BY PHILIPS CHIDUMEBI
See these lives, resting on your lips
And the tears words fall on, shaping the deep seas,
See as legs trail before they sink,
If we sleep to dream, when do we wake?
The reality is, politics as an institution was crafted for the sake of order. To have people solely responsible for carrying out stringent actions for the balance of nations and systems. Politics as an idea was to hush so many voices speaking at once, and instead have representatives speaking for a group of people. This concept has enormously yielded results over years, and the world as we know, has gradually grown into a steady sphere, with inter-relationships between continents and countries.
Politics is traditionally built on mandates, the masses hear promises and continually aspire for a better society for themselves and their kids, for an environment where their aspirations can thrive, where age does not come to them with regrets, a place where basic infrastructure is given to them as a matter of necessity. This desire has them not perturbed by the vivid inequality and power that leadership and a leader wields (particularly in this part of the world), they only want to be better, to live better, to dream better, to die better.
In Nigeria, over the years, we have had promises flow in like raindrops, soothing at the onset, and then fading out once the power has been given out. We have had a dramatic nature of leadership, almost comical, very laughable in fact. Our leadership has been thronged in greed, corruption and deceit. With little or no consequences for bad governance. At the moment, it is only fair to say the people are quite disillusioned, with eyes soaked in hunger and hardship, with eyes made blur by a colossal level of frustration, eyes that do not see the light at the end of the tunnel.
In the last elections, we saw Nigerians come out with almost one voice, to try to lay the foundation for “change”, we had never been more hopeful, more optimistic. Promises once again rolled in, this time around the assurances were received with such vehemence. For the first time Nigerians wanted to discard a ruling party, this was expedient, because we realised things could be better, should be better. When this switch in power was achieved, we had ourselves a jubilant nation. The general discourse was fervent and tuned towards seeing Nigeria rise once again. However, this government has been a cascade of disappointment, morbidly ineffectual and very timid in its attempt to resolve any of the problems facing our great country- namely, corruption, unemployment, and hunger amongst several others. There has been a surprising unconsciousness to the plights of the people, and this has numbed the expectations of the average Nigerian. We have been encumbered with recession, like never before, shocked at the perplexed nature of leadership and the inability to leave up to promises.
However, this government has been a cascade of disappointment, morbidly ineffectual and very timid in its attempt to resolve any of the problems facing our great country- namely, corruption, unemployment, and hunger amongst several others. There has been a surprising unconsciousness to the plights of the people, and this has numbed the expectations of the average Nigerian. We have been encumbered with a recession, like never before, shocked at the perplexed nature of leadership and the inability to leave up to promises.
The Nigerian dream is paramount at the moment, good leadership is born out of a sincere desire to implement changes, and alleviate problems. It comes with a deep sense of ownership, seeing Nigeria as our project. The dream supersedes personal desire, it is one that encapsulates the Nigerian youth and generations to come. The Nigerian dream can only be built on actions, and a firm resolve to grow our dear nation. The ineptitude has to be curbed, and then promises can progress to becoming a reality. The dream being kept alive in the minds of politicians, is an essential promise of politics.
Another truth is that, regardless of whether the cry for youths to be brought into leadership is being taken seriously, nature itself lurks by the corner, the ‘old generation’ will not live forever. So as a matter of importance, interests should be geared towards creating legacies, towards placing inextinguishable value to their names. Nigerian youths need people they can emulate, templates they can build on, and a glorious history they can reel out to their kids with pride between. We have to come into the struggle, our own struggle to be better, to at last come into our greatness. We can use South African for an illustration, the struggle for their independence wasn’t easy, but relevance cannot be fully placed on the bloodshed and fighting alone, it was their zeal and resilience to have their country whole again, their deep desire to forge their independence and greatness.
There has been numerous arguments citing the history of our nation as a major influence in our slow paced growth, and there are train of thoughts that cannot be disputed, but these pre and post-colonial reflections leave our nation constantly regurgitating the past, it places us as a nation running a race with its face turned backwards. Adequate infrastructure, job opportunities, a thriving economy, transparent leadership, and accountable governance are some of the realities our dear nation can attain. They are very valid promises of politics. Lastly, the most essential promise of politics is that promises themselves are fulfilled! God bless Nigeria.
Chidumebi, a writer, poet and activist, can be reach on instagram @therealdumebi