Wednesay Column by Israel A. Ebije
email@example.com | @ebijeisrael.com
It has become a cliché for people around the globe to declare an improved way of approaching life every beginning day of the year. It is popularly tagged “new year resolution”. Everybody wants to be a better human being and the new year is always dotted with resolutions, promises and a long to-do list. The previous year is always a lesson for the new year. The challenges of 2018 are certainly a derivation of how 2017 imparted on people. Some people argue that it is better to enter the new year on a clean slate, allowing elements to decide than to create boundaries with foundation destined to crumble hours after they are built. Most people resolve to change personal lifestyle, so many careless on changing the social, political and economic affairs of their country. They fail to understand that most of their resolutions may be festooned on the fulcrum of unresolved issues around the corridors of power.
President of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy once asserted that “it is not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country”. Whatever the grains of his submission, wisdom in that quotation is instructive for Nigerians as it regards our reasoning, approach in choosing and maintaining leaders. The year 2018 must witness a new psychical disposition where Nigerians must stop expecting meaning out of nothing. One can only demand for good leadership if the person voted has the capacity to deliver. From antecedents, Nigerians are known for wailing, languishing under a clueless leader, at the end, they will go out there and vote the person back. The year 2018 is another chance for Nigerians to either sail to shore or smash against rocks.
While we make personal commitments to ourselves, we must realize that our politicians will never change from their exponential demand to take from our commonwealth to feed several generations from their loins. They will only make laws at the National Assembly to favor themselves. Their bank accounts in local and foreign financial institutions will continue to grow at the detriment of infrastructural developments. Our politicians will remain unresolved in their cluelessness for political benefactors to make the most of a corrupt institution. Important service based sectors like the NNPC, electricity companies, will remain in the hands of cabals, cartels to manipulate for them to ferry away our commonwealth.
We must realize that Nigerian politicians especially under the Buhari administration are resolved to be lazy. Flying under the euphoria of change and amnesia of some Nigerians believing they have something to offer, this group of misfits couldn’t make out time to screen through a simple list of appointees, which does not need rocket science to do. The backlash is on Mr. President who has shown full reverse throttle in cluelessness. It has indeed become so very clear that Buhari approves anything okayed by a few powerful men in his administration, no matter how ridiculous it is. The recent appointment list littered with dead men is one in a series of gaffs. That Buhari was seen as honest does not translate to him being a good leader. Its like giving a honest man without knowledge of flying an aircraft to pilot a distress one.
The system will never change from what president Buhari met on ground because most Nigerians are so focused making personal resolutions instead of strategic, joint arrangement to take bold steps towards changing the corrupt system. We must decide if we are really comfortable with a government so consistent with blackmail, propaganda, blame game and administrative cluelessness. The lies are legendary just as the exponential corruption among government officials, political appointees. A molecular example is peddled propaganda that VAT earnings amounts to N2trn, FIRS collected up to N2.3trn, Customs and NPA raised more than a trillion naira. Adding all the repatriated funds, there shouldn’t be any reason why only 20% performance of a budget put at N7trn.
The year 2018 must herald real change. Nigerians must be resolved to remove misfits from leadership. This must be done without ethno-religious undertone. Buhari has expended his goodwill, disaster awaits Nigerians if the 83 year old (who is supposed to be impeached for age falsification) is recycled in 2019. Obviously he is under the control of some forces he cannot move against. Nigerians must also resolve to refuse handouts from corrupt politicians. It is time to also realize that politicians feel pressured by executive beggars to steal. Once the begging stops, demands to explain wealth increases, then accountability sets in. the need to also remove emphasis on ethnic based support for corrupt leaders must be on top to do list of 2018 and beyond. We seem to hate politicians from other region and region, but we condone “our own” on same corrupt superhighway.
Ebije can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or @ebijeisrael