Nigeria has path-dependently or even habitually allowed bad leaders and kakistocrats to enter positions of power and govern it either by means of coup d’etas or fraudulent ballots with relative ease and the resultant dissatisfaction is left to be managed by even worse leaders. The cycle of bad leader to bad leader to worse leader has thus become a solidly stable equilibrium in the nation, escaping it seems unlikely. Most Nigerians wonder endlessly how this habit can be broken or bad elections ended in order for good leaders to come into power and foster best governance possible in the society. All by itself this is a very mistaken expectation.
There has been too much optimism invested in what is widely touted in Nigeria as the ‘dividends of democracy’ i.e. the benign and enabling outcomes of democracy. After 18 years of a return to democracy in Nigeria, the dividends of democracy on offer has only meant the military is no longer in government. The dividends have neither been delivered in the form of better leadership nor better governance. Unsurprisingly, the crisis of leadership in Nigeria cannot be solved by democracy as a system all by itself. Democracy can fail societies terribly. Continue reading
Any political party promising to sell rice at 2014 prices might sweep President Buhari’s administration out government resoundingly. Never underestimate the hunger chasing millions of Nigerians like an avenging angel.
When the government introduces good ideas in Nigeria, they come as brazen wayward prostitutes never as enduring industrious spouses. The stuff of quick fixes never endures. The latest new concept necessitating the governments interest in Nigeria is rice. A few years back, rice became the rage because of the focus then was on “[political] ricism” – the use of rice [and other items] by politicians to induce voters to make on the spot decisions to vote for them. Now the rage is “rice self-sufficiency” – restrict rice importation (by imposing 60% duties) and improve the local rice industry’s production capacity. Consequently, rice is much less affordable in Nigeria today than hitherto, and citizens are feeling the sharp pinch. Before anyone qualifies the policy of rice self-sufficiency, we need to ask if it is another serial prostitute in the hands of the government or not.
Development in Nigeria is narrowly focused “brick, mortar and tarmac” constructions with imported technology gadgets thrown in, which is broadly appreciated by the masses and bragged about by the “developers”. Livelihoods, human development, life protection, life preservation and other aspects of developments in Nigeria are yet to kick-in as development objectives or indicators. Furthermore, the brick, mortar and tarmac constructions often have been elevated to mythical and unspoken dimensions as development achievements. Such thinking is a habitual turn of mind which has not evolved beyond pre-Independence expectations of development in developing nation ever-pregnant with hope.
There was considerable peace and “silence” during the 2015 Nigerian general elections yesterday. It was good news that apart from the “I am above the law” behaviour of some senior politicians there might have been no incidences of chaos or violence at all. The inefficiencies of (Independent National Electoral Commission) INEC would have usually caused alarm but Nigerians demonstrated they can be patient, tolerant, well-behaved and disciplined in the face of delays, procrastination and uncertainty like any other nationals. Really! Nigerians silent when they would usually vex and “rake”? Continue reading
Your piece is poignant and well written but discomforting to read, because it exposes issues of the “pitiful helplessness” and their resignation to it. The state is not going to help them. Instead the state wants to take their land, bulldoze their shanty towns, arrest them for trading without a permit etc. The poor have to survive often very desperate conditions. Even when they turn to crime it does not work out too well for them. The females do not have enough money to look good as prospective sex-workers and males soon get the message that they are easy to catch when they go on robbing missions. Yet, morality does not work very well on an empty stomach, soft and safer crimes are adopted. Continue reading
After the the image-shattering debacle of the #BringBackJonathan2015 campaign, a new kind of thanks to a national leader has emerged. Many people especially the sycophants, spokesmen and usual suspects are queuing up to thank President Goodluck Jonathan for swiftly taking the courage to order the pulling down the sacrilegious campaign posters. Would it have been better if he left them hanging in public places? The western media would have “atomised” him with ease. Other projects have not been dealt with nearly as swiftly #BringBackOurGirls in particular. Continue reading