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May 29th: The Tales Of A Nation - Politics - Nairaland

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May 29th: The Tales Of A Nation by slivertongue: 10:34pm On May 29, 2017
Today as we join the rest of other Nigerians to celebrate Democracy Day we must see it as an opportunity to pray for our political leaders and as well as appraise our roles and contributions for leadership development in Nigeria.

The political structures of Nigeria began a free fall in the First Republic, when politicians began to apply force and thuggery to gain power. This breed of rogue politicians exploited the goodness and kindness of Nigerians to run the country aground. Military regimes that followed consolidated their hold on the state and economy, introducing allien values that compromised national ethos. They created divisions in our calm communities along religious and ideological lines as seen in what has become of Jos and environs. They crushed our humanity and forced the men and women of goodwill to either join them or take refuge outside the shores of Nigeria. They wrecked havoc on our core value system and introduced graft as an alternative. The contradiction in the society began to fully manifest in the Second and Fourth Republics (the theatres of tragic-comedy).


Values and actions classified as an abomination in our cultures were glamourized and embraced by the rentier elites. In a bid to have a piece of the national cake, hardwork gave in to shortcuts. The institution of love, trust and patience which were cardinal points of our culture and which have bond family and friends were tactically weakened. The right values were viewed as a liability.

Nigeria transformed into; forgetting than learning, consuming than producing, asserting private interest rather than democratic rights, producing a culture of cruelty than a polity with a sense of social responsibility. Gross equality in income, privatization, deregulation, price modulation, militarism, unbridled individualism, state use of torture, state sponsored terrorism and an obsession with materialism became accepted to the degree that it is now hard to imagine what our society would look like in the absence of these structural and ideological features. Nigeria has not only become dystopian but dysfunctional and terribly authoritarian.

Democracy no longer leaves open the importance of an experience of the common good. The action of our leaders have turned the principles of democracy against itself, deforming both the language of freedom and justice that made equality the core of our culture. Politics have thus become an extention of war. The welfare state is now a punishing state. The first war is being waged for the total control of the modes of production while the second is waged on the ideological front- a battle over the capacity of Nigerians to imagine a more productive and progressive governance ethics. Simply put; the first war is at the level of the political economy while the second is waged against our basic values.


The spectacle of war demand a culture of confirmity, quiet intellectuals and a passive public. Sadly Nigeria is a state in permanent war with subjects willing to abide by its values and ideology. Nigeria is indeed a compelling paradox(apologies to GNS Pwajok).

This wicked shift from the core tenets of social contract to savage forms of governnce has destroyed the state support for the social wellbeing of her citizens. In our materially conscious society core values regarding compassion for the common good, especially the poor have been jettisoned. In the past, Nigeria was essentially collectivistic and communalistic. Our social ties engandered a sense of togetherness, shared and collective identity but today shared sacrifice and shared responsibility has given way to shared fears and disdain for investing in the common good.

The desired end of politics by patriotic citizen is a polity which we are proud to identify with and which stand tall when adjudge by the various indices of human development. The fundamental human rights of citizens and socio-economic outcome of such idealistic politics are guaranteed, not just on paper but in daily life of the citizenry. The desired outcome of politics such as good governance, however depends on variables which include the people and the process.


If democracy must deliver progress not only do Nigerians need access that guarantees the rights of free speech, dissent, a quality education and critical dialogue. Nigerians need to be educated both as a condition of autonomy and the sustainability of the democratization project.

It is however not too late to commence re-orientation of the populace so that they can take their rightful place in the affairs of our dear nation. Social media should be deployed as a powerful tool to rally the populace to their responsibility. The political complacent populace today will soon be a populace to contend with shortages of decent housing electricity, functional education and efficient and healthcare if the leadership malady is not remedied now.

It is needful at this point to be aware that spirituality is a core aspect of leadership. Every political office is a seat of power and the spiritual force behind the occupant of the seat influences most of what is done from that office. In the days of late Gen Sani Abacha we witnessed the invasion of Aso Rock by sorcerers, marabouts, mullahs and all manner spiritualist from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sudan, Chad, Niger, Mali etc. This was so because the Head of State depended heavily on their spiritual support. And painfully, we suffered immensely in the hands of that obdurate, dark-googled and hard hearted Head of State.

The question today is which spiritual force is behind the government of this nation, your state, local government, community, family and what you do for a living? In the days of Jeroboam, he resorted to idolatry in a bid to clinch to power. But thank God for Josiah who chose to fear the Lord and sought Godly counsel.

All Christians in various political positions, public and private sector must endeavour to borrow some leaves from Josiah. Those of us who are close to them should not be sycophants but agents of spiritual support and assistance. So lets pray for the growth of a purpose driven governance system, lets pray for the right governance ethos to be enthroned in Nigeria.

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