The palpable excitement, amidst the ongoing politicking and deft moves and manoeuvres going on all over the land, is quite remarkable. Alignments and realignments, resignations and decamping, subterfuge and all kinds of subterranean manipulations thrill us.
Politicos are very active today at the market. So many candidates up for election. Non of them mentions our foundational disease. They all tell us they are best in the world.
They tell us they’ll make life easier for us all, grow the economy, tackle insecurity, create jobs and unite the country. Their acolytes re-echo the message: “Our candidate is the best man for the job”.
Redundant ex this and ex that are co-opted as campaign DGs, technical and political advisers. Media men are carried along as PR managers. A lot of cash going around for everyone.
The great empowerment ritual every four years, helps folks pay school fees, a new car for the wife, erect a country home, move life forward. No wonder everyone looks forward to this season.
Everyone smiles to the bank, because our great politicos bring out and distribute funds husbanded and hidden exactly for this purpose.
Power. The quest for power.
Power is so sweet.
Ascendance to power makes one a legend.
Fame, wealth, authority and power, all in one swoop.
Your life turns into sweet dreams. Old classmates reconnect with you after many decades. You walk the red carpet every day. You join the big boys’ club.
You get to initiate grand projects, you enjoy reverence from Bishops, traditional rulers, everyone. You get to make the history books. Most importantly, you play around with money. Real money. Huge amount of dough. You get to learn about Don perignon champagne, hire private jets and wait for this, senior “colleagues” gladly teach you the art of running foreign bank accounts with the names of your kids, siblings and even grand children.
You are taught the intricacies of off-shore banking in tiny islands and small nation states the world over, you register companies in islands where confidentiality laws protect the directors of the company. You live your dream life and walk with a swagger.
Every four years a battle is fought to sustain your lifestyle. The weapons of the battle are in your hands already.
The elections umpire, security agencies, your structure of loyalists, your friends in the mainstream media and social media influencers are all in your pocket, plus more than enough slush money to prosecute the war.
Life is sweet. Politics is so sweet.
You are on top of your game.
Your fellow politicos are all like you. They want power as well. The hapless gullible masses are pawns, the foot soldiers, as well as the ignorant victims of the tragedy of our lot.
The largesse and hand outs that fly around this electioneering season blinds us all to the reality of our unkind situation and the stark reality of our grave condition as a people.
The educated and enlightened elite club, surprisingly lead the eating-up-our-tomorrow team.
As government contractors and influence peddlers, they survive purely through the ongoing procurement sleaze.
Everybody knows this is killing our country, but everyone wants his own cash out. And the beat goes on.
For the next several months easy cash will flow, cheap unearned money, many will make not a little “kill”.
Carpet baggers, rent seekers and influence peddlers of all shades will “make it big.”
Elections will come and go, and our guys will start plotting for the same season four years away. That’s what we crave and enjoy.
But is that what the beleaguered country needs? You will be unpopular at this time if you aren’t flowing with the madding crowd. Nobody is interested at this time in the truth.
The unflattering truth that what our dear country truly needs is to face reality and courageously begin the onerous and inevitable job of addressing our troubles from the root.
We will never get it right until we sincerely address our structural inadequacies and defects that inspires all our problems.
Malaria brings inadequacies and defects that inspires all our problems.
Malaria brings headache, weakness, fever, loss of appetite, joint pain and tiredness. All these are symptoms of malaria.
You won’t get well if you address just the headache with analgesics. Or treat the joint pain with a massage. Wet towel therapy alone won’t heal the fever. Neither will mentholatum rub cure the body ache. Only treating the malaria from the root will bring healing.
To address our malaria, we must run laboratory tests, ascertain the degree of the malaria parasite in the blood stream and treat the malaria. Only then will all the symptoms go away and we’ll become as fit as a fiddle.
Our country is sick, the unitary structure bequeathed us by the military isn’t working. Only a holistic reconstruction of the polity along the lines of true federalism and devolution of powers will heal our land.
Every problem eating up our land today, flows from there. No human being can make Nigeria great under this unitary 1999 constitution.
It may be unappealing to present this truth, because politicking and election season pleases our senses and blinds us to the truth. The urgent need of our country today, is restructuring our polity and healing the land.
Elections are important, but healing the land is what we need today. 2014 National Confab report should be implemented without delay.
The electioneering euphoria will pass away and our problems will rebound in our face. We need to restructure Nigeria urgently.
What we truly need as a country is more important than the elections we crave for.
Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu-Uko, the founder of Igbo Youth Movement (IYM), wrote from Enugu