By Ayodele Fagbohun
Before preparation for the imminent 2019 presidential election reaches crescendos, it is a desideratum to urgently overhaul the existing outmoded artefice of good governance as obtainable in advanced democracies.
In this connection, the onus is on the Mohammadu Buhari/Yemi Oshibajo All Progressives’ Congress (APC) led-administration to strategise and re-strategise. The present progressive administration at the federal level, first of its kind since the nation’s political independence on October 1, 1960 must fully exploit and utilise its invaluable assets wherewithal and goodwill amongst the generality of the country’s teeming population averse to corruption.
This rare advantage will no doubt galvanise and popularise the course of good governance that is apparently elusive in the county.
For almost upwards of two decades, the erstwhile corrupt and decadent administration led by People’s Democratic Party (PDP) (1999-2015) had gone for the country’s jugular.
The PDP government greedily and callously siphoned the nation’s commonwealth and scarce resources without caring a hoot either for the nation’s patrimony. Worse still, PDP chieftains and their collaborators failed woefully to save for the raining day!
Under the auspices of PDP administration across the country, corruption was rife in public places and the order of the day. The then president, Goodluck Jonathan could not decipher stealing from corruption. That was unprecedented from Nigeria’s former president who laid pious claim to high and sound scholarstic attainment!
His wife too, Madam Patience Jonathan only with smattering knowledge of teachers training education received from a questionable sandwich course. She suddenly rose and elevated to a super Permanent Secretary in her marital home state, poor Bayelsa civil service.
The former First Lady, Mrs Patience Jonathan and her other co-travellers such like Mrs (now) Senator Stellar Oduah, Mrs Alice Madueke, etc in financial crimes against the state held the nation hostage and constituted themselves as law unto themselves.
That was the tip of iceberg. That was the sickening height of political malady, social primitively and cultural abomination prevalent in the inglorious sixteen years of lawlessness and corruption that People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was in power.
The country was literally de-oxygenated as the economy was brutally assulted and mercilessly plundered with reckless abandon by the socially condemned politicians at various sectors of the economy.
The entire citizens were nonplussed until the divine intervention bailed the nation out from the human logjam. It finally culminated in the debut of Buhari led APC administration having successfully concluded 2015 presidential poll.
It is now imperative for the present administration to take the bull by the horns and do the needful not minding whose horse is gored, to move the country forward.
Regardless of the fact that the whole country is knee-deep in corruption and gross malfeasance mastermined by some quislings in the National Assembly and the renegades across the states.
These enemies of the nation are sprawling for a fight and poised to thwart any progressive moves to make amends and put the economy in the right perspective.
All hands must be on deck to embark on total mobilisation of the people especially the youths invariably used as cannon fodders but whose lot have ever at the receiving and shortchanged over the years. This is as a result of the utter mismanagement, ignorance and lack of spiritual depth of our erstwhile drunken and lascivious rulers.
The time to correct the monumental injustice is now.
The raisons d’etre behind the new approach to our unstable fledgling party politics and the indiscriminate mad rush for political officers and its filthy lucre without moral qualm calls for urgent review to inject sanity into our much vilified party politics.
There are two distinct and clear-cut ideological blocks to which Nigerians wittingly or unwittingly subscribe since the introduction of party politics in the country viz capitalism and (2) progressive block. Perhaps due to our colonial heritage from the western world i.e Great Britain. Capitalism, as mischievously branded as mixed economy, has been holding tenaciously to the reign of government with little impact and virtually at snail speed development in the affairs of the country since independence.
However, we in the Western Nigeria imbued with requisite type of able and enlightened leadership opted for welfarist; rather than wallowing hook line and sinker the ill-digested untested and irrelevant foreign ideologies. Able and far-sighted leadership cum welfarism was the mater key that transformed Western Region as a cynosure to the rest of the country.
For the nation to survive the impending cataclysm come 2019 presidential polls, public spirited men and women must be prepared and battle ready to engage in rigorous ideological warfare devoid of religious bigotry, ethnic chauvinism/colourbar that can render the nation’s past heroes’ efforts in vain. Issues on politics, economy, etc germane to our national development must be frankly discussed, and the modus operandi to be pursued to take the country to the next level of development.
Though President, Mohammadu Buhari, a former military generalissimo, has strong dictate for civil rule, he has been making some tremendous impact on the development of the country.
Buhari has zero tolerance for corruption. That is his high water mark.
Some call him Fulani irredentist. This is not a novelty in politics. Chief Obafemi Awolowo was dubbed a Yoruba irredentist by his former lieutenant and comrade-in-arms, Dr. Samuel Grace Ikoku. Awo said, one must be faithful to his own kith and kin before one can be adjudged to be fair to others.
Since his foray into partisan politics Buhari had never even in a jiffy fraternised with People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
Perhaps that is the major reason for seeking the constitutionally guaranteed second term in office to halt the pillage and corruption which was the hall mark of PDP led administration that has now become a way of life in Nigeria.
The evil untoward and indolent trend must stop if the country must develop alongside other advanced economies even like the growing Asian tigers, etc.
President Buhari cannot do it alone. He has diligent, dependable, ebullient and articulate ally in Professor Yemi Osinbajo as Vice President to faithfully implement ground braking policies and programmes that can inexplicably fasttrack the nation’s development as an advanced economy within a record time.
It is instructive to note that Nigerians are a rare breed of “home sapiens”; patient, long suffering and fore bearing specimen of human race.
Out of folly and ignorance, our politicians over the years can on the nobel and intrinsic values of our people adumbrated above, as weak points to ride the people roughshod and take them for granted during and after elections.
Nigerian electorate, endlessly on the queue for too long to elect their governments which later turned hostile and very violent against people’s material benefits, interests and diametric ally opposed to the country’s progress and development.
At the end of it all, which is ennui, the destiny of the people is remorselessly circumvented and outright circumscribed by the self-centred, ego centric, impulsive and corrupt politicians holding sway undisturbed and unperturbed in the nation’s political landscape. The Providence in this inscrutable wisdom shall sooner than later foil the stratagem of the political enemy of this country, and be rushed and totally vanguished.
The enlightened outside world watch with snigger and utter embarrassment the type of shady, despicable and undesirable characters with proven allegations of corruption and official malfeasance tying on their necks shamelessly and loudly aspiring for highest political offices in the land. The people know them all and their conduct in public offices leaves a repugnant taste in the mouth. It is gratuitous insult on the intelligence of the people.
Equally shocking and musing the some social condemned politicians who by now be behind bars and languish in jail till eternity for causing poverty misery untold hardship on the people; and tribulation over Nigeria are canvassing for votes. It is very abominable and terrific. They shall not go unpunished.
The bottom line is this. I earnestly and sincerly plead with the vast majority of Nigerians especially the enlightened public spirited electorate to vote Mohammadu Buhari/Yemi Osinbajo progressive joint ticket come again February 2019 to half the heinous corruption and financial gangsterism of the previous Dr Jonathan led administration, that bring the country to this sorrowful pass.
We must strive hard with all our might, brains and brown to consolidate good governance, prudence and fiscal federalism; to take firm root in Nigeria prior to 2019 presidential polls, a referendum is also imperative; calling on President Mohammadu Buhari to prune down with immediate effect the jumbo pay and superfluous allowances accrue to the National Assembly members and other political office holders across the federation.
The National Assembly members and other lawmakers should return to their legitimate occupations and professions if indeed they are honourable.
Lawmaking must be part-time undertaking as it were in the First Republic politics.
Besides, lawmaking is a selfless and patriotic service to motherland; not an avenue to ammass public wealth at the expense of the material well-being of the electorate.
Whilst other former president staring from the arrow head, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to Dr Goodluck Jonathan failed, Mohammadu Buhari should take the initiative, as a solo crusader against corruption, in mobilising the traumatised populace to rise against the excesses, low performance and sinecurism of the nation’s lawmakers.
Ayodele Fagohun, writes from Akure