Niger State: 2019; Another Opportunity to get it right


Advance democracies in the world like the United State of America, Britain and France have continually taught the rest of the world, that ambitious nations have no place for second best or second-hand democracy or the mundane associated with politics and governance in developing countries like Nigeria.

In civilised clans, only the best of the best assume leadership positions, and they are often elected principally because of the ideological depth and administrative astuteness. Unlike in Nigeria where sentiment, ethnicity, regionalism and tribalism are the determining factors that informs our choices of leaders.

A recent example, was the election of a thirty something years old president of France, and not too recently, Canada witnessed the election of a forty something years old man as her president. Also, we have seen several examples of leaders who resigned their jobs as a result of perceived incongruity or inactivity by their citizens, but such cannot be heard of as happening in Nigeria.
The truth is that leaders are a genuine reflection of the psychological make up of the citizenry, leaders very often than not represent the thinking and ideals of the society that produces them. In other words, a society that is not critical in its approach to governance and leadership is bound to be saddled with inefficient and retrogressive leaders such as could be found in Nigeria today.

Perhaps, the poor quality of our educational institutions may be blamed for producing docile citizens who shiver at the thought of holding their leaders accountable and demanding for prudence and proactive strides in governance and leadership. Another tangible reason may be poverty, a deliberate orchestration of the political elites to continue to suppress the people. A poor man of course, would have no interest or business in querying the actions or inactions of his leaders meanwhile, his welfare is invariably tied to the functionality of his leaders.

Perhaps, the greatest of the factors that may be responsible for our visionless political system may not be unconnected with the second class or second best psychology of the average Nigerian today.

The truth is, a nation without pride is a nation without progressive thinkers and worst of it all is that, a nation that prefers second best is one that is poised for doom.

Niger state since the advent of democracy in Nigeria in 1999 has suffered as a result of her second class mentality. Politics in Niger state like elsewhere in Nigeria is driven by sentiments hinged on the antics of zoning, a perpetual circle that privileges the mundane for leadership in the state. Leadership wise, Niger state is yet to get it right. But, how can we get it right when we don’t think right?

2019 is around the corner and the drums have started to sound again, announcing yet another festival of the purchase and saleship of votes for peanuts. Nobody is asking questions or propagating any progressive ideology.

The rituals are the same; campaign posters and insignificant rallies and then election, the same inefficient folks would return to power to continue with another circle of docility.

The situation has become so worse that people are not even interested in the affairs of the land.
The lack of interest in the activities of governance by the people is not unconnected with Nigerians’ preference for secondhand or fairly used material.

The culture of secondhand life has eaten into the fabric of our nation so much so that it has corrupted the psyche of our people. We have become very comfortable with our beggerly lives, in fact too comfortable to probe our leaders or seek out alternatives that would bring about the progressive change we very much desire.

But, we cannot continue like this, we must stand and demand for proactive leadership by participating and championing the election of quality, credible and genuine leaders who would invigorate the state and position her for sturdy growth and development.

2019 must not pass us by, we must avail ourselves to the service of our father land and engineer the direction that the change must take. We must say no to second class democracy where the least qualify assumes the captainship of our affairs. We must chase away inefficiency in 2019.

But this wish cannot be realised without the concerted revolve of all stakeholders in the state. From the village farmer to the urban dweller we must come together on single table and critically relook the prospects of a better Niger state and tailor our energies towards asserting a the emergence of a functional system through quality leaders that would respect the sanctity of the lives and welfare of the people.

Good governance is a journey and to reach the desired destination we must work together as a united entity by shonning primordial and retrogressive sentiments that hold us back. We must hold our leaders accountable to their actions and ensure that they fulfil their obligations to the state.

Nigerlites must stand together as one and speak through a united single voice. It is said that united we stand, divided we fall. To avoid a terrible fall gain, we must restrategise and make the progress of our dear state our utmost priority.

@Balarabe Abubakar

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