by Dozie Nwafor
In the discomfort of the ravaging Abuja heat aided by a lack of electric power laid the urge to entertain myself with what was left of my ipads’s battery power. Straight to my favorite music playlist I went and randomly the device decided to tune the latest piece by the amazing Cobhams Asuquo – Ordinary people. What a well thought choice I engaged my mind, perfect for the time and weather I buttressed. Drowned in the ocean of the deep lyrics of the song, I suddenly paused, reminisced and digested a particular line that grasped my attention… ‘No leader is worth dying for’. At that instance I ended my musical sojourn, picked up my pen and notepad. It was time to put in prints the litany of thoughts that had bothered my limber mind in recent times.
It was becoming increasingly interesting how opinionated Nigerian youths have become on matters of national interest. On a very good day, twitter would present the busiest traffic of erudite political arguments for and against ideologies, policies and developments in government. More interesting is the fact that these ruckuses are either originated or amplified loudest by some of our social-media friendly politicians.
Away from the virtual cosmos of the social stratosphere, the real world presents quite thought provoking conclusions about politics, the politicians and the rest of us.
The very essence of Nigeria constitutes of mysterious complexities. Like a knot, the more you try to unwind its ropes, the more entangled they become; but again, humans create problems, humans solve its pickles. Many say the biggest problem we’ve created as a nation is our existence; I say I do not know. Every aspect of our nationhood boasts of uncertainties. Where are we going as a nation? How much have we developed? What have we made of our resources? What becomes of our sovereignty? … These questions and more have only resulted in more questions.
Politicians are people who hold or seek elective offices. The billets and responsibilities of their portfolios are the manifestos they sell to the people who get them there. Apparently these offices hold an attractive lot for these politicians especially in this part of the world, but what do the politicians hold for us? The class-gap between the elites and the commoners in the developing world is painfully broadened. How do our politicians find fulfillment in addressing themselves as leaders when they alone follow? Ironically, the problem isn’t that the people are not willing to follow, but that the leaders do not want them to follow. They alone want the monopoly of power affluence and corruption, the rest of us can pat their backs while they sleep in royalty. Corruption goes with power and whatever the average man has it is not power. Therefore to hold any useful discussion of corruption, we must first locate it where it properly belongs – in the ranks of the powerful. We know what our problems are, yet we seem jinxed to do anything about them. It is as if we are cursed to bungle things more and more. The sad part of this reality is that the future offers no hope. This emerging generation will rather invest all her energy in defending the recklessness of our politicians to whom their sympathy and allegiance lies. These people misappropriate our collective resources, enrich themselves and their families, send us to war against ourselves and yet we do not know it. Yes politics is for the nation, the proceeds for the politicians and nothing is for the rest of us. We can’t own their type of companies because their policies won’t allow, we can’t share in their status because its esoteric, we can’t walk the road when they pass because we’ll constitute unnecessary traffic, we can’t even marry their daughters because we can’t find them here, what exactly do we now have in common?
We mustn’t continue to cry and leave our pillows dampened; we can’t continue to complain to the west either. There is only much the world can do for us. They lend us money, somebody here steals the same amount and gives it back to them and they leave these poor Nigerians repaying what they never owed. The onus lies on us, if we must liberate ourselves even in the midst of independence, we must first wake up to our situation. We must refuse to be illiterate, we must refuse to be contracted, we must refuse to be manipulated, we must refuse to sell our conscience and loyalty and above all, we must resolve to be Nigerians for the sake of Nigeria.
Dozie is a Biologist, passionate writer, public speaker and change advocate based in Abuja Nigeria. Follow on twitter @TheNwafor
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