True change begins from the top, not the bottom

PRESIDENT BUHARI MEETS APC GOVERNORSS President Muhammed Buhari in an audience with APC Governors Forum led by Chairman Imo State Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha Tuesday Night at the State House in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. JUNE 13 2018.

Do I unbiasedly want PMB to pass on the baton of leadership? Yes, but my stance has nothing to do with him being lifeless as carelessly opined by President Donald Trump; I am just of the opinion that staying in power beyond 2019 is going to destroy the petite credibility he has left. Like Jose Mourinho (the current manager of the Manchester United), he needs to leave the leadership stage when the applause is the loudest, but if PMB does not listen to this voice of reason, he is going to perform woefully—as Peter Rufai performed during the last World cup he was in goal for Nigeria.

When political leaders speak as if they are wiser than all of us, I just know that they are not being sincere, swimming in the shallow-water of politics. A few years from now, those who are currently saying that we do not need restructuring (aligning with the uninspiring position of Mr. President) would switch from singing ‘hip-hop’ to ‘afro-juju music.’ I am yet to see a politician—who can be trusted in Nigeria! If you have seen one, kindly do let me know.

I felt so heartrending and betrayed, hearing from the mouth of the vice president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo—that we do not need restructuring as a people. He can now say that we do not need restructuring, but why didn’t he say so when he was campaigning from one public bus to another? Remember, the carrot of restructuring was one of the lies that the APC dangled before Nigerians while campaigning a few years back. Even those who are blind can see that Nigeria as she is, is not working and she is not going to work. Nigeria only works for those who are in the corridors of power, but it is certainly for working for the common man.

I do not care a hoot about the many different definitions that Nigerians are giving to the kind of restructuring we need as a people, but one thing is clear as water: we need to restructure the failing project called Nigeria. For the umpteenth time, we need to restructure the passing and old Nigeria. Nigeria needs to be re-birthed. The old is clearly dying and there is nothing anyone can do about it. If you like, do not restructure Nigeria now, but I am of the opinion that a generation that is going to restructure her comes.

When PMB was lamenting from one state to another, before—he finally won in 2015, I thought he had an unusual idea that would make Nigeria work, but I never knew that he just wanted power just for the sake of having it. Now I do know that having power and knowing what to do with it are not one and the same. Also, I wrongly thought that one of the major things PMB was coming to do would be to restructure Nigeria.

To build a nation that works, we need to understand that if political leaders enjoy different shades of immunity, then those who vote them into power should enjoy more. Remember, electorates are superior to politicians. Also, we need to understand that the life of a president is not superior to the life of a peasant. If we do not understand this, then we are building a hypocritical nation.

Taking the issue of two-facedness in leadership a little further, on the condition that a leader does not obey court orders, he shouldn’t expect his fellow citizens to do so. Within the context of nation building, it does not work. If Mr. President has personal reasons for flouting and contravening court orders, I am going to fashion mine too and there shall be no nation called Nigeria. For the umpteenth time, Nigeria is too big to be left in the hand of one man. This is why we do have three arms of government and we cannot say we are building a nation that works when two arms of government are completely amputated!

Also, political leaders would lack the moral strength to ask fellow citizens not to do what they are visibly doing. They cannot be going abroad to treat headache and be expecting the citizens of Nigeria not to follow suit—going to the UK to treat stomach-ache, so saying that those who go abroad to medically treat themselves are ruining Nigeria economically is manifest hypocrisy. Every leader needs to understand that a true change usually starts from the top, not from the bottom.

Lastly, on the condition that our political leaders truly desire a nation that is full of true patriotic citizens, the truth is, they would need to consciously pioneer it. Everything we want to see on our streets must begin in the corridors of power. Stealing stops on our streets when it stops in the corridors of power. It is unattainable to change a nation from the bottom; it usually begins from the top!