In 2011, a few days before the presidential election, a retired army general broke down in tears while lamenting the problems confronting Nigeria, same way every past president lamented before taking over power, either through bullets or ballots.
The venue was the International Conference Centre, Abuja. General Buhari broke down in tears at the event organised by the party—to mark the end of its presidential campaign. He wept profusely as he managed to bring to a close his 12-page address. While he was crying, Dr. Tunde Bakare, Col. Hammed Ali (rtd.) and former FCT minister, current governor of Kaduna state, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, also cried, using their handkerchief to control the tears falling from their eye sockets.
On that day, tears were rolling as rainfall. With that kind of tears, you don’t need any rainfall again. As they were crying in the FCT, led by GMB, the whole of the country was feeling it. If tears alone move the nations from 3rd world to 1st, Nigeria would have become a first world country. I am of the opinion that GMB (now PMB) used it to bond with the citizenry and four years after, he was voted out of Daura into the Federal Capital Territory and the rest they say is history.
Seven years after GMB and his team openly wept, pioneering a political strategy to sway the naive and credulous citizens, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar also cried when he was presented with the PDP presidential nomination form in Abuja! It was the same thing that moved Buhari to tears seven years ago that moved Atiku to tears seven years after! Do we now need a seer to know that we have not made any progress in seven solid years?
I make bold to tell Alhaji Atiku Abubakar that weeping alone is not going to deliver 2019 and anyone pretending not to have money to purchase N55 million APC presidential nomination form is not going to deliver a polling unit, let alone the whole nation. The only thing that shall connect to the hearts of our people this time around is sincerity, vision, brilliance, competence and creativity. Nigerians who are still following politicians blindly are destined to suffer till they relocate to the land of the silent ones.
I know that Nigeria is a very religious nation. On Sunday, Christians fill almost everywhere, worshipping their God and on Fridays, Muslims also pray everywhere, worshipping their God, too. We have wrongly programmed ourselves to think that God is going to come down to solve all our man-made problems for us. As an effect of this false belief, we handle lightly the crucial issue of leadership. The truth is, until we kick away sentiments, empty-religion and sectionalism from our midst when it comes to the man or woman who leads, we are going to remain as this for a very long time. And every four years, folks would be stepping forward, crying to bond with the naïve citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A few days back, I saw a poster in Lagos and I was showing a friend who was on it. It is obvious that the easiest and cheapest place to attract high finances is politics. If there is anything that is hindering us from thinking in Nigeria, it is our version of shallow politics. Once people step into the realm of politics, brilliant folks would begin to do imprudent, tactless and thoughtless things. People who are doing awesome things in varied fields of life, once they step into politics, their brilliance would breathe its last!
Tears blur and distort vision and we need those who can see to lead us beyond where we are as a people. The major source of our varied problems in Nigeria is blindness. What is destroying Nigeria is not corruption and terrorism, what is destroying us is blindness and what is delivering development in the nations that are working is a vision that is clear. And the major difference between Nigeria and nations that are working are those in leadership — men and women who can see and are brilliant enough to build what they are seeing through the eye of vision.
To connect with many naïve (we are trying to daily educate them) grassroot electorates, just cry like a baby. When you do that, they’d think you are in the same class with them, because they cry every day as an effect of poverty, oppression, power outage and potholes. Also, when you either blubber or eat roasted corn in the open, they would think you care for them and they would think you are going through what they are going through.
Last of all, it is one of my obligatory civic onuses to keep writing so as to open the eyes of our people to see those who hate them, but masquerading as saviors. 2019 is here and too far many scavengers are already masquerading as saviours!