Only Madmen Can Change Nigeria: A Nation From Good To Bad, Morality To Immorality

13 December 2010

By Bukhari Muhammed Bello Jega

You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future. - Thomas Sankara.

The world has undergone various transformations over the last decades. This transformation has had far reaching consequence to the stratification of the world into various economic and political blocs. These stratification seriously entrenched equality and inequality, justice and injustice, development and underdevelopment, peace and war, and affluence and poverty. However, it is important to say, that, this new world economic and political realities is also facilitating the growing, discovery and rediscovery of national leaders and statesmen who are passionate about their country and eager to challenges their environment and people to harness national potentials for the development of their country. These leaders are not only angry with the national hopelessness and confusion in their country; but, are developmentally mad with everything they see around them.

There is no doubt, everything is fundamentally wrong with this promising country Nigeria! A country with abundant mineral and human resources; but, over the years, leaders of all season, have tailored and fashioned the country in such a shape that everyone today, have caved in to ravage the crumbs that are failing from their elders tables. Over the years various leaders have undertaken reforms programmes aimed at fast-tracking the development of the country; but, however, efforts in this direction have failed flat, due to lack of sincerity and commitment on the part of policy formulators. There is no way, any nation can aspire for any development, when the fabrics that will facilitates such development are infected with the cancerous virus of corruption, ineptitude and terrible set of leaders in all season.

The Nigerian state as currently constituted, will take a mad - man, or men who are angry with the crisis of development taking place in the country to make things happen. What, the country need in this auspicious time, is a man, not demented with the ills of the past and present reality; but, has the commitment, passion and anger for development. A man who is inpatient with the situation and ready to step on enemies toes both within and outside the country. A man who will not be mindful of what the outside world say about him; but, rather concern with his place in the eyes and history of his country men and women. This mad  man, will imbibe the character of leader not a rule; servant not a master; candle who lighted up the way for his country's development; a man who see Nigeria with an eye of patriot, flowing with passions and commitment to change the status quo, not a ruler who see Nigeria as his natural farmland flowing with milk and honey to service him, family and cronies; a man who talk less but, act decisive irrespective whose mouse is on the way.

So, for Nigeria is like an abandoned project; an old car that make the loudest noise without motion; it is only a man with some degree of insanity from the leadership that will change the tide of national hopelessness and confusion run-up to 2011 elections. I believe only a mad man; will be able to take up the challenge. Mad man not in the real sense; but, a no nonsense man with the iron will to make things happen. There is no doubt; Nigerians are the most obedient set of people the world over. Nigerians absolved all kind of nonsense and difficulties from their neophytes class of leaders. It is often argued that, Nigerians can change if pious and dedicated leaders emerge among them; that are not only selfless, honesty, committed; but, takes courageous decision for the interest of the commonwealth of the country. But, unfortunately, Nigerians can be worst that the devil (if there is anyone like that), if corrupt and insensitive leaders emerged among them.

I believe, the last twelve (12) years of democratization have just demonstrated how crude and insensitive the leaders in the last epoch could be in changing the orientation of Nigerians from good to bad, morality to immorality, patriotism to treachery, courage to cowardice, and self esteem to the worst inferiority complex among the populace.

The current united front between Nigerian leaders and followers in entrenching corruption in Nigeria only portend bad omen for the development of the country. It will take a mad man, to change the mindset of Nigerian towards material acquisition and self aggrandizement. Everything has all line up in this country to distort and entrenched hopelessness and confusion in the land. Sometime, I often ask myself the basic question, if given the opportunity to be the president of Nigeria today, where am going to start from? I really I don't envy any of the presidential candidates and the current president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; because I know even, the masses are not ready for change. The Nigerian people are more of alarmist and complainants knowing all the problems and solution to the crisis of Nigerian development; but often failed to take action when the need arises. The Nigerian leaders have understood the mindset of Nigerians; that, they can predict our action accurately; that Is why they don't give a dam on how Nigerians feels over their social security and welfare.

What Nigeria need at this auspicious time of national crisis; are Leaders that are mad with the crisis of development of the country. These mad leaders, are not mindful of their safety and life; but, are move by the concern to laid the foundation for the next generation to enjoy the sweats, tears and blood of their founding father. These leaders are ready to tackle all obstacle places on their way by the social forces within and outside the country. These leaders' uses all instrument including arrests and assassination of saboteurs who are head bent on thwarting the developmental drives of the country for the interests of the commonwealth and societal social welfare. I believe, it will be worthy to remove a soul that is an obstacle to the over all development of the country; than to allow such a soul to stagnate and withhold the developmental drive of the country. It is the activities of these saboteurs that have dwarfed this promising country. Please human rights advocate excuse me on this; because, I don't know what is more humiliating and violation of our individual and collective human right, than, the activities of these saboteurs and lumped bourgeoisie class, that are depriving the people of the means of production that support live. I believe these human rights advocates should move their activism from fundamental human right to fundamental human duties; because the world already have move away from these human right activism to human duties activism that ensures the dignity of man to have access to better living condition, fewer health problems, better education, balance nutritious, good shelter, and moral relations, that build self confidence.

I believe, the mad man Nigerians are advocating for here, is someone, that will execute subtle revolution in our minds and draw the line of demarcation, that, it is no longer business as usual. These mad men will not be concern with their popularity and the quest for winning next election; but, with the passion to set the country straights. In order not to sound, too political, but, I believe the regime of General Murtala Mohammed and General Muhammed Buhari fits into this contraption; but, we will soon argued that they are military regime? Which I will agreed, but, I still believe, the current democratic experience, will not fashion any fundamental change in the system; except we commission group of scholars both political, sociological, legal and historians to fashion a democratic contraption that is in tandem with the historical, cultural and environmental realities of the Nigeria state. Western liberal democracy as experimented right now; only throw open the floodgate of leadership to all kind of ruffians, rascals, jobbers, opportunists criminals, gangsters and drug barons to stand in elections as possible leaders. The system has no ganging instruments to screen and recruit leaders in all ramifications; that are committed and passionate to set the ball rolling for the development of the country. This because, the men that will offers this paradigm are often to poor; lacking the basic material resources and exceptional character of deception, lying and treachery to contest various elective position..

We may continue to pretend that all is well; that the Western liberal democracy is the best option for Nigeria; but, the basic facts and the experience all over the world is a different story entirely. Nations have fashion and tailored democratic system according to their environmental, historical, and cultural milieus. We eulogies the Asia tiger as an evidence of development; but, yet, we are not ready to make the sacrifice these nations endure under their benevolent leaders; who stayed for a very long time and developed their society. Mahmud Mahthir led Malaysia for 26 years, Lee Kauw Yee led Singapore for 25 years, Chairman Mao Zedong led China for 30 years, etc. these were all mad men that were annoyed with the hopelessness and confusion in the society; and single handily rise up above partisanship and selfish interests to evolve a system that is today, a force to recon with. Today, western democracies are looking up to the Asia tigers for investment and fund to augments the general slides of hopelessness and economic crisis in their domain; as result of unregulated capitalist/democratic system. According to a writer, while analysis the crisis taking place in the western countries; came into conclusion that, the world capital of democracy and capitalism have finally gone "broken". This is rather a "broken western democracy".

It is imperative, to say, the time for sober reflections and stock taking is now; if it is worthy to practice a system that we cannot actually fund and run. What is the basis of wasting over N 84 billion naira to purchase Direct Capture Machine for voter registration; when almost all your tertiary institutions have collapsed in your every eye? Put this money into our tertiary institution in Nigeria today and see the magic that will happen. The case of the 2009 budgetary allocation is a typical example. A breakdown of the 2009 National Budget shows that members of the National Assembly and the personnel of a part of the Presidency will be paid 47.8 billion naira as emoluments during the year. The 360 members of the House of Representatives were to receive 26.67 billion naira while the 109 Senators were to get 16.3 billion naira. When provisions for legislative aides, the National Assembly Service Commission and the National Assembly Office are factored in, the total allocation to the federal legislature stands at 61.6 billion naira; making it a total of 1.5337 trillion (one trillion, fifty three billion and thirty three million naira) too outrageous to service the allowances of these neophytes and their cronies; who are contributing less than the massagers, teachers, lecturers, police officers, nurses, civil servants and traffic warders on our roads, but, are paid less; who can one be patriotic in this space of injustice. Is democracy aimed at promoting inequality and injustice?

I know this writing will not be popular among Nigerians who are feeling that there is no alternative to democracy? But, I believe there is alternative to Western liberal democracy only if we search deeper into our history and cultural. For most of us that still suffer from colonial and neo-colonial hangover, I will like to recommend some books for you, such "Social Science as Imperialism by Claude Ake,", "Leadership and Governance in Nigeria, the Reflection of Value by Mahmud Tukur", Neo-colonialism as the Highest Stage of Imperialism, How Europe Underdeveloped Africa by Walter Rodney, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, Globalization and the Emerging Realities by Mahmud Mahathir, From Third World to First World the Story of Singapore by Chairman Lee Kuuar  Yee etc. I know we are not border, because Nigeria is nation with poor reading culture; that is why we are not a knowledge driven society; rather a certificate awarding one Nigeria need mad men at the leadership position that will change the general slide into social oblivious and underdevelopment. Nigeria need benevolent dictators as leaders; that will discipline and set the country on the right track of development. I will conclude with the summation of my mentor and leader per excellent, Thomas Sankara (1985) who argued that; I would like to leave behind me the conviction that if we maintain a certain amount of caution and organization we deserve victory... You cannot carry out fundamental change without a certain amount of madness. In this case, it comes from nonconformity, the courage to turn your back on the old formulas, the courage to invent the future. It took the madmen of yesterday for us to be able to act with extreme clarity today. I want to be one of those madmen. We must dare to invent the future. This explains why Sankara lives on in the minds of those who have value for humanity.
Happy searching

Senior Consultant and Youth Development Expert
Center for Political Research, Education and Development (CEPORED)
Wuse Zone 4 Abuja



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