This season the Nigerian media houses blew away the chances of healthy political debates. For Nigeria, the road to freedom is under construction but the good people and the institutions are asleep.
Disgraceful and Shallow Campaigns
By Adeola Aaderounmu
Prior to the cancellation of the February 14 elections l’d written a long essay, probably more than 10 pages, on what l missed watching and listening to some of the live campaigns of both the APC and the PDP.
Indeed some of these issues that l missed have been incorporated into posters or advertised campaigns. However these types of campaigns are made by professional marketing companies and they do not reflect what one can get directly from the candidates of the political parties during campaigns or debates.
As I was fine tuning the second part of the said article, Mr. Jonathan, the lazy and corrupt ruler of Nigeria fulfilled a year long expectation when he postponed the elections. In actual fact it was a cancellation made possible by a bloodless coup by some lazy, potbellied soldiers.
Here l will try to highlight the rest of the issues that ought to have shapen the 2015 presidential elections campaigns but which did not.
Nigeria has a population that is growing fast and which is estimated to be between 150 to 200 million. There has not been any debate how to confirm or check this population growth.
Nigeria needs good politics and appropriate policies in keeping the population at a level that is manageable. Nigeria has no functional social or welfare system. How will families be educated so that they procreate according to their financial capabilities and prospects of a good, qualitative life?
Another issue that I missed is immigration. Nigeria government does not take immigration issues seriously. So the people don’t get to hear what the government is doing on border control and how to prevent the growth and spread of terrorism through regulated migration.
The PDP led government of Jonathan can claim it inherited a lot of problems but what has been done in the last 4-6 years on the issue of immigration, population growth and social welfare?
What does the political program of the APC tells us on immigration? Have these questions been raised at any political rally or debate? What about the need for appropriate census and state of the art demographic of the population?
Apart from the free food that APC promised school children, there has not been any serious public discussion on how the glory of the education sector will be regained and sustained.
Public education in Nigeria today is a source of embarrassment to the people and the government. What will be done to revive the lost glory of education both in the short and long terms?
In line with improving the public education policy, there should be a perpendicular goal to bring back the glories of Nigeria in medicine and technology. In terms of research and development the political parties need to discuss plans on how they intend to reverse the brain drain syndrome.
This sad phenomenon, now several decades old, has left many Nigerians trapped abroad and many wasting away even in irrelevant branches. Also, the misplacement of priorities and the glorification of criminalities in Nigeria have left many graduates redundant and in the wrong fields.
I have missed the plan for the development of other infrastructure the way they should be. Many federal and state roads in Nigeria remain eye sores. Rail systems remain largely underdeveloped and water transport remains a mirage or a heavy risk to life and property where it is carried out.
I’ll try to summarize the other issues that l thought ought to have made the headlines.
How will corruption be tackled considering that the 2 major political parties continue to parade cross-carpeting members who are looters and lazy politicians?
It remains a useless expectation that a person as corrupt as Jonathan will do something to halt corruption. He was already a looter from Bayelsa State and he will never understand that stealing is corruption because he was not imprisoned for stealing in Bayelsa State. He was elevated by people like Obasanjo and the PDP in general!
If APC wins in the presidential election, it would be interesting to see how it intends to fight corruption considering all the corrupt people in its ranks and files too. They should stop repeating that nonsense that Buhari was never corrupt or infallible. Out of the several examples, the one where he defended and supported Abacha was the most disgusting.
Will the useless immunity clause be removed in the coming dispensation? Is there a debate about this question?
While Nigerians wait for a permanent political solution, the debate on promoting merit above the useless federal character is missing. Federal character will continue to bring nonentities to important political positions. Through federal character system, evil has subdued good and foolishness has overtaken intellectual capacity.
One of the most obvious missing parts of Nigeria’s political campaign remains the team behind the campaigns. Who is the person answering the questions for energy/power for the APC or the PDP? Who is responsible for the education portfolio of the APC campaign group? l do not think there are answers to these simple questions because there are no teams of experts pursuing research, development or political questions in the political parties.
Political appointments are never reserved for the skilled or informed in Nigeria. They remain rewards for thugs, any fool, militants, potential terrorists and persons connected to godfathers and sponsors.
Rarely when good people are appointed in Nigeria, they soon become evil after one night in office. Something fundamental is wrong with Nigeria and Nigerian politicians.
It is pertinent that the absence of follow up and the negligence of track records are some of the reasons why a lazy, incompetent, corrupt and weak ruler like Jonathan emerged as the ruler of the Africa’s most populated country.
The disgraceful outcome of this tragedy is hard to bear. But if they seek change, Nigerians must learn to do things the right way. Sadly, Jonathan is a living tragedy and a sad phenomenon that may repeat itself.
Who will stop the pension fraud madness? What does the political agenda of the APC and PDP say on retirement matters? How will pensioners get their gratuity and pensions without having to provide the proof of life after 35 years in service?
For 16 years now we know that PDP encourages pension scams just the same way they enjoyed the oil subsidy scams. PDP is built on scams. Even Jonathan and Abba Moro scammed unsuspecting unemployed people in the failed immigration employment program. There were no consequences for Jonathan and Moro despite all the dead bodies that littered the country.
What change will the APC be?
On the campaign trail so far we have no heard how APC will deal with judicial processes involving pension frauds, subsidy scams, employment scams and oil theft. It would have been nice to know the change they are talking about and how they will be achieved.
Religion has failed Nigeria. Under Jonathan, religion became a total instrument of governance whereas Nigeria is a secular country. Churches and mosques built as outlets to government houses should be pulled down. Let everyman worship in his house and keep his/her religion a private activity.
Unfortunately, in 2015 religion will play a very dangerous role in who becomes the ruler of Nigeria. This is the same country regarded as one of the most corrupt in the world.
This means with Nigeria as a classical example, the more people go to churches and mosques, the more they are likely to be criminally minded and avoid the simple social responsibilities of nation building.
The way to freedom for the regions trapped in Nigeria is long. The rapid visual assessment and evaluation of the views and opinions of Nigerians both online and in reality leaves a lot to desire.
The winner takes all mentality after the elections rather than a system that heals after bitter electoral processes has left deeper wounds in the soul of the country. They may never heal under the persisting unitary form of government.
Since 1966, Nigeria remains in an endless transition.
The political solution is urgent so that the institutions can be brought back to life.
Separation of powers and respect for the principles of real democracy must be integrated in the expected political solution.
Nigerians remain easy to rule but difficult to lead, which is why they have always ended up with the wrong people leading the affairs of the country.
Nigeria as a country or as an aggregate of regions must work hard to get to that point where criminals and looters like the ones we have seen before and since 1999 are arrested and made to face judicial proceedings according to the law.
Based on the past and even the present, both Jonathan and Buhari are not the best of materials from intellectually saturated Nigeria. But it is sad that the good people are caged as the politics of money and do or die remains prevalent.
Change may come to Nigeria but with a lot of economic uncertainties and unseen social and political consequences.
The debate on the future of Nigeria which is missing in the campaigns ought to have been brought to life and taken at several sub-levels.
What will it take for Nigeria to revert to a system of government where power is not concentrated in the hands of one dictator at the center? Such a system where money is gathered in Abuja and redistributed to beggar states will not take Nigeria to the promise land. In fact it may tear the country apart soon.
What are the plans of all the political parties to restructure Nigeria so that the regions can stand on their feet and develop competitively like it was before the useless coups of 1966?
The real change that Nigerians want is yet to come. Making sure that people answer for crimes against humanity, for negligence of duties and for corruption must be part of the real change that they seek.
Most of the Nigerian public and private media houses should also be ashamed of their leadership styles and profiles. They have taken sides and will never be trusted in promoting fairness. This season they blew the chances of healthy political debates.
The media houses including both the visual and the printing press should bury their ugly heads in shame. They never put their spotlights on real issues and on the people who can emancipate Nigeria and help build her institutions.
For Nigeria, the road to freedom is under construction but the good people and the institutions are asleep.