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Monday, November 29, 2021

Nigeria at 61: Need for ideological re-appraisal

By Ayodele Fagbohun


At 61 of nationhood, there is urgent need for fundamental reappraisal of ideological cum political leadership in the country with a view to overhauling the apparatus of government for effective service delivery.
We must stoutly ignore the arrant plain mischief making, irresponsible unideological wishful thought of a few disgruntled power drunken and frivolous elite who vociferously assert without shame that political power must reside sine die in the Northern enclave.
Having oblivious of the unmitigated activities of a faceless cabal that surreptitiously creep in and notoriously hijack the popularly elected APC Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
It is unthinkable and utterly unheard of that the Northern hegemony whose false claim to political power is their birthright to dominate the whole country in perpetuity callously drafted Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong for the hatchet job as spoke’s person of the group.
Be it remembered that Plateau State, in fact the whole of middle Belt were virtually under the onslaught of Fulani oligarchy during the Federal Government dominated Northern People’s Congress (NPC) in the first Republic politics.
Even the relics from the native tyranny and oppression of the people in Middle Belt are still noticeable and ongoing how the region is being marginalized, wanton decimation of lives and properties in hands of rampaging itinerant Fulani jihadists under the pretext of Fulani herdsmen/farmers.
It is gratuitous insult on the intelligence of the people in the Middle Belt that the same privileged class in the North have not relented in the previous ignoble style of political leadership to lord it over the others and turn them as permanent serfs, hewers of wood and drawers of water.
It is nauseating and galling to say the least that horrible state of affairs should not be the lot of our people in a country that claims to be independent and free from alien rule over 61 years.
It is more pertinent than hitherto, to consider and beam powerful search light on Africa’s contemporary problem of political subjection and economic exploitation through pernicious colonial rule vis-à-vis the lopsidedness in distribution of appointments, political patronages and iniquitous perversion of political apparatus deliberately skewed to perpetuate political mediocrity, parochial ethnic and religious favouritism palpably detrimental to good government let alone to the tenets of liberal democracy.
To elucidate on colonial rule adumbrated earlier. I stand to be corrected that the relics from our colonial rule is the twin evil of political subjugation and economic exploitation continue to linger on virulent dimension adnauseam in post independence political leadership.
The problem rooted in ideological reappraisal should be critically examined and addressed with scientific and empirical precision to chart way forward for a stable and prosperous democracy.
To exacerbate the scenario, our alien rulers, the British had over indulged our erstwhile political elite especially the Northerners who collaborated with Igbo elite and both succumbed and fell prey to the stratagem of imperial power having realized African’s weakness, complacency and lack of zest for active and positive nationalism.
Except, a growing vibrant political class emerged from Yoruba extraction that courageously mobilised the other ethnic minorities particularly the middle belt for bitter epic political struggle to free Nigeria from Colonial rule. To usher in a truly, democratic, united and independent nation within shortest time possible.
This rare and ‘sui generis’ political intelligentsia led by a young highly cerebral and indefatigable barrister at law in Ibadan, Obafemi Awolowo was committed to damn the consequence! Alas, like a toothless bull dog which could actually bark and bite. Due to sheer indulgence of the Northern clique heavily over pampered by the British Government to influence the impending national head count and put the North on dubious numerical advantage over and above the rest of country and ipso facto control and dictate political pace of the fledgling nation by hook or by crook.
Alas, all spirited efforts by Awo at the threshold of independence was tantamount to a storm in a tea cup. No wonder to quote a phrase from Indian leader/prime minister, Pandit Nehru who described Nigeria tenuous approach and lacking zest for immediate sovereignty as follows,” but our rulers are keen observers of men and matters and not likely to be bamboozled by such idle theatricalties.”
Thus, Nigeria attained political independence on the platter of gold with little or no struggle at all. We are driven from pillar to post, lacking specific direction and clearly bereft of right ideological orientation.
Our dear country must wake up from the present political slumber mental inertia and primordial extraneous distraction and promptly face the stark reality of life.
Our country is economically under-developed not because it is deficient in natural resources and required man-power but mainly as a result of absence of enlightened and articulate political leadership that grossly untilize, misutilize and under utilize the resources to the disadvantage of the citizenry.
Resources both natural and human should be appropriately deployed for optimal result to benefit the masses those leaders are called to serve.
What is more, the nation must as a matter of urgency and great priority, discard the characteristics of capitalism poverty and exploitation inherent in our economic policies if at all, the nation has one. For our economic and political system is incurably exploitative, corrupt and incorrigibly planless.
As a result of planlessness, everyone is always in hot and mad pursuit of self interest, personal greed which is the bane of national travail.
Nigeria must adopt politico-economic and social ideology which is right and scientific not anchored on self interest, tribe, religion and other vile factors.
The country’s motto: unity and faith, peace and progress must be the guide to chart purposeful ideology to choose or elect political leadership periodically.
To practically and effectively articulate the motto of Nigeria, the onus is on state and political leadership to accept full responsibility for the provision 1, of education at all levels and health facilities free of charge and 2, of employment for every Nigerian without discrimination.
This normative social objective will certainly restore normalcy to the seemingly intractable problem staring us in the face as a nation. Best of luck to Nigerians at 61.

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