Nigeria: We are our own en­emy

Daily Trust - - OPINION -

Nigeria, your coun­try, my coun­try, will never see any mean­ing­ful ad­vance­ment, un­less you and I learn how to be ac­count­able, and more im­por­tantly, take our pub­lic of­fi­cials to ac­count at all times.

Of course, ac­count­abil­ity is a com­plex and mul­ti­fac­eted con­cept. It is one of the hall­marks of democ­racy. But de­spite its im­por­tance, we, (Nige­ri­ans) have fail to make good use of such a pow­er­ful tool. Iron­i­cally, in the case of demo­cratic Nigeria, there is no such thing called ac­count­abil­ity.

In­deed, ac­count­abil­ity has been wiped out of our lex­i­con or men­tal sheets. Con­se­quently, we rou­tinely de­cline to hold pub­lic of­fi­cials ac­count­able, in spite of their per­sis­tent dere­lic­tion of duty. And more so due to un­bri­dled de­voted at­tach­ment, the ob­du­rate party loy­al­ists are ever so ready to pounce on who­ever takes it upon his/her­self to crit­i­cise their ir­re­spon­si­ble of­fi­cials.

Strangely, the un­sus­pect­ing party fol­low­ers have been in­doc­tri­nated to re­ject the truth by hook or by crook. Take, for in­stance, the party apol­o­gists have been pros­e­ly­tised and brain washed to pro­nounce ‘a cow as a sheep’ and ‘a white sheep as a black cow’. That is not clever. Is it? Do you blame th­ese brass bound fol­low­ers? I don’t blame them, be­cause even Schizophren­ics like Adolf Hitler, Sad­dam Hus­sein, Osama Bin Ladin and Abubakar Shekau had fol­low­ers who stren­u­ously prop­a­gated their masters’ evil agenda.

Let us ad­mit, though, our ma­nip­u­lat­ing politi­cians have been need­lessly hold­ing back our ad­vance­ment with their vo­ra­cious ac­tions and in­ac­tions. To be quite hon­est, my heart bleeds any­time I ru­mi­nate over the first black pres­i­dent in the sub Sa­ha­ran West Africa Dr Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana’s pa­tri­otic and en­liven­ing mes­sages. Dr Nkrumah pos­i­tively as­serted back then, that Black­man was more than ready and ca­pa­ble of rul­ing him­self. But was he right back then? I will ven­ture to sug­gest that one can­not be faulted for har­bour­ing marked dis­po­si­tion for or against Dr Nkrumah’s state­ment. He sounded like a man­ful op­ti­mist, as a mat­ter of fact. Yes, I would like to con­cur, a Black­man has the req­ui­site knowl­edge and in­tel­li­gence to be able to man­age his own af­fairs, but has the in­tel­li­gent and knowl­edge­able Black­man been able, and more im­por­tantly will­ing to do so?

Here in Nigeria in par­tic­u­lar and Africa at large we have heard of pub­lic of­fice hold­ers who loot pub­lic funds only for their own self­ish in­ter­ests and when they are in­ter­ro­gated they com­plain they are been hu­mil­i­ated. What an­noys me much is when our own ju­di­cial sys­tem is used to set this loot­ers free with­out noth­ing been done about it.

Am not sur­prised any­way be­cause we have had in this same Nigeria where judges were in­ter­ro­gated for fi­nan­cial crime. Hm­mmm!! When will Nigeria my coun­try, your coun­try, our coun­try be free from cor­rup­tion and pave way for ac­count­abil­ity?

Take, for in­stance, why must a pub­lic ser­vant hold on to his/ her po­si­tion de­spite an ad­mis­si­ble ev­i­dence of dere­lic­tion of duty? Is it be­cause we are afraid of be­ing held ac­count­able? If that is the rea­son why then should we as Nige­ri­ans be­have the way we be­have?

Let’s have it at the back of our minds that we are not do­ing this coun­try any good but harm. We will def­i­nitely live this same Nigeria for our chil­dren and their chil­dren and as such we should make Nigeria a bet­ter place for our chil­dren and their chil­dren. It is about time we all em­brace the whis­tle blow­ing pol­icy to pave way for ac­count­abil­ity in Nigeria

In sum, hence­forth, we must cease our servile com­pli­ance and learn to hold our ir­re­spon­si­ble of­fi­cials to ac­count at all times. Cel­e­brat­ing, hid­ing and prais­ing cor­rupt of­fi­cials will only worsen our sit­u­a­tion as Nige­ri­ans in par­tic­u­lar and Africa at large.

Ahmed Ru­fai Dauda, Depart­ment of Mass Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, Bayero Univer­sity, Kano.

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