Our Democracy: Haunting Refrain of A Turkey With Colic

This warm evening, keeping my chin tucked in and eating one’s heart out in retirement, I was looking from the window of a promenade, surrounded by lawns, flower beds and illuminated palm trees that gave the Villa away.

Savouring the magnificent scenery, the rock, the forests and the green of the rich spring meadows. I saw an undiluted view of the Villa,large,lush and costly. The finger of its
searchlight – a blinding ribbon of light;and my mind was on what was supposed to be going on in there.

One senator wearing a tartan tuxedo and a white carnation in his button hole,came into view,accompanied by a tall,slim Beau, also,wearing a white, backless evening dress. Her blonde hair made a puddle of gold against the dark oak of the wall. She walked with quiet dignity in the company of regiment of Playboy’s you see on beaches,flaunting their riches,maleness and their virility their only assets. He looked what he was:rich, powerful and arrogant.

This represented as nothing else could the upper strata of Nigerian life, the haves and the rich,the remains of the perverted paraphernalia of a failed state. Besides, this end of the federation keeps to itself with loads of moral ambiguities that are not acceptable under any circumstances in other climes .I stifled a yawn. I do that when I’m bored.

I lost my appetite. I laid on my bed unable to sleep.  The cursory post mortem of the past nineteen years, PMB’s administration acknowledgement of the status of June 12th,of MKO’s victory at the June 12,1993 presidential polls.
I thought of 2019,its relevance and what it portends for the nation’s political, social and economic cohesion in a federation with a tripod that had no more shape to them than stunted tree stumps,kept streaming in my mind.

The moonlight coming through the open window, as PHCN had just struck, made patterns on the white and blue carpet. Somewhere, a clock began to strike midnight. Its soft mellow chimes startling.

In the eyes of Nigerians and other observers,the nation’s political elite and leaders have themselves to blame for the results of their acts of commission and omission. In obtaining a clear mandate and unable to achieve in nineteen years, a convincing solution of the more intractable problems concerning development.

The nation’s political leaders  have vaguely given different assessments of the necessity for the continued relevance of the 1914 Amalgamation and measures to be taken to secure it on the basis of a Federalist answer to the perennial question of cultural plurality and diversity of the people’s essence and the political and religious conflicts being introduced into the nation’s challenges.equations.

The speed and character of the present haphazard development have raised an issue that had defied governments and public policy all along, the issue of public accountability on the part of office holders and massive corruption in the public and private sectors.

Characteristically, a reform-minded PMB has, no doubt, made token gestures to appease public disquiet and concerns. Yet, the nation’s social fabric has steadily provided convenient escape routes for such malpractices, as patent acts of foolhardy official corruption and robust indiscipline is making some seasonal, half-hearted converts but left the hardcore of offenders untouched.

In this connection, the visible public concerns over official corruption, indiscipline and accountability has failed to evince appropriate public response, as the remedial measures proposed by PMB, impersonal,but puritanical, as it were, is laced with liberal gloves, where it caught the ‘big fish political leaders’.

Yet,another sore point touched upon the incidence of violent crimes. Of the various categories of crime, the most heinous, spectacular and disturbing, was the phenomenon of Fulani herdsmen, Boko Haram,Offa and other armed robberies all of which had drew flanks and called for very critical public comments.

Not one of the security apparatchiks achieved convincing success in intelligence detection, prevention and or control such ugly incidents. Under the circumstances, citizens live under persistent fear. The resultant climate of terror,fear and anxiety demonstrated that, in the domain of crime control and security, government and public policy has yet to meet one of the nation’s most relentless challenges.

The truth is that, this is not PMB’s headache alone, it is because Nigerians have not changed all that fundamentally from the way it has been handled by the ruling class. The responsibility of the Nigerian ruling class for the development of the country is breathtaking,because, they both,comprador andbureaucratic-have deluded themselves into thinking that they could alone plan for national development and implement same alone.

The lack of a correct database and the lack of inputs from the working people including the peasants and the ‘dregs’ of society absolves them from any responsibility, vicarious or otherwise, for Nigeria’s dynamic underdevelopment. They have always been the most hardworking and patriotic segment of the nation’s civil society. That these productive forces have not been unleashed, through mobilization, for endogenous, self-reliant and democratic
development, is essentially, due to lack of the right leadership and mentality.
If the nation’s been planning since 1999 and still find itself in this difficult situation, something was wrong somewhere.

It would be naive for the PMB’s administration to regard the environment as friendly, an environment that has supervised the destruction of the backbone of the nation’s political economy through neglect, corruption and a plethora of of unimaginable sharp practices, inability to run a near-perfect democratic political system-may be indicative of lack of capacity to move the nation and society to the next level.

The process by which problems emerge, converted into policy, formulated and implemented, and the distributional sequences and consequences often tell their own stories about the character of the nation’s political system that should enable and inspired the nation to learn the cost and benefits of particular forms of public policies thereby helping to point the way to better policies for the future.

In terms of concrete and positive action taken towards the realisation of a given objective, the nation forgets that benign neglect or outright indecision is particularly significant in the Nigerian setting, where this policy of inaction or benign neglect has been noticeable features of its DNA. Even, the relatively ‘more coherent and integrated’ Sustainable Development Goals, still fell short of a well
thought-out national plan,rather, it seems a single minded preoccupation with development to the almost total neglect of not only problems of integration, but also the fallout effect of the administrations c.1999 to date development policies on integration and national identity.

The government have attracted industries, you need to see the level at which Chinkos are converting the nation’s fallow land in the FZE’s and elsewhere to factories without minding the effect on overall domestic economic development. They chose what to produce and where to locate.

Whether this neglect and or  indecision derives from the mobilisation of the party politics or not the important thing is that such grave non-decision have consequences for the system and its citizenry.

The best thing PMB,perceived as the jackals to looters lion, who should not be conspicuous by his absence, could do for the nation,withoutarrondissement all of which had had remained an undeveloped negative, is to do something for a people who could be pushed so far, and no further, is to stop the stupid behaviors from political leaders. Trying to be big fishes in a small pond.

Stupid behaviors? That is putting it mildly. They’ve been reckless and disgraceful. All lacking the personality, authority and providing leadership at its most demanding,and, at such a time of national emergency. They’ve seized turned themselves to a deadly spider sitting in the middle of its web moving the people as a chess player moves his pawns.

I looked out at the sunshine and at the green trees. The view no longer held any charms for me. But I adjusted the thick curtains and its frills,shutting out the rising Abuja early morning sunlight heralding a new day. The big picture window looked out on to the magnificent park with its close-cut lawns and gnarled trees.

Beyond the set garden was the imposing Villa – a dreary place, a floating cloud.

Dumas it was,who once said the man who sleeps, dines. So let’s sleep or wake up to apply measures congruent to our situation as we treat our Turkey with colic, as men were shouting, women were screaming, children were crying-it was chaos!#
Jimi Bickersteth.

Jimi Bickersteth is a blogger and writer.
He could be reached on Twitter
jimi.bickersteth@gmail. com


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