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LabaraiOpinion

Manifesto of the Wretched on Planet Earth

 
SANUSI Muhammad
They troop to the streets welcoming and singing the praises of their tormentors. They pay unscheduled visits to the palatial residences of their tormentors in anticipation of succor. They have reduced to beggar status by their tormentors. They have lost hope in a better future, they believe their tormentors are their saviors. To be poor should not be a source of worry to any decent mind as majority of those that pride themselves as wealthy, influential and rich are products of abject poverty beyond comprehension. Their sources of wealth can better be imagined than said. Behind every success there is an element of crime says a maxim. The beauty of it all is to be poor and contended.  A dangerous and sharp social divide is fast developing in our country, Nigeria. On the surface of it seems to be ethnic, sectional, regional, religious and class status as some heartless elements of the elite so desire. In reality, however, it is a division between a substantially thieving rich in government and a battered, degraded, traumatized and, oppressed and subsequently corrupted and enslaved poor. The present crises of militancy are related to a youth bulge of poverty and unemployment that is ravaging the land with lightening speed. As a result, the ruination of Nigeria is endemic, ubiquitous and ingrained in the mind-sets of both the rich and the poor in the ‘great giant’ of Africa, Nigeria.Make no mistake to defending the glaring fact that Nigeria has so many attributes of a failed state. The classical definition of a failed state is one that has failed to discharge its obligations to the people. The question is. How has the Nigerian state fared in discharging its constitutional and normative duties, responsibilities and obligations, de jure and de facto, to the Nigerian people? The answer is so obvious, that we do not need a soothsayer, fortune teller, prophet or super power to tell us that our state is falling, or has already failed and dragging the society along with it, rich, poor and the so called influential ones.With such a gloomy future threat, should we abandon our country or go with the rather asinine refrain that “Nigeria will break up sooner than later” or “Nigeria will become history in the shortest time possible”? The hard fact is that a break up of Nigeria will never create better national or state entities as envisaged by agitators. In fact, some of them will be afflicted by worse maladies related to state and societal failure: Advanced Fee Fraud (419), Yahoo-yahoo, bank fraud, drug trade, cultism, armed robbery on larger scale, banditry, kidnapping for ransom, crudeness, lawlessness, and a general march away from human civilization by any definition. In other words, we will get fragments of mal-development, degradation and retrogression.Where then lies, the hope of survival? Two perspectives are illuminating. One came from Chinua Achebe, a prolific Nigerian writer, and the second from Lee Kuan Yew, the father of modern Singapore.According to Achebe in one of his non-fiction works on the problem with Nigeria, he stated leadership as the main problem bedeviling good governance in Nigeria. So was said by the Asian leader, Lee Kuan Yew: that leadership makes the difference under any circumstance.As we fearfully approach another general elections year 2023, we are confronted with the harsh reality of reflecting on the leadership question. In these forthcoming elections, the political party that dominated post-military leadership and politics in Nigeria since 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) faced its major challenge from a mega-merger party, All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2015 general elections that took over power after a fierce political battle ever in our political history. But has the APC justified the massive support it enjoys from the most wretched on planet earth to oust PDP? That remains to be answered in 2023 by same people that defeated PDP in 2015. A critical look at the claimed achievements of most APC controlled states reveals their mind-sets on development and their insincerity in providing good governance beneficial to all especially members of the national assembly that turned to propagandists of the executive in return for crumbs. They have sadly failed the test of the people so to say with the exception of few states like Bauchi, Kaduna and Borno where their governors are truly changing odds for posterity.Today, from all indications, despite the commonality of the character of Nigerian politicians, there seems to be the clear possibility of the emergence of a reformed and rightist PDP and a leftist APC that is presently enmeshed in silent internal crisis without sincere solution at sight, at least in terms of ideology, manifesto implementation and policy promise while the president is artificially caged by a heartless and senseless cabal and spoon fed with all manner of lies and deceit that all is well in the country while the reverse is the truth.However, in view of Achebe- Yew, these on leadership, it is the key, regardless of ideology, manifesto and policy. They are useful as organizing principles but the “steersman” or navigator is extremely important. To this extent, the Nigerian President in 2023 must be a rallying point for the reunification of an already divided country. All Nigerians, be they “Northerners” or “Southerners” “Easterners” or “Westerners”, Muslims, Christians or Pagans, Igbo, Hausa, Basharawa, Ibibio, Itsekiri, Bogghom, Mumuye, Chibok, Kanuri, Kalabari, Tarok, Efik, Jahr, Anaguta, Sanga, Fulani, Zhar, Anang, Montol, Bachama, Ngas, Tal, Marghi or Ilaje and the rest of those 400 or so ethno-linguistic groups that make up Nigeria, must feel a sense of kinship with the president and the respective state governors and other political office holders within their areas. The President cannot succeed if he or she becomes provincialized into ethnicity, region, section, religion or even gender disparity. A State Governor, Senator, House of Representatives and State House of Assembly members or Local Government Chairman would definitely fail if she/he becomes encased in a cocoon of prejudice. Successful management of difference or diversity is a recipe for successful governance of the affairs of heterogeneous humanity.Nigeria was never a mistake in 1914, because no single country on earth as we know the world today was perfectly created and managed. Today’s modern states all conceptually emerged after the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. The states of Africa were specifically the products of the Berlin Conference of 1884-1885. We learnt that in elementary history while growing up to chart a course for ourselves.So how has Nigeria become a mistake and South Africa, Kenya, Togo, Benin Republic, Senegal, Zaire, Ghana, Sudan, Gambia and Niger as examples are not?So the President of Nigeria, who should be the leader of Africa and the entire Black race, must also be respected and recognized as so in Sao Tome and Principe, Togo, Ghana, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, South Africa, Harlem, Ethiopia, Senegal, Morocco, Czech Republic, Russia, Great Britain, Mali, United States, France and in all the 36 states and 774 local government areas in Nigeria, and of course in the seat of the world, the United Nations. Since this is also a job, he or she should at least have reasonably good education and exposure, with well articulated views on national, continental and international life.Nigeria yearns for its best in 2023 devoid of parochial and primordial sentiments and hate speeches that are characteristics of drowning politicians, their god fathers and the impoverished poor that have lost hope but consigned to the dustbin of begging for white color jobs or political appointments to eke a temporal living.  Muhammad is a commentator on national issues  

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