IN the ingenuity of the politician, the future of Nigeria is tied to elections. When politicians, who call themselves leaders, engage in phased discussions of Nigeria, they are not contemplating legacy projects that would enhance the development of Nigeria.
Their entire concerns are elections, the struggle for power, the decisions about who becomes what, and those marked for nothingness. The reduction of the country to this contracted vision is the biggest failure of civil rule since 1999. Every administration, from the local governments, through the States to the centre, sees election to office as the platform to perpetrate either itself or its interests in power. When it leaves, the damage endures.
It appears the most important ambition of the politician is to grab power, stay in office as long as he can, produce a successor that would do his bid, and retire to continue manipulating the system.
Disruptive as this attitude is, it is heightening, to the extent that most administration do nothing, other than engaging in schemes to hold power which for them is an end in itself. Power is everything and everything politician wants. He gets it first, before thinking of what he would do with it.
Rarely do we hear politicians espousing their ideas about the future of Nigeria and expending their energies in ensuring that their dream Nigeria is realised. It is not surprising that most of those who gain access to any notch of power in these circumstances, abuse them.
The abuses stem from ignorance, sometimes. In some instances, outright greed and an obnoxious contention for narrow interests. The evidences include governors who have no agenda for their States or the federal, where there are no reflections of national aspirations in projects that are being executed, if any.
Do politicians realise that each year they spend in their quest for frivolities wastes opportunities for the country’s progress? What do they intend for Nigeria in 2015, 2019, 2023? What is their vision of Nigeria by those years? What do they see?
Nigeria is a country. It should be built to last hundreds of years. The future of its institutions, for the benefit of its peoples, should be the primary concern of its leaders. The well being of its peoples should be at the centre of these policies.
Our future is not about elections; in the sense politicians see them. Elections are useful as part of the quest for democratic governance. Democratic importance of elections is over-emphasised where the people play minimal roles in them. What is important – always – is what people want to make of their country, elections cannot change our people, not the way politicians use them.