By Aniefiok Udoudo
For close to four years now, those who have been following the happenings in Nigeria would agree that the dignity of the country has not only been questioned but has been so trivialized by those who claim to be the leaders of the people, that even a baby cannot help but identify the doom that has befallen the country.
Unfortunately also, the helpless nay, the hapless led seem to be enjoying the ignoble display of shameless theatrical performance of these “leaders”. This is why the social media and the traditional mass media are only awash with pro and con of the clowns who claim to be leaders.
I only worry about who is that true leader that is going to lead Nigeria out of the degenerating state that the country has been subjected to. Or do we have to still remain self-pitied that the beautiful ones will never be born in Nigeria?
I can recall the attempt made by Our Mumu Don Do group to resist the kind of humiliation that Nigeria faces; it was the same led who bear the brunt of the undignified state of the nation that almost lynched those who tried to get to the fore, the ills of the government. That was when the President was still on medical vacation.
The invasion of the National Assembly and the seizure of the mace by some thugs only divided the led between those who applauded the shameless act and those who abhorred it. The Federal Government acquiesce over the various killings in the country by the Fulani herdsmen has also divided the led among the group of supporters of the government and those who see government action as unwholesome.
The prosecution of the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic and later, his being framed as a sponsor of armed robbers in Ofa, also divided the led between those who supported the Federal Government action and those who supported the Senate President. The house arrest of the Senate President and his deputy to prevent them from attending to the legislative functions also divided the led between those who supported the action of the executive and those who sympathised with the principal officers if the National Assembly.
The use of the personnel of the State Security Service to barricade the National Assembly and prevent the principal officers from meeting and the subsequent sack of the head of SSS by the Acting President has like others divided the led between the supporters of Daura and the Acting President.
Since the beginning of this year, it has been intra-party squabbles led by the ruling party, yet the led are still divided among themselves. The ongoing scenario of the intra-party rifts in the ruling APC who have forgotten what they started four years ago, has definitely taken a toll on the governance of the country. It is either somebody must remain a member of the party or there is no need to conduct the activities of the government.
The led seem to have been forgotten or pushed aside to enable the party people fight for supremacy all in the name of coming back to tell the same led how good they are to continue to lead. This can only happen in a country where the led are assumed to have nothing to contribute to the governance of the country.
In all of these blatantly shameless shows, which one can one point to as representing the interest of the led? Unfortunately, though, the led are the ones for any reason of theirs, who encourage the clowns to continue to embark on the stinking and eye-aching performances. The question therefore is: how long does Nigeria have to be a theatre of shameless display of undignified political interests? How long shall we the led remain stooges in the hands of the selfish politicians who have made politics so loathsome to those who believe in decency? How long shall we clap for them to continue with their unwholesome practices?
Must the led in Nigeria also behave like the politician-leader who sings praises of one party today but tomorrow will sing the dirge of that party? The politicians have the parties to defect to but we the led only have Nigeria as our own. Therefore, it is high time we became wise and be able to show the politicians how to lead.
Good Nigerian citizens who have really observed the political trend in the country will agree that the politicians have lost their sense of leadership and gone really mad again with the euphoria of defection which is the stage performance now. But if this trend continues, what will be the hope of the next generation? I ask this question for I have always hear that the younger generation is what we need to take Nigeria to the promise land yet the majority of those who exhibit the triviality of political leadership in the country now are the not too old.
Making short my argument, with the current political trend in the country, I am yet to see that politician in the country who is committed to serving the country selflessly. But we cannot continue this way for ever; the onus is for us the led to take the bull by the horns and let go selfish relationship with those politicians who have trivialized the dignity of the country. Just two years ago, on the 15th July, 2016, the Turks went to the streets to resist military takeover of the democracy in their country. If the military can be resisted from derailing a country’s democracy, I believe that Nigerian citizens can rescue the country of politicians’ infirmity to destroy the country’s democracy.
The fact that there is no political party in Nigeria may be the only thing that the led are yet to understand. The led should understand that there is no APC and there is no PDP. Perhaps, I may equally be misunderstood here. But show me one politician in the country (right from the one who had served as the president of the country) who believes in the difference between his party and the others.
Therefore, would it not be safe to state that there are two parties in Nigerian – the politicians and us, the citizens? If that is so, what is our place in the Nigerian project since the politicians have failed the country? I hope ours is not to laugh at the clowns and just forget it or to take side with them sheepishly. Ours is to stand up for system change, not the APC change. Ours is to support groups like Our Mumu Don DO to change the kind of nightmare that we have been having in the hands of the politicians. Our mumu don do indeed.
- Udoudo is of the Department of Linguistics & Communication Studies,University of Port Harcourt.