I am an experienced Social Media practitioner with a strong passion for connecting with customers of brands. As part of a team, I presently work on the social media account of a leading European auto company. On this job, I have brought my vast experiences in journalism, marketing, search engine optimisation and branding to play.
By Morak Babajide-Alabi
Is anyone wondering why the Nigerian government is at a loss on what to do in the present situation? Wonder no more. It is because the guys at the helm of affairs in the country have no plans for any reforms or development or anything, as long as it is not something that impacts them or their families directly. If they have master plans for the country, they will seize this opportunity to announce them to the public. They would have brought them out and prove how they will go about implementing them. Hastily putting together bullet points of ideas for tactical policing represents no plan. It is a slap on the faces of ever suffering Nigerian masses.
No one should be surprised about this. These are guys elected, not on manifestoes, but on how much tribalism, religious jingoism and money they could throw around. If we cast out minds back to months preceding the last general elections, we would recollect none of the executive or legislative members campaigned on manifestoes. They traversed the length and breadth of the country promising inhabitants of towns/cities what is unique to them to gain electoral votes. They had no plans on health, education, infrastructures or police reforms.
Most of them used operatives of the defunct Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS) to intimidate citizens. Some of the SARS operatives were valuable in the looting and stuffing of election boxes. The politicians regard them as a means of achieving their political goals. They were handy to a political class with no development manifesto. They were instruments in the hands of the clueless politicians who see politics as a do or die.
Do you still ponder why the political leaders were comfortable and okay with the operations of the Nigeria Police Force? They believe the current Police Force is the best for the country as long as they serve their purposes and shelter their families. They pretended not to know that the SARS operatives they courted were killing innocent citizens.
They go abroad on medical tourisms, to hide their loots and also visit the children they shielded from the poverty in Nigeria. They witness how the police systems operate. Yet, they are unbothered. Rather than think of ways to reform, they are okay blaming past administrations for the failure. Till a new Nigeria come on the ashes of the old, passing the buck to previous administrations will be the norm.
An Inspector General heads the Nigerian Police Force. Shockingly, the incumbent is still in post, despite accusations of extortion, rape, bribery, extra-judicial killings against members of the Police Force. In countries run by conscientious leaders, he would have resigned his post and someone capable of supervising a credible reform of the force appointed. The IG saw nothing wrong in how the SARS operatives carried on. If he did, he would take necessary steps immediately the demands to end SARS started. The clueless guy does not deserve the responsibility to be in charge of the police force.
The youths of Nigeria are speaking out. It is not going to be business, as usual, any more in the country. Previous mistakes have to be corrected. The money politics played by the older generations will be addressed. The tribal and religion politics played by older generations will be history. These atrocities have persisted for long to the detriment of the country.
Nigeria, the giant of Africa, had continued to perform woefully not for the lack of resources (human and natural) but corrupt and ideas-deficient leadership. The citizens (older generations) had continually ‘selected’ leaders based on sentiments and not the visions candidates had for the country. They had chanted praises of individuals who possessed no clue to leadership for far too long. They had promoted to power, individuals who would have fared better in farming, trading or other engagements.
The country had continued to move in circles and become the subject of ridiculous jokes in the comity of nations. The leaders cared less, as they have access to all they want.
Until the present crops of leaders are flushed out, Nigeria will continue to be static. And until we rise as one and say enough to governments that have no plans or desire for the development of the country, Nigeria is going nowhere. Until our leaders, get reality checks every day and not every four years (election periods) Nigeria will continue to be a name without an identity.
Nigerians are tired of leaders who merely identify with them towards elections. They are tired of this four-yearly corn eating, okada-riding, or BRT-riding leaders. They want leaders who grasp what is going on in society. The citizens deserve leaders who can detect the pulse of the nation. They want leaders who shop where they shop and know when prices of tomatoes or rice go up and out of reach. They require leaders who go to work on BRTs, join the queues to board trains or hop on cycles. They are tired of councillors who ask that municipal roads be cleared for them so they could make it to work.
They require leaders who would feel recessions or economic downturns and plan towards cushioning the pains of the masses. They are tired of leaders that feel no hardship because their wages and allowances are so padded and have insulated them. They have been so far from reality that the agitations of the citizens become annoying in their ears. Nigerians want leaders with visions and ready to serve.
The youths are leading the charge, demanding answers to many questions. The government possesses no clue because they have never recognized the pains of the citizens. What would they do?
Your guess is as good as mine. As the protests become intense, the government is likely going to be brutal. Unashamedly, they will claim insecurity and deploy soldiers on the streets to kill and maim.
You would not blame them. Ascribe it to our brand of democracy that is oiled by military blood. But I behold the youths devising other means to protest. And I anticipate victory soon, sooner than imagined.