Authority and Control
If one thing has become quite clear about the current security situation, it is that those in authority have lost control. The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) is accusing President Jonathan of being more interested in retaining power than in truly tackling terror and the war on corruption. It is disconcerting that our President gallivants around the nation attending unnecessary political rallies while the nation burns uncontrollably. There is no gainsaying that he has been unable to put an end to widening acts of terrorism or treasury looting, but to be fair how much can one man do? The situation has passed the stage of division along party lines. It’s increasingly difficult to take our political class seriously because they spend most of their time wrestling with their egos while failing to find appropriate solutions to our problems. It irritates them if they are not referred to as “Honorable”, despite revelations of their dishonorable behavior. They insist on being addressed as “Your Excellency” despite their far from excellent performances. Representing only themselves they love the authority and are only interested in controlling the purse strings. They are so obsessed with showing people their status that it never occurred to them some people would take great offence and react accordingly. While ego wrestling takes up the bulk of their time we are fast approaching a situation in which a complete breakdown of law and order is no longer unimaginable. Truthfully the nation is currently affected by an increasing number of violent conflicts over land, religion and oil. Conflicts which have been fueled by a mass of disaffected youths who find life so meaningless and hopeless that disorderly conduct and armed conflict has become their daily routine. It’s now apparent that Government doesn’t have the capacity to protect citizens’ rights either to life or to enjoy peaceful co-existence with their neighbors. The house is falling when a serving Governor can be described by senior officials in the Presidency as an “unmitigated leadership disaster…” who has a “morbid hatred for facts and truth”. If the Federal Government is concerned about the truth, then they must accept their responsibility for the overall worsening security situation. Real problems need real solutions but these solutions are getting further from our grasp because those who are supposed to cooperate and solve problems are busy opposing themselves. Nigeria has been described as a nation blessed with everything except good leadership. Regrettably those who are supposed to provide it at this critical point in time are busy playing politics. The President’s unfortunate public relations gaffe where he was seen dancing at a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) rally even when over 200 girls have been abducted and are yet to be found dead or alive, is a prime example of concentration on personal political wellbeing over the wellbeing of citizens. The truth is that no matter what is said at political rallies, without peace and security we can’t talk of proper governance, infrastructure development, attracting foreign investors, or achieving wealth creation. No country can achieve human and economic development in an atmosphere of tension and bloodletting. Every water dam must have a mechanism to release the water pressure at certain crucial times otherwise the structure will fail. Nigeria has got to the stage where we need to activate our national “release valve” in order to avert a catastrophic structural failure. Alas the National Conference delegates who were supposed to provide such a release are busy posturing while the nation slides further into anarchy. Many analysts suspect that the deteriorating security situation is not really about religious conflict or communal conflict. There are signs that some of the sponsors of violence are faceless people whose ultimate objective is to further divide Nigerians along ethnic and religious lines for their benefit. The politics of religion can only compound our problems not solve them. Suffering caused by exploitation, incompetence, and lack of ideology by the political class is common not only to militants, but also to all other impoverished masses of whichever tribe or religious persuasion. Most of our backwardness comes from failure to knowledge the truth about ourselves and our society. We are dwelling in some things have no relevance to progress. As a nation we only pay lip service to the rule of law. Our current problems with the rule of law have their roots in the Niger Delta amnesty program in which those who believed in violent change and criminality were “settled”, while those who believed in the rule of law were ignored. This sent the wrong message to other disaffected youths. The truth is that the Niger Delta Militant leaders should have ended up in jail. We must understand where order belongs. No one can be seen to prosper from creating disorder and challenging authority. Political motives can never be sufficient justification for outright criminal behavior against innocent victims. The reason we must all obey the law is simply because it allows for orderliness in the society and when a society is orderly it can progress faster than when it is disorderly. Almost all Nigerians believe that government is lamentably corrupt and callous towards the poor, but we don’t go around taking it out on innocent civilians. Those perpetrating violence must treat others in the same manner as we want others to treat them. Personal religious beliefs should be expressed in good deeds not violent actions. Our political class must ask themselves what is the real meaning of peace of mind? Nigerian society is sharply divided into those who have and those who don’t and when those in charge take away hope then we are treading on dangerous ground. Bad governance over the years has impoverished a majority of the population and the sadly Nigerians continue to leave the country in droves to find peace of mind elsewhere. For those in authority to regain control of the situation they must resolve ditch their selfish and self-centered attitudes and lead by example of fairness .