By PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON
“The People have a right, an indisputable, inalienable, indefeasible, divine right to that most dreaded and envied kind of knowledge- I mean the character and conduct of their rulers. John Adams
Again we are in the light for the wrong reasons, to say the least…as usual is the case, last week, two foreign nationals were killed in a failed rescue mission in the Sokoto Caliphate.
Let me not bore my readers with the details that many already know, yet like the words of John Adams, the incident itself again has revealed the lack of conduct and character in leadership.
One that makes it so easy for a David Cameron to say albeit painfully that… “Preparations were made to mount an operation to attempt to rescue Chris and Franco. Together with the Nigerian government, “TODAY I AUTHORIZED” it to go ahead, with UK support”. Emphasis in caps is mine.
Despite the traditional British hypocrisy, one could sense the character in the words of the Prime Minister, he did not talk about being under or above the situation, and there was no mention of getting the perpetuators. Strong worded and equally addressing all concerned.
I really do not care so much about who authorized what and when, but I am concerned that our leadership cannot authorize anything in the first place.
We have all come to the conclusion that the problem of Nigeria is the lack of political leaders with the will to pursue the right path to success, some schools of thought feel otherwise…they say we have the men that can do it, the only problem is that these men do not have the money or the fraudulent political machinery to get to the top, in a phrase “they are clean”, too clean. Others think that we deserve what we get, some feel we are confused and others see hope.
We continually lack conduct and character, leaders who are a mould of themselves with shoes, know what they want, delivers on promises and possess a sense of what, where, how, when, who and consistent.
Unfortunately as I have often opined…the easiest and most attractive national past time now seems to be buck passing especially with the bunch of leaders that we have. Not many of us want to take responsibility for anything, from personal, to family or national life. The blame is on the system.
We do not need to create demons out of our leaders because they are specimen of demons, so we hang our sins on them appropriately and inappropriately too. And unfortunately their behavior has made it easy for the critic to descend on them.
We at most, talk, write and discuss the Nigerian myth, one which is leadership, with a sense of fatalism. If everyone thought as much as I did about justice and fairness, life would be better. I am critic, but I am also the critics’ critic, the unrepentant believer that the best way to keep government on its toes is to keep harping on their flaws so they can improve.
Often I say I believe the things I write on, are important for our nation as they are for other nations, but when it appears to me Nigerians especially those in authority do not react to these issues as people in other lands do, I repeat them in new essays to remind old readers and recruit new ones to participate in the continuing dialogue.
As a critic, even my bitterest opponents, those Jonathanians and apologists, politicians from all sides North, South, Middle Belts, and all other belts have to read me personally or have someone read me and tell them what I said and did not say, so that their anger can be kept burning hot.
Sadly this is Nigeria where nothing works and no one cares, when it works, it is because someone’s interest is about to be served or being served not the people’s interest. Like bashing South Africa because a serving Senator had a false or infact no yellow fever vaccine certificate.
Government bashing is now a national past time and every drinking joint and free newspaper association has a sitting parliament with an expert on every issue, but we forget that no matter the input if the politicians have questionable lives both on personal and domestic level, nothing will change, the best government policy cannot change the individual.
Like I once said NITEL, NIPOST, NPA, NMA, everything and anything that has an N has been run down. Even Nigeria herself or is it himself. Despite my barrage on the leadership I believe we ourselves can do a lot in improving our lot, we do not need a decree or law that would ban urinating in public place because it is wrong.
We do not need government to teach us to stop treating ourselves like animals. Do we need government to teach us that we demand responsible leadership and representation? Certainly not, we should know that and act in a fashion that depicts that we demand more than what we are getting.
The critic’s anthem would be my end to this short essay, it is one that has always inspired me by H.G. Wells “we are going to write about it all. We are going to write about business and finance and politic and pretences and pretentiousness, and decorum and indecorum, until a thousand pretences and ten thousand impostor shrivel in the cold, …we are going to write about wasted opportunities and latent beauties, until a thousand new ways of life open to men and women. We are going to appeal to the young, and the hopeful, and the curious against —-the established, the dignified and the defensive. Before we are done we will have all life within this scope of the novel.
Our problems have been over-exaggerated, it is not that it cannot be solved, but really do we want it solved. He that is cheated twice by the same man is an accomplice with the cheater…Where do we stand as part of this enterprise of Nigeria, is it ours, or theirs or for all of us and them. What we are afraid of doing is a clear indicator of what we need to do, our worries in the lack of leadership gradually is becoming a master to us.
We need the character to act, and those who will act with character….in Nigeria a word is never enough for the wise, because he is really not wise in character…Time will tell.