The time to act is now
Bishop Hassan Kukah has been quoted as saying, “African Educational systems have surprising outcomes. The smartest students pass with first class and get admissions to medical and engineering schools. The second-class students get MBAs and LLBs to manage the first-class students. The third-class students enter politics and rule both the first and second-class students. The failures enter the underworld of crime and control the politicians and the businesses. And best of all those who didn’t attend school become prophets and everyone follow them.” While it may not be the case that the bishop’s segmentation is cast in stone, it is none the less representative of the caliber of people that took advantage of the military exit from power in this country in 1999.
Because of the deception and brutality that accompanied the transition from military to civilian rule in the early nineties, most of Nigeria’s brightest lost faith in the transition programme. As such when the exercise commenced again in 1998 it was not our best that got into power. People with ‘Toronto’ certificates and no pedigree, thugs, criminals and school dropouts suddenly found themselves in the corridors of power. What do you expect from such men and women? The few sane ones in their midst either lost out or eventually joined the bandwagon of bad governance, corruption and godfatherism.
Today most states of the federation are ruled by a cabal or godfather who decide who gets what and when. From councillorship to the presidency, some people sit down somewhere (these days in Dubai, London and other foreign locations) to simply write a list of ‘elected’ officials even before party primaries or the main elections. We have witnessed cases in this country where election results are written before the elections and while collation of votes is still going on, the results previously written are announced.
Most decent Nigerians watch helplessly and wonder when this system will come to an end. The truth is that it will continue like this until we all take our collective destiny in our hands and reclaim our country from these charlatans. Otherwise our country will again earn another bad toga of a nation devoid of good governance. And it will take Nigerians to effect a true change. Foreigners will not. International organisations at best can only point the way but we must walk it as a people who own the nation. The various cabals at national and state levels are not more Nigerian than any of us neither do they have a monopoly of the ways and means of securing political power.
The defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (who boasted that they will colonise us for at least 60 years) by the All Progressive Congress in the 2015 general elections coupled with the very poor performance of the later in government provides an ample opportunity for decent Nigerians to take back our country. We cannot afford to continue to leave governance to miscreants, thieves, visionless opportunists, political jobbers, religious and ethnic bigots and at best confused clowns. We don’t deserve the leadership we currently have in this country. We can do better.
Our country today has some of the best brains in any field of human endeavor the world over. But these men and women of honor are not involved in the political process. This is a clarion call on Nigerian professionals at home and abroad to rise up and let’s save our nation. I have told all my friends that each one must have a voter card in order to continue to relate with me. It is as serious as that. Next I am going to demand membership card of any political party of the individual’s choice before we can relate. We have been docile for too long. Let us move massively into the political parties and be active from the ward up to the state and national levels. Once our population overwhelms oppressors and we are actively involved, we will take over the party machinery or what they fondly call the party structure from their hands. And then we can return power to the people and bring true change to our nation. As long as we stay outside the system we cannot do anything meaningful. The coming 2019 elections provide a unique opportunity for us to make the difference.
Fortunately our nation has the resources that can transform our landscape and the living standard of all Nigerians. Our problem has been the monumental stealing of our common patrimony. I simply can’t understand why one will steal what he will never need and that can never be utilised by his descendants to the tenth generation. Thus the nation suffers infrastructural decay, insecurity, lawlessness and poverty. What we need is for good people to get into power and change all this. And the time to act is now. 2019 is around the corner and the various cabals are already going to work. It must not be business as usual for them. Power must change hands!
We must all register to vote, join political parties, sensitise our people to the electoral process, seek elective office, mobilise our people to vote, monitor elections to ensure votes count, engage elected officials, apply the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and do all that is necessary to move our nation forward. A stich in time we are told saves nine. The time to act is now!
• Rev. Waive, the Senior Pastor, Church of the Anointing, and Convener, ‘Free Delta Group,’ wrote from Warri, Delta State.