Oluwafunminiyi Omojola – a peace & conflict resolution professional – writes from the US, providing a snapshot of the current political reality in Nigeria, prescribing a single political and ideological movement spearheaded by the youth as solution
2019 is at hand and lots of impressive personalities have emerged as presidential aspirants but President Buhari must be having a laugh.
First off, Nigeria is not France where an Emanuel Macron woke up one morning, formed La Republique En Marche! and under one year, contested and won the presidential elections. Mba! Such an objective and transparent state of political possibility is a fairy tale in present-day Nigeria. It cannot happen in a country that defies logic as much as Nigeria does. The people who muddied the waters muddied it so well that even they cannot now believe what they have achieved. The madness they created is like a forest fire which after it has been started quickly outgrows its master, and if he doesn’t run along, will consume him.
Religion and tribe are two of the most catastrophic phenomena along which a people can be divided. Nigeria has the dubious misfortune of being divided along both lines. The babalawo that did us did us well.
For example, when some of us supported the emergence of the current dispensation, some people accused Yorubas of doing so because of the possibility of our kinsman becoming president if something happened to his Oga. I couldn’t get past that. How does that benefit the average Yoruba man in anyway? When my kinsman from Owu was there for eight years, what did it add to my resume or bank account? But, as it is, religiosity and tribalism grind logic to smithereens. In that fanatical realm, anything is responsible for everything.
Coming back to the present, I will state my point of view. Every second we have spent wailing and arguing for and against Buhari’s underwhelming governance has earned the man 2019. If he does come out to announce he will run for a second term, which he likely will, he will win, yours truly. And Nigeria will be in for another four years of darkness and rummaging in the garbage heap of national discombobulation.
“Religion and tribe are two of the most catastrophic phenomena along which a people can be divided. Nigeria has the dubious misfortune of being divided along both lines” .
This possibility is proof that we are willing participants in our domination. We are the true evidence of the Stockholm syndrome. Otherwise, a people that is tired of being oppressed would have set about creating viable alternatives to errant power. That would have been our preoccupation since 2016. The incumbent president’s utter ineptitude found expression in a hurry. The man took forever to constitute a cabinet of usual suspects. He announced to a global audience that he had intentions of favoring the 97% that voted for him over the 5% that did not. The worst is not the atrocious math. It is the moronic mindset and volte-face political in-correctness. These were early warning signs and this was where viable alternatives should have broken into national consciousness. Familiarization with the grassroots should have begun in earnest. There should have been consultations with political heavy weights who had structures with roots deep enough to nourish nascent political ambition and assist same escape political infantilism, obscurity and the impending but certain defeat that its owner would suffer in 2019. The South Western /Yoruba disillusionment with Buhari became evident early on. We all know where the South East resides. The Middle Belt would have joined the train in the wake of Benue and Jos. A man with Kingsley Moghalu’s impressive credentials for example could have ridden the wave of an alliance in the mold described above. We could have at best salvaged 2019, and at worst, served a cold wake up call to all concerned in 2023.
This however cannot be any more, but all is not lost. If the true intent of any of the 2019 presidential aspirants is to save Nigeria, then this is a time to come together and present the Nigerian people with a single and durable alternative, an alternative founded not on the altar of tribe and religion, but on viability. It is time to coalesce in a single political and ideological movement that has the singular purpose of transforming this country. It is time to dig deep and find a single presidential aspirant, one whose image is evocative enough to sell an end to our misery. It has to be one whose brand is reminiscent of modernity and progress; a brand that is attractive and youthful, that understands the demands of 21st century governance vis a vis a country like Nigeria. This person must be seen to possess the mental stamina to withstand and silence tribal and religious jingoism. His manifesto must explain in lucid detail how he intends to secure and educate the citizen, reinvigorate institutions and infrastructure, reinstate a dwindling but innately potent economy, stem the tide of terrorism and profiteering, and wage non-partisan war on corruption and nepotism. It should be a brand whose governance will not make the demonization of past and current regimes its preoccupation. Its approach to governance should have the latent effect of baring before us the essential ugliness of analog and dark-age leadership such that we all will say, ‘never again’.
It is not too late to start.
Kingsley Moghalu, Fela Durotoye, Omoyele Sowore, Nwankwo Kanu and I will add Donald Duke have a unique opportunity to be our new heroes in the mold of Zik, Awo and Bello.
All thoughts expressed in this work are entirely those of the author and does not reflect the editorial stand of the board and editors of The Village Square Journal. To react to this piece, drop a comment below or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Oluwafunminiyi Omojola was a banker in Nigeria for ten years before relocating to the United States of America where he is currently pursuing his passion for global peace and development.