Author­ity and Con­trol

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

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 .

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.