Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Building walls instead of bridges

Building walls instead of bridges
November 27
12:35 2017

Walls are built to protect, cover up or separate. The more walls we have in the society the more discontent and isolated the people become. The Buhari – led administration came with a change mantra and equity for all. Despite all the noise, certain unfolding events within the body politics are suggesting the administration may be building walls instead of bridges. As we move towards 2019, the more connecting bridges the administration builds the better for its wholesome system function and its reelection goal achievements.

Taking a cue from the Berlin Wall,  the initial purpose was not utterly bad as a former US President said ‘walls are better than wars’. But the presence of Berlin Wall was a  reminder of a cold war between East and  Western Germany then. Because of the wall, many attempts to break into western part where full democracy was assured led to the death of hundreds if not thousands of people.

In Nigeria today, there is a yearning for equality,  good governance devoid of nepotism, favouritism and ethnic protection amongst many other vices. These vices had weakened Nigeria’s democracy and democratic institutions.  Nigeria continues to embrace federal character, the Intent of which was good, but its execution encourages mediocrity and perceived favouritism as well as weakens professionalism in its highest standard.

We all yearn for a better day where we think our children can live without an iota of tribalism and where equity is embraced and served with utmost integrity or with a level of genuine sincerity. What we see and read in the news everyday still affirm  George Orwell assertion ”all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.  What is good for the goose may not be good for the gander.

Equity, patriotism and on the other hand what is termed corruption may have two faces based on who and relationship of the individual with the power that be.  Rumours, insinuations are widespread   black can be viewed  from the angle of white if a person changes camp overnight. While the government has vehemently denied this what is clear  to ‘the blind eyes and to the  audible deaf ears’ is that the drumbeat is producing  strange and mixed rhythms.

For instance, how do we explain the mysterious disappearance and reabsorption of Maina into the Federal civil service? A man with heavy allegations and burdens of financial misappropriation of pension fund in his hand. All we have today is blame trading and no one has accepted responsibility in a country where zero tolerance for corruption is the main mantra? There has been no real official pronouncement from the Presidency. As if that is not enough, the drama of former head of State’s Secret Service had remained a puzzle till date.  First,  ‘covert operation’ money running into Millions was discovered in a rented private apartment in Ikoyi Lagos. Committee was set up but it took months before actions were taken. Yes, the public was told it was better to be late than never as the government did not want to contravene any law while trying yo fight corruption.  When the decision was eventually made and final approval Maina’s  sack and eventual prosecution should be put in place, there has been protection from State Agency against his arrest.

The same situation holds for former Secretary to the Federal Government Babachir Lawal. His ordeal started with the  Senate raising issues about alleged complicity and abuse of office in relations to money meant for Internally Displaced People. Mr. Lawal boasted before a National Television he could not be touched based on his evaluation of perceived wall government had built around him. Unfortunately for him, despite this protection, the noise in the nation led to the collapse of the wall. Today he had been sacked like Mr. Oke. Many  people and other international development Agencies like United Nations Human Right Commission had recommended Mr. Lawal’s prosecuted but not much  has been heard from that corner.

Any government that builds walls instead of bridges, which connect with its values, goal aspirations, can only make little impact. What is certain is that when a government’s success rate  is measured by volumes of walls built instead of bridges  many people will make an  attempt at jumping the wall from every side. What we know is that building bridges which connect and place everyone on equal pedestal irrespective of party affiliation, tribes and closeness to power will deliver better value.

In trying to jump the  ‘Berlin Wall’  many lives will be lost in the process until the wall crashes. This is a matter of time. It may take more than 20 years but what is certain is that the cold war will give way one day and each person will be remembered for the roles they play. The ball is in Buhari – led administration’s court now. This is the best time to pull down the wall and engage in building strong and connecting bridges. Doing this will make the memory of the administration to linger for good.


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