Nigeria: the political way to go
Nigeria is at a decisive moment, at a crossroad heading into an uncertain future. Recent events which have antecedents from the past should make a conscious individual feel utmost concern for the nation. For the general political landscape, only a few things seem to be working optimally, the rest are left to chance, to find their levels with the passage of time. Almost every issue pits one side against the other; North versus South, PDP versus APC, Executive versus Legislature versus Judiciary, Labour versus government, ethnic nationalities against one another, and the youths against their elders. Everyone now works in the 'Ministry of Lamentation' where the salary is the freedom to complain and wail over the problems caused by ourselves. Even the unpopular who can’t win a local government election offer themselves as political Messiahs; after all, nobody has the monopoly of political ingenuity. I feel for my country, the Continental Giant left in the political wilderness of democracy.
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Cock and shoot or Kick and start, which one do we accept to be the operational method of the country? Our operating system is being programmed to produce minimal results, skewed in favour of a few. How far can a nation of our spec go with this setup?
A lot of the youths want the elders out of politics because they think they are the reason why the nation is slow in progression. However, they feel it’s about the elections alone which is false. The race to 2023 ought to have started long before now, just as the two main parties have started theirs as soon as the last elections were concluded. As things are, there is no youth party yet and the journey is barely two years away. A funny twist to it is that the youths, going by their dissatisfaction, want things to change drastically, like winning at the first attempt. Yet, they don’t have the magic wand. Added to this is the call for restructuring mainly by the elders and secession mainly by the youths. We are torn apart, where lies the solution?
Firstly, getting rid of the elders is never going to be a solution. We need one another to succeed. What the nation needs is a blend of the elderly and youthful ideas to chart a new political course for national development. Our elders may be running an analogue style, it’s not obsolete. Spiting the elders won’t make you better. You don’t have to kill your father before he dies, time will take care of that.
Our own youthful and digital approach is not a one size fits all system. What we need is a hybridized political environment, one that evolves and revolves around all spectrums of the society. That is when we can truly move forward, and develop as we grow.
We should also turn our attention to the people’s representatives who run the national parliament. Being the ambassadors of the citizens, they ought to do the people’s bidding. This way, they can engage the Executive to speed up the political process and achieve the much desired change. This is where anyone who desires to make an impact should eye so as to make the needed reforms.
Equally important is the reclassification of our national priorities. We ought to unbundle the present arrangement to reduce the overdependence on the center by the parts, to allow for local and regional control of resources and affairs such as police and mineral resources, to enable healthy competition.
There’s also the need to reduce the jumbo packages made available to the political elites, a practice which makes them lord their status over their electorates, and bicker with one another over the national cake due to their insincerity. This is as a result of the electorate’s lack of self-esteem. Though the grass may suffer when two elephants fight, the elephants must know that they need the grass to survive. Once the politician realizes the value of the electorate, he’ll keep within the bounds.
It is the system that is faulty, not necessarily those handling it. Secession will bring about the same problems we are complaining of. They’re manifesting already before adoption and implementation, and that will set us back by a century in a fluid and fast paced modern world.
We can negotiate our togetherness, it’s not impossible. The Scottish negotiation of independence in 2014 is a classic example of this possibility. Though, there may be genuine concerns for separation, they do not favour the majority in the long term.
We have come a long way, so we are better together. The current separate fight for national recognition is more about putting butter on each person’s bread caused by unequal access to the national cake. We can make things work, it is very much possible.
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