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« Ndigbo and the Kubwa Land Crises | Main | Atiku Abubakar and the Mansion at Sorrel »

August 26, 2005

Nigerian Democracy Must be Made to be Admired

by D. Akinsanya Juliuson (United Kingdom) --- With years of experience in British politics, public diplomacy and heritage, I still do not see myself as a politician rather a Political Philosopher, but If I didn’t believe in the power of democratic politics to change things for the better, I would have said working against democratic movement in Nigeria is the best. I do understand that many people feel voting in any election in Nigeria nowadays is not important and that politics is not relevant to their lives. Even though I do not believe that low voter turnout in any election means that Nigerian people are apathetic.

I meet so many people who hold strong and well-informed views on national and international issues almost all the time and I know that I’m right that Nigerians are not indifferent in politics. I am a man who is very much in tune with the thinking of modern day political philosophy and public diplomacy. A Nigerian who wants diplomacy handled in the traditional channels or not at all. I have an insatiable curiosity and I’m fearless in defending what I consider to be right irrespective of the position of the person I’m dealing with. Democracy to me cannot thrive or even survive without participation by you and I the electorate. Many people, including those who should be honoured by the federal government and the people of Nigeria have made huge sacrifices and laid down their lives to preserve democracy in Nigeria. When we exercise our right to choose our worthy government, we must know that, it is then that we affirm that their struggle was worthwhile

How do we Achieve the Impossible?

Naturally, we are all political animals in Nigeria. Politics may be fine for the politicians, but it’s got a pretty poor reputation amongst real business people. Politikers are perceived as power hungry dissimulators who act only to further their personal career. Politicians are the complete antithesis of business people. For those who get involved in government policy-making in the name of business, there are plenty of personal rewards. There’s surely no escaping it. But, how do we achieve the impossible? Life one way or another sometimes asks us to attempt some tasks we don’t feel we have the resources to complete or to come up with idea which might be eluding us. It all seems rather unfair. Yet we are or might just be one inspired idea away from a breakthrough that could get us off to a wonderful start. To get that idea, all we need to do is to stop worrying so intently while life is progressing, we should be less dramatic and less reactive. What I’m doing is not educating, it’s called mindshift-grassroot technique, mind over matter.

I really don’t mind using a cliché as long as the cliché works. We Nigerians are not quite sure what we are doing now. That’s actually a very reassuring indication that we might be doing exactly the right thing. But do we really want to know what the future holds? What if we are not ready for a particular piece of information? What if knowing it now would only upset us unnecessarily because we’d sound negative, even though it was positive? What if there was nothing we could do to change this? Or what if there was, but on a balance we were later going to feel that things were much better left as they were? I could say more about why what’s happening in our country now is so very right, but there’s no point. Really, though we need not worry. We do not know where we were before we came here. We don’t know where we will be going, who’s going to be around once we leave where we are right now. Some people say that if we contemplate these facts, we will grow wise perhaps, if we do, we’ll go bananas I mean crazy. Both to me are justifiable, but only one is right. In Nigeria of today, other people’s mistakes are always easy to spot. We can stand back and look at their lives and with the lofty luxury of detachment, pronounce judgement whilst dispensing good advice. But trust me, It’d all seem very different, if we were standing in their shoes or if they were in ours. What’s needed in our country now, quote me, is a dialogue not monologue.

We all Love our Leaders, Don't we? - Until we get Bored of them.

Our beloved Nigeria is full of people who know how to say exactly the right things. Sadly, many of them say it whilst actually doing the opposite. They get away with it too. That’s because we give our ears more credence than our eyes. Instead of looking at what’s really happening, we listen to the explanation.. As long as it matches what we want to believe, we accept it even if we know deep down, that it cannot be true. The law of the universe states that, people standing trial should be treated as innocent until proven guilty. It’s a shame we don’t have similar legislation to cover suggestions and propositions. We ought to treat these as easy until proven difficult. Far too often, smart solutions are dismissed without a proper hearing simply because they look as though they are going to cause too much trouble. The greatest asset we can have in life is an open mind, but how many of us in the most sort after nation on earth called Nigeria see this as I do? Life to me seems, often requires us to do a lot of what we really don’t want to be doing. We get so used to feeling frustrated that we imagine we will never get the balance to indulge in our favourite activity. Then, when an opportunity comes along, we are so wrapped up in the mechanics of survival that we fail to respond to the offer that is being made to us. But let’s ask ourselves a very simple question, why do we never run out of things to worry about in Nigeria? I have asked myself this same question more than enough times. For precisely the same reason that we never run out of things to be grateful for. We live in an abundant universe. One way or another, it always has more in store for us.

How then can we make sure that we get more of what we want, and less of what we do not in the name of God want? The truth of the matter is we just cannot. In this world of ours, it’s easy to make a grand announcement or an extravagant gesture. It is not though easy to make a constant, steady, subtle, effort to do the right thing. If we really want the result that we claim to be so desirous of in our country, we will avoid impressive, but ultimately empty, demonstrations. In life success requires wisdom and dedication. Neither of these two essential ingredients can be forged or falsified. Sometimes in life, it’s wise to make a move than make a promise. In Nigeria, our most beloved country some people are often described as wise and sensible. These words are invariably used in tandem, as if they were somehow, synonymous. To me it is often wise to be sensible and usually sensible to be wise, it can sometimes be very wise to be wild. In Nigeria our motherland, it is infinitely more important for us to be wise than sensible. There’s a risk that needs to be taken. But if we really think about what we know sometimes, we can see that it isn’t a risk at all. The future of our country right now as I’d said many times before needs taking charge of. We all love our leaders, don’t we? Of course we do. Until we get bored of them.. Leaders, who pass the test of time must have true integrity. Power as we might all know, is like fame in this respect. Plenty of Nigerians rise briefly to positions of authority.

But if we will be honest, the only ones who remain successful are those who care more about getting it right than they do about flaunting their status. All I’m saying right now is that we should all consider the long term today. The future of our country belongs to us all but what about laying the foundation today? The right things will happen in the right way as long as we accept that the right timing is not necessarily the timing of our choosing. One problem that we have is that, it’s always hard to negotiate when we badly want something. I’m not seriously trying to suggest that we should try to be dispassionate about the situation we sometimes are caught up in. That to me is unrealistic. It’s also not sensible to be far too deeply and emotionally involved in some things. But we can at least stand back a little further from it. We are better citizens than the doomsters think, but people are increasingly cynical about political dingoes and the way democracy works in our motherland. Grass-root level people feel excluded from decision-making processes because of some unscrupulous leaders. They feel they are rarely consulted or listened to, even in connection with issues that directly affect them. Empty promises that are not followed through can remove the motivational benefits of open communication. I have seen many examples of unhappy, distracted Nigerians who know something is going on and fear bad news. If there’s a regular forum for information sharing, citizens know they will be able to hear news and give feed back. But the government must be honest.

Appreciating our Leaders and Letting go of their Past Mistakes:

We don’t want to do it like this, we want to do it like that. There’s always someone ready to make such a comment. We must learn to stop listening to such remarks, especially if they involve criticism of past events. We can all drive ourselves crazy if we start asking questions such as ‘Why did you go and do that when you could have done this? One of my reasons for this comment is that, there’s a limit to the number of places a President can be in at once. In Nigeria, we know how to make our leaders feel torn. Lots of people want different things from the President. Lots of demands and lots of inviting options are arising. But which to choose? What should the president prioritise? My advice to our president and any future President is simple; don’t go for the obvious. Look at what’s likely to be of greatest value and importance in the long term. And then make your selection. Of course it may briefly cause a few eyebrows to be raised, but as a President with a dream of a better Nigeria, you have to follow your heart.

Tolerance though they say is a wonderful thing. So, too is compassion. Other great virtues include the ability to forgive others and the ability to shed a little hope and happiness in situations where much seems wrong. Our President can’t of course become magically perfect in every way. He can and should though, do a pretty good temporary impression of a person who is blessed with copious quantities of patience and goodwill. I believe, not only will this have an amazing impact on other Nigerians, he surely will enjoy it too. As the President of the most sort after nation in the world, he’s got promises to honour, projects to complete, decisions to make and urgent challenges to rise to. President Obasanjo should throw himself wholeheartedly into these as always. But dwell not on how fed up he feels with slanderers, blackmailers and evil mobs that attacks in their pride. I believe the struggle he’s been engaged in is nearly over. A part of him might not want to go ahead with some key commitments. He need’s to quell that doubt, seize his moment and make history as a President of Grand Eminence..

Now, Let's Travel Down the Track of Transformation.

We need to understand that prosperity should not be for a few but for all and Nigeria should be more ideologically united. Our government must learn not to be electoral device and should seek more personal prosperity. We need a stronger and better education, public service and socially compassionate party. Nigerians need a party that can enhance prosperity and a party of economic stability. There’s need for a commission for the Prevention of Child prostitution and women trafficking. A commission that must not be headed by a trafficker or rogue from hell, whose major business or source of income is through human rights abuse. We must also help this and future presidents in achieving the impossible. We have a country that has produced the most conniving political scum of the last order. Those who believe Nigeria is not worth dying for yet the same country has produced some citizens of incredible intellect. It’s not the law abiding citizens of this country that should be afraid but some evil lowlife parasites who do not believe in seeking dignity, truth and national/human unity. It’s the political prostitutes and blackmailers. This President has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Nigeria is the country of the present and of the future. We therefore need a new vision for Nigeria and a new covenant for our beloved country’s image.. There’s need for us to work towards restoring our country’s economic leadership. We need to change our strategy by putting Nigeria first and expanding the dream of a better, reliable, united and stable nation. We must be prepared to deal with the causes of crime in our country and not just the crime. Our government must set out some specific goals that are reachable. Government of the day… not just the President must make sure that grassroots people get help. Let’s forget about President Obasanjo’s few failures which, the mobs have picked up on, and appreciate that his success rate is excellent and that to me compares with the best.

Political Strategist, Professional Investigator, Honorary Representative
Hon V/Chairman, Congress of Diplomats and Parliamentarians
Fellow of the Atlantic Council of the United Kingdom

Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished so far but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.

Posted by Administrator at August 26, 2005 03:06 AM


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