Introduction to: A PEOPLE IN SEARCH OF GOOD LEADERS.
As the journey towards the 2011 general elections in Nigeria continues, the writer takes a look at the electorate vis-a-vis the leaders. The writer is pained by the fact that often than not, the people are cajoled and hoodwinked into voting for the wrong candidates because of the pittance released to them by these same corrupt leaders whose antecedents in corruption are obvious to them.
I stared my at my TV-set watching a circus of the greatest display of the greatest foolery of the century. I had bosom friends sitting around me while we were discussing the high-rate of illiteracy of our dear country, Nigeria. Let us take a look at South Africa which as at in the late seventies apartheid period had about 22 percent literacy mark while Nigeria as at the same period had about 2.2 percent literacy mark. You may argue that the situation may be different now. Agreed, even if we (Nigerians) score 90 percent literacy mark, our attitudes and behaviours have not shown that we have been to the four walls of the school, and neither has it shown that Nigerians of the present age are better than our great, great fathers of the colonial age who were highly intelligent, solidly mature and pragmatic enough to deal fairly with, and handled the colonialists’ antics effectively.
One of my friends around me Sule by name, claimed that if the Devil emerges from hellfire today, and hoodwinks himself like the Snowball of the “Animal Farm” fame, with his ill-gotten bags of money and spray the money to all nooks and crannies of Nigeria to the hungry people of Nigeria, Nigeria will throw over-board, their integrity, international respect, high level of education including PhDs and descend so low to scramble for the bread which the Devil in his mighty wealth has chosen to drop. What a shame! Where then lies the much taunted education of Nigerians? It were better if we had not stepped the four walls of the at all, than arrogating ourselves the titles of educated Nigerians, the open-eyed Nigerians, Nigerians who cannot be cheated, Nigerians who cannot be bamboozled, and what have you? And yet Nigerians are everything except what they say they are not. We are still blind, low in intelligence, money-driven and heartless about our future and the future of our children.
How else can Nigerians interpret our actions, always looking for reasons for doing what we know that in our natural sense and examination, is not in accord with true life and interest of the Nigerians? Truly, we have the right of freedom of association but we also have the right to know where the pendulum is swing, read the writing on the wall and give the allowance to the popular opinion. My heart weeps! I took a second look at the again at the TV-Screen watching hungry looking Nigerians, drumming, singing, and dancing for a well fed presidential candidate whose antecedent of misrule, brazen murder of journalists, money laundering, and an institution of corruption, mounting the podium to tell Nigerians what Nigerians have already known about him. Agreed, that any Nigerian has the right to aspire to any political position in the country. It is also agreed and well known, just as it was in the past, that these same Nigerians will stand out in the near future claiming that our leaders are bad, maybe pointing to the EFCC to run after them. That is why I am saying that the problem with Nigeria is the Nigerians, not our leaders. There is this popular American singer of the seventies whose song goes thus: “if you meet a man on your bed, don’t blame the man. It is your wife who let him in.” Once again, Nigerians are letting wrong leaders into our (beds) leadership positions by clapping, singing, drumming and dancing for them. We must not blame them tomorrow if they turn around and sink the economy of State and impoverish the very poverty-stricken and frail-looking Nigerians now singing, while Nigerians are using their instrument of power, their vigour and charisma to confuse the poor “follow follow” and the very dreg of the society to bring to power the well known treasury looters of yesteryear. I thought that by now Nigerians will be wiser, so as to abide by the slogan of Comrade Governor Oshiomole’s “one man one vote,” which supposedly is sweeping through the country for credible elections