri extractions). As a strong and influential politician in Ibadan, Oyo State, my father became a target of the then National Party of Nigeria (NPN) so on the election day of 1983, they deployed (orchestrated by then NPN Governorship candidate, one Omololu Olulonyo and his cohort) the Godogodos to arrest my father and other prominent members of the then Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) in the Ibadan metropolis. Having witnessed the unpleasant arrest, I painfully followed the Godogodo police Lorry that took my father and others to Iyaganku Police Headquarters in Ibadan, Oyo State. With the help of some important politicians of that shameful era, my father was eventually released without charge(s). The singular act of NPN coupled with the badly timed Military coup of December 1983 badly affected my family to the extent that my parents struggled to pay our boarding school fees.
Almost forty years after the demise of the then notorious NPN Party, Nigeria remain in the same precarious situations (if not worst) that aggravated the then Major Generals Muhammad Buhari and Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida to violently overthrew the democratically-elected government of late Alhaji Sheu Shagari, who by far outperformed the duo Army Generals that terminated his government. So exercise an open mind if l perceives the Nigerian Armed Forces and current politicians as one cracking ants from a cracked rock.
With hard work and perseverance, l eventually left Nigeria for the UK to further my education, astonishingly when the exchange rate was one Pound Sterling (£) to 75 Kobo (less than One Naira). So it turned out to be a rare privilege to live and work in the UK whereby you learn on a continuous basis, observe how a GOVERNMENT functions without entrenched personality flimflam, nepotism, mindlessness, and looting.
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that across the current political Parties in our country it is all about Individual personality, keenly enabled by the Media, which in turn have reverberated in government and other Public institutions. The Nigerian Press called them “Powerful”. Perhaps many Nigerians need to understand that we are not up against political Parties but a set of groups with individualistic ethos rotten in arrogance and complacency built on a rooftop called IMPUNITY.
It is also incomprehensible that we no longer have malevolent genius politicians, what we have now are arrogantly ostensive empty shelves with bragging mentality full of emptiness. This would appear to evidence the persistent lewd insults, abuse, gutter utterances, and display of sheer impunity that have dominated our political landscape since 1999. They do not read, learn, reflect, or have the capacity to understand the various parameters for public good and national development. It begs belief that a known notorious politician would appear on a national Television to discuss about another politician’s alleged “wearing of Women panties” How pathetic and symbolical of politicians who have nothing, absolutely nothing, to offer Nigerians. This is not a prognostication of an alarmist or a purveyor of conspiracy theories, it is the gloomy reality of our current political landscape.
As a form of preemptive strategy, the United States of America recently announced Visa ban on Nigerian politicians who disrupt elections in Nigeria. “We are committed to supporting and advancing democracy in Nigeria and around the world. Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on specific individuals in Nigeria for undermining the democratic process in a recent Nigerian election,” (Antony Binken, Secretary of State, US State Department). The UK government have also, technically, issued Warning against our notorious politicians. These two predominately leading Countries have crystal knowledge about Nigerian politicians’ ill-gotten assets and their juvenile malfeasances. So let’s stop deluding ourselves, our politicians and ministers are not some form of special human being and should be treated like anyone else.
Let me accentuate a basic principle for deep understanding, you cannot develop a Country if the whole essence is built around ethnicity, indigenship, religion, personality and aggrandizement. In plain expression of reality, we cannot build a Country around a set of Individuals. Such approach is a fraud and fruitless in the national context. We can only develop when the sole focus is on collective national interests, and not perpetual individualistic-centric mental attitude. The human race does not exist because of individual self-importance and greed, the human race triumph because of collective sense of purpose. It’s also evident that leading nations of the World are successful not because of personalities, but largely due to national orientation centred around collective responsibility in the national interest.
Perhaps we should remind ourselves that at the height of sound leadership in the 1970s and early 1980s, Nigerians were accorded with respect and hospitable accommodation around the world. Today, Nigerians across the globe are suffering because of poor or incompetent leadership in our country. From being treated with contempt to sheer disrespect and racist attitude, so we cannot continue to have few Individuals hanging like a malevolent shadow over national issues and the government. Rational Nigerians may now begin to comprehend why a clueless government that has no room for constructive criticism and perceptive intelligentsia but would consciously inflict hardships on the citizenry. In this context, a well-meaning Government would not engage (confrontation) in trivial issues but rather seek to harness the collective productivity of the nation.
Let’s enlighten ourselves in order to checkmate the corruptible elements that have manipulated the citizenry for too long. Politics is not a Business or Commercial venture with the principal aim of making Profits. Politics is the mechanism to stimulate a functioning Society.
For the first time in this democratic dispensation, there are no former Head of Junta or “Retired” Military Officers contesting in the 2023 General Election. This is a unique opportunity to finally draw the curtains on military dominance in our national affairs. The widely admired Countries of the Western World consistently make progress, and only call upon the Military as part of national strategic stance. The 2023 General Election must not be allowed to be another reverberating déjà vu.
Femi Amosun is a politico-economic analyst with distinctive flair for sustainable development through responsible governance and accountability. [email protected]