Political uncertainty and Nigerian polity
By Mercy David
The situation facing Nigeria today is as a result of Negligence from our leaders, the situation has escalated to the point where the letargy of the Federal Government has allowed the national insecurity to overwhelm the president and the National Assembly,despite their bicameral configuration. Incompetence ,which is a feature of leadership failure has made our leaders not to confront it when it was at its infant stage.
In fact when it comes to leadership Nigerian leaders have demonstrated a high level of crass ignorance that has portrayed them as failures ,it is apparent that they don’t understand what leadership is all about.
As a leader simple literary instruction on administration teaches that a leader must be able to motivate people,to act towards achieving a level of goal that will be beneficial to the generality of the citizens of the country .Leadership is all about providing guidance and direction. It doesn’t always have to be done from the front line it’s not a tea party neither is it rocket science , it is a process, an easy thing to achieve.
A leader is someone who has charisma, intellect style, personal qualities, values, skills, experience and knowledge to impart for the purpose of lifting the society from lower to higher level of development of the physical and social environments of countries including to ‘mould consensuses and mobilize people to get things done together. A leader does not do things thoughtlessly on his own; a leader must carry the people he leading along.
Depending on how he exercises power and uses his authority, a leader can either undermine his nation, or he can inspire people and foster commitment and cooperation. So the qualities and skills of leadership are critical to the effectiveness of governance.
This is where Nigerian leaders have failed because they do not know how to exercise their power of leadership; they believe that as leaders they could talk and make decisions without the involvement of the people they are leading, especially the youths.
How can we say we want a peaceful country when everyday there is report of killing and destructions of lives and properties? today If it is not IPOB it is Herdsmen or Unknown gunmen. The Nigeria we once called our father land is now turning into a lion’s den. Our young children are no longer secured in schools due to fear of being abducted; our women cannot go to markets or walk freely on the road, our homes that were meant to be a shelter after a long day of work is no longer save, we enter vehicles with fear at the back of our minds because we do not know who the next person sitting close to us is.
Nigeria is gradually sliding deep into the sand of destruction and all our leaders are thinking of is the provision of infrastructure rather than the safety of lives of innocent young people that are being wasted on a daily basis. Nigeria which has been pregnant with complications and unforeseen circumstance for years is now due for delivery. The question now is what is it going to give birth to? “Freedom or War”.
Recently President Buhari in his twitter handle made a statement that “many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they will understand.”
This statement was greeted with fury and disapproval by Nigerians, following which the social media giant, Twitter deleted it. Is it right for a leader to make such comment considering the fact that the country is not stable security wise? His comment can only mean one thing, that he has admitted to his failure and loss of capacity as the president of Nigeria.
A leader cannot use threat and coercive force to rule his people. The country is already facing a lot of agitations as it is now and the president instead of using dialogue in seeing to it that the security challenges facing the country are brought to a minimal level of security he is sounding bellingerent
The President’s revelation that most of those involved in the current agitation for secession are those who have not witnessed the 1967 civil war is a vindication of our position that the only reasonable option to ensure a more secure future for Nigerians is for the Igbo to be allowed to have their wish for a Biafran nation or restructure the country to the situation where equity and justice will guide the country instead of marginalization or discrimination.
How can we have a one united Nigeria, when our leaders are not doing their best in order to restore peace and tranquility in the country instead more violent measures are promised to the citizens for instance, by the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba, when he authorized security operatives to use maximum force during their policing operations in the South-Eastern region.
This method of coercive policing does not only violate all known democratic norms but also manifests the disproportionate use of deadly force and violence against unarmed civilians by security agents. It is believed that when two negative objects are paired together, it will repel because negative and negative do not go together. We cannot use negative energy to chase out negativity rather the use of positive energy to chase out negative energy is advised.
Notwithstanding , it is very clear that the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not care about the welfare of the people he is leading. Despite his provoking statement on twitter Ana consiquent suspension of the same Twitter from operating in Nigeria . The Igbos have not reacted negatively instead the Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo under the leadership of Uche Okwukwu in its reaction to the president’s tweet on Wednesday obliged President Buhari the opportunity to tender an apology to Ndigbo in order to avert any misinterpretation and misunderstanding by Nigerians.
Meanwhile instead of President Buhari tendering an apology, the Nigerian Minister for information and culture, Lai Mohammed came out to defend the President ,accusing twitter of having a hidden mission in Nigeria.
While the struggle for one Nigeria is still ongoing, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Coalition of Northern Groups, CNG, Nastura A. Shariff, in his seven pages letter titled: “Alert on the unfolding scenario for destabilization of Nigeria” and addressed to heads of Northern leaders, Advised that Nigerian state and other critical stakeholders and international players should accept the reality that the only remaining option to avert a civil war and bloodshed is for the Igbo to be allowed to have the Biafra they have used intermittently for decades to destabilize the nation and deny peace to other components of the country.
“It is time for the Nigerian state and all stakeholders to wake to the reality that the only remaining option to avoid a civil war is for the Igbo to be allowed to have the Biafra they have used intermittently for decades to destabilize the nation and deny peace to other components of the country,” Sulaiman said in the statement.
He further said that “the level of anger elicited by the activities of the IPOB and its sponsors at home and in Diaspora has reached the inevitable point where the Igbo must be separated from us by invoking the relevant statutes on self-determination entrenched in various international conventions and treaties to which Nigeria is a signatory.
“And that for the avoidance of doubt, the North would no longer be expected to restrain from paying back any further act of aggressive provocation on northerners living as minorities in any part of southern Nigeria. As such the North shall no longer be disposed to relating as Nigeria with the violent Igbo secessionists nor relate at any diplomatic level with a Biafran nation that may emerge now or in the future”.
With the above statement it is clear as day light that Northern leaders have come to the conclusion that southeast and IPOB is the reason for the rising insecurity in the country, exempting herdsmen Boko Haram and other terrorists groups who have come to make the country ungovernable. They have also indirectly declared war instead of advocating for peace and oneness of the country, which ought not to be so.
Instead of pointing fingers and casting blames on each other, let our leaders think of ways to make Nigeria one nation that our children and generation to come will be proud of.
The Federal Government should convene a national security summit to initiate a constructive dialogue with all stakeholders and aggrieved persons to put an end to the widespread insecurity in the southeast and other parts of the country.