Having watched with keen interest and reflected upon the journey so far of the APC led Federal Government and the sufferings of millions of Nigerians, I am constrained in conscience to pen down this piece at a time when our politics is too focused on who is up and who is down. I am of the view that the founding fathers of our country learned to disagree without being disagreeable – they demonstrated that it’s possible to compromise so long as you know those principles that can never be compromised; and that so long as you are willing to listen to each other you can get the best in people instead of the worst.
It is quite ‘ad rem’ to remind this government that the legitimacy of a Government and its power to govern a people depends on their consent. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the Government to meet the terms of its social contract to the people and not to be victimizing the people, much as it is the responsibility of the governed to monitor the activities of their political leaders with a view to renewing their mandate for good performance or using constitutional provisions to vote them out for non-performance.
This is because, Nigerians surrendered certain rights to them in return for security and the protection of their inalienable rights. These rights also include; the right to life, property and liberty. Remember, it is a known fact that men and women are born with these rights equally and the Government must protect them. Where the Government fails to do so, the citizens reserve the right to challenge its authority and if necessary, overthrow it.
After a critical assessment of this government and its performance within the last two years, I have come to the conclusion that what has stopped it from meeting some of the major challenges facing the country is not the absence of sound policies and constructive plans but the failure of leadership, the ‘smallness’ of their political acumen- in other words, the ease with which the government is easily distracted by trivialities, its chronic avoidance of tough decisions, its penchant for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling its sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.
For over two years now, we’ve been told that change for a better life is possible. we have also been told that the anxiety Nigerians feel about rising costs of food, goods and unpaid salaries are an illusion, and that tough talk including an ill-conceived war can replace diplomacy, and strategy, and foresight. And when all else fails, when herdsmen /Boko Haram kill, they are compensated by a supposedly responsible government that promised to protect its citizens. They are distracted from their real failures, and we are told to blame the other party.
What majority of Nigerians need is a fair shot at the Nigerian dream. That is what most Nigerians are looking for. This is obviously not too much to ask for, Nigerians don’t need government to solve all their problems, and they don’t want it to. They just want to know that if they put in the work that’s required, they’ll be able to build a better life not just for themselves, but for their children and grandchildren. It’s the idea that in this country, the only limit to success is how big you’re willing to dream and how hard you’re willing to work. A government that works for all Nigerians — that’s the kind of government I’m talking about.
However, the current sectarian agitations are manifestations of the government’s failure to recognize the humanity of those who elected it; or more broadly, you stand idly by as our problems grow, as more and more people go without jobs, good health care, or the skills they need to get ahead in the 21st century.
It is indeed quite unfortunate that Nigerians are gradually becoming disillusioned and frustrated. Who ever thought that an average Nigerian who loves life would commit suicide? The cabals have turned the government of the day into a game only they can afford to play. A red card for such type of politics. It’s time to turn the page if you must continue. As 2019 approaches, we are waiting! Remember, the citizens retain the supreme power to hire and fire! Wake up! Enough of the lies and propaganda!
By Rev. Fr. Paul Danbaki Jatau PHD
Nigeria can ONLY prosper if all the citizens prosper.