The masses of this great country have grumbled over the years about the attitude of their leaders to their social and economic wellbeing. The reason is that in a normal democratic society, the principal duty of an elected leader is the wellbeing of the people who put him office through their votes. They did so hoping that he would fulfill the election promises he made to them, exhibiting exemplary leadership, characterized by competence and honesty and willingness in ensuring that the trust bestowed on such a leader is not betrayed.
As the February 2015 presidential and parliamentary elections approach, the big questions are: where do we stand? Who will make the right leader for this country going forward? What guarantees are there that we will not be manipulated again?
Blessed as Nigeria may be, things have not been going well in all spheres of life. We are heading for the abyss instead making a head way. The way out of this predicament seems more like a mirage and a blurred vision. Social and political critics have blamed the situation on bad leadership, saying that the nationalists who fought for Nigeria’s independence in the 1960s were the only genuine and patriotic leaders the country has ever had. This postulation is open for an argument as others may assert that the post-independence leaders’ strong attachment to regionalism was the beginning of the challenges that have held us back from being a truly united, one country.
Another question is: where is the nationalist spirit in us, has this spirit really left us, or do we still have any trace of it left in us? It is clear and loud enough even to the dumb that the real problem facing our country emanates from the “leadership” as they always fail to discharge their promises due to their egocentric nature. The amount of treasure God has bestowed on our country is enough for its citizens not to still languish in abject poverty. There is no reason for the education sector to be going backward and mired in incessant industrial actions by teachers and lecturers, lack of teaching and learning materials and even inadequate classroom; for the health sector to remain in its present state, where people die of the common cold. Those who can afford it rather go abroad for treatment. In fact, every sector of the economy has virtually collapsed.
It may be argued that a common Nigerian man is the most enduring citizen that can be compared to citizen in any other countries in the world based on the fact that the level of suffering a common Nigerian go through, going to bed without electricity, living below a dollar daily, access to quality medical services, mismanagement of resources,rich getting richer and poor getting poorer, looting of public treasures by government officials, and many of these problems known to all, are more than enough to spark civil uprising, as minor issues not compared to the ones mentioned above usually result into havoc in other countries. The question now is why is it that despite the enduring nature of the common Nigerian the government still continues to fail them.
This is our country and these leaders are part and parcel of us, they don’t come from the moon or sun, and it’s high time we begin to realize that we cannot continue to be used as puppets and begin to hold each leader responsible for his actions.
It is a good thing therefore that we begin to emancipate into the circle of information brought by the advancement in information technology. This is because the high level of information the high level of awareness, and as people become aware of the activities of government so would they begin to ask questions, and as they do this so would they be pressured so would they begin to take actions on unfavorable conditions unleashed on them by bad leadership experienced so far in the country, the era of folding our hands should be over.
Nana Vida Badu wrote in from Bayero University, Kano.