by Tomiwa Aghedo
On a very personal level, although I do not seek to undermine the APC, but I am yet to see the “Progressive” agenda/aspect of the APC as a party
There is a problem and I’ll like to address it, Nigerians offer support, and often make decisions or pass judgments based on an elected officer’s political party, his ethnicity or his religion, which will and can never be in the interest of our great country Nigeria, basically, because Nigeria is bigger than political parties, ethnic ties and religious beliefs, so I see no reason why these political parties, ethnic and religious groups cannot put their ambitions, personal or group interests aside, and prioritize the country’s interest.
After Mandela’s passing, most of our politicians suddenly developed consciences, they openly commended and celebrated his life achievements, and yet refuse to emulate him; the center cannot hold if there’s no uniformity of purpose, the “purpose” I speak of is Nigeria’s development, apparently Nigeria with her bountiful resources, has been stuck with the tag ‘developing’ for too long, and apparently we need to put these factors aside, especially party politics and work together for the common good of the country.
I believe even our leaders need to be enlightened on what Democracy actually means, and how it applies to running a country; our leaders seem to have forgotten that the government is a functional system and its powers distributed across the three arms and the three tiers of government, to see to the effective running of the country, unified under one leader, which is the President, so allow me to be practical; all the governors, the L.G Chairmen all work under, and for the president, they all recognize by constitution the “President” as their leader, regardless of what political party they belong to; so whatever non-personal credit goes to a Governor, also goes to the President, also whatever is a landmark achievement for a Governor is also an achievement for the President, but this is not the case with Nigeria, we have Governors from opposing political parties speaking and working against the President, because of their loyalty to their political parties, which when termed practically is rebellion, you’ll hardly see the opposition party, instructing its members in government to work against the President or speak against the President in any of the developed nations; only because they recognize that if criticism is not constructive, it is incitement, and as such can only result in violence, as we have seen recently in some parts of our country.
On a very personal level, although I do not seek to undermine the APC, but I am yet to see the “Progressive” agenda/aspect of the APC as a party, and I’ll give just two reasons “since 2011, they have, as a party tried to sabotage the president’s tenure; always so quick to highlight the President’s flaws, always been so quick to criticize his policies without proffering solutions, or better still more effective policies, they have been identified with “desperation for power” and adopting ‘violence’ as a means of intimidation, which both does not speak well for them as a party that is supposed to bring about change, and I believe every well meaning and responsible Nigerian would not want to be associated with that kind of change, so I’m admonishing the opposition to rebrand and align their actions and approach with their vision.
I would love that every Nigerian picks up a dictionary to read and digest the meaning of “democracy” and check if there’s any mention of word ‘stakeholder(s)” we can no longer allow forums, elders, traditional rulers, platforms or even parties decide our country’s fate, let us, as a people weigh our options, decide and allow posterity judge us, there is no mention of the word, because ‘the people’ is too wide a range to be contained by such a word, John D. Rockefeller once said “I believe that every right implies a responsibility, every opportunity, an obligation; every possession a duty.” We “the people” have the right as electorates; and we have to be responsible with that, the opportunity to decide who leads us, and an obligation to make the right choices, and also perform our civic duties.
In 2011, we elected us leaders, and I believe we have the right to, at any point assess their performances, but, let us not also forget that it is our responsibility to be objective, to be supportive and if there is any need to criticize, do it constructively, a duty to always put the country’s interest above all personal and group interest.
Rather than have open letters, let’s have open prayers, constructive criticisms, responsible and non-ethnic bias politicians.
I also on a very personal level feel that our president is doing quite well, although he has not done too well fighting corruption, and to be fair, I also recognize that it is not only his responsibility to battle corruption, but that of every Nigerian; you contribute your quota to corruption when you influence the outcomes of a process that should have a standard procedure eg influencing an NYSC posting or the results of an exam, a promotion or the award of a contract etc. It is not only when the act is perpetrated by a public office holder that it is corruption; we need to tackle corruption as a nation united in purpose. We also need to get past this ethnic and religious bias, it is too limiting, because you’ll never be recognized primarily by religion or ethnicity, but by Nationality, let us embrace peace and love, and revel in unity.
I would on the other hand like to commend the president on his uncommon achievements, the NMRC initiative and acknowledge his efforts in ensuring that the people’s needs are met, and also admonish him to pay no attention to destructive criticism.
I would want all Nigerians to read the National Pledge and ask yourself ‘Am I truly aligned?’ God bless our Leaders, God bless Goodluck Jonathan, God bless Nigeria and God bless you too.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.