With the trajectory of events across sectors under the current administration, one may be forced to assume that it pays to be stupid in Nigeria with the right chain around your neck. There has been a growing concern about the ability of the leadership to understand the scope of their responsibilities vis-a-vis the impact of their actions. Watching events unfold has been very difficult to process.
We no doubt need an immediate and conscientious drive towards the development of a new gamut of perspectives, if we must change the unfavorable results we have been getting. The current system as run since independence has proven to be incapable of fending for all but a few. This was the design from inception and as far as those benefitting are concerned, it is working perfectly. As they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Suffice to say that the current system can never change Nigeria for better.
Many will argue, that all that is required to change the trajectory is to have the right people in place, but this has become a cliché stretched too far.
If Nigeria were to be a purpose built factory that produces carbonated soda, changing the personnel will not change the product/output of the system designed to produce carbonated soda. What will be required however is a deliberate restructure cum overhaul of the plant and machinery of the going concern. The entire system will have to be changed and equipped with facilities, plant and machinery required for the desired expected result (product).
It is however forlorn to expect the mere change of factory manager to yield a sudden change of produce from carbonated soda to another product the market is yearning for. This is a key perspective in understanding the political unbundling construct often called restructuring. However clear or visionary this might seem, it is often herculean to convince workers in the factory to learn new things. It is also difficult to sell such innovation to people who have built their comfort around the known (carbonated soda production despite sales plunge and dissatisfaction of the consumers).
Rather than innovate, gimmicks and pretentious schemes are being launched to hoodwink the consumers, while wages of workers are slashed, owed for months and pensions unlikely to be fulfilled. The working environment becomes very hostile with rising negligence of the authorities as abuses are normalized by the powerless workers. Profits are eroded by the hierarchy and new tales are invented to justify the hardship and the weaponization of poverty on the workers.
The individualistic pursuit of the workers and the fear of being victimized precludes them from confronting the authorities. Each time anyone of them eventually rise to management level with huge promise to effect change, they often naturalize and even become a far worse threat to the freedom and emancipation of the subjugated workers regardless of their initial piety or candor. No protest ever work unless the upper management induce such in a way that it benefits them before the board.
Daily at lunch, workers would often talk about their desire for a messiah, who will manifest divinely and rescue their situation. Little did they know that what they allow will always continue. A common ground needs to be established and agreed by all then an untethered confrontation of the leadership in unity will shake their resolve and force the needed change.
Workers want better pay for their labor, the factory needs to make profits and for this to happen, market demands must be met to the satisfaction of the consumers. The authorities must build market share enough to secure utilitarianism, while being accountable and transparent enough to meet their responsibilities to their workers.
So it begins first with the question of economic production; What to produce? How can we control and take responsibility across institutional units that use labor , capital, and goods and services to produce outputs of goods or services?
To put this less aphoristically, what does New Nigeria or the Nigeria of our Dreams mean to you? Which leader has the requisite capability, competence, character, composure, clarity and political will to bell the cat and restructure Nigeria in a way that it will operate as a true Federalism? Is there any with the understanding of the true perspective of the solution to the problem of our contrived unity?
What is a Republic without strong institutions? What is a civilization without Law and order? Do we keep recycling leaders who want power without the responsibility thereof? People who broker awards instead of doing what they were mandated to do and hop to ostentatious social events as chaperoned by international model, while the citizens perish under needless invasions and homegrown threats cum the impunity of the Police?
Our situation is not fatalistic, we can take refuge in the counsel of Robert F. Kennedy- “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, then those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” ⛱