The Nigerian Dream

The Nigerian Dilemma

[02:20, 6/22/2017] Moderator: Good Morning and welcome to the Talk-Am 24hrs debate on “Governance -The Nigerian Dilemma”, and Its my privilege to be the moderator of today’s debate.
The topic for today’s debate is as follows:  What form of governance does the Nigerian State really practice, Democracy or Kakistocracy (Kleptocracy). Could it be that the best of us are being ruled by the worst of us?

Democracy as opined by Abraham Lincoln is “government of the people, by the people, for the people” While Kakistocracy as coined by Thomas Love Peacock in 1829, is a state or country run by the worst, least qualified or most unscrupulous citizens. (Kleptocracy: A Government run by thieves).
Stick to the rules, no foul language, others are entitled to their opinion, and may the most articulate men and women school us.

[02:31, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Good morning everyone and once again welcome to the platform, my name is Ibaba.o.Ibaba, to the best of my knowledge we preach democracy on black and white papers but practice kleptocracy as clearly defined by the moderator, government of thieves with the following to back up my claims.

1.Our institutions are not independent: Like I always emphasize in my analysis our institutions are been hijacked and control by either the Legislature or the Executive, agencies like EFCC, ICPC, CCT, INEC etc are supposed to run their affairs without the Legislature or Executive interruption but it’s obvious in this country that you see the Executive appointing their leaders and other invincible hands in their affairs, why won’t they be loyal and pay allegiance to those who put them there for fear of the unknown, institutions are supposed to be stronger than individuals and that is what happens in advanced democracies whereas here in Nigeria is a different ball game. Individuals are more powerful than institutions, which calls for corruption and misappropriation of public funds.

[02:33, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: In America where we draw this system of government from, their institutions are more powerful than individuals that even a blind man can become American President and everything moves perfectly well.

[02:39, 6/22/2017] Talker Dapo: True democracy comes when governance is directly for the people. With so much attached to the offices of governance and lack of true desire of service to the Nigerian people. Our political structures gives way for Democracy being practiced as kakistocracy.

[03:13, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Since the military junta, powers transferring from one person to another, coup were staged based on corruption perceived by military generals which brought about staging a coup to unseat the current government, and if you look at some of those things that necessitates militias taking over power, like maladministration, corruption etc. when Buhari came to power in 1983, his Focal point was “war against indiscipline” but had no time to perfect his plans, what am saying in essence is this: corruption and politics of kleptocracy have become the centre point of occupying public office in this country, look at our leaders traveling all over the world just to say thank you to other world leaders. When former President Obasanjo came to power in 1999, he used his first year and travelled all the globe wasting public funds which are meant for infrastructural development and wellbeing of citizens. Goodluck Jonathan took over from late Yar`Adua in 2010 and travelled around in the name of international relations but at the end of his government we discovered looting of public funds and loopholes in his administration. Buhari came to power in 2015 and his first trip was to pay homage and allegiance to America and travelled all over countries that sponsored his election. I overheard the current Kogi state governor saying he wants to use N50million for eye treatment, what an insult to a common man, senator Dino Melaye buying vehicle with N100million which would have done a lot to his constituency, current governor of Benue state distributing wheelbarrow to youths in his state, what an insult for Christ sake, and most of them siphoning and looting public funds for private gain and enriching their entire generations.

[03:23, 6/22/2017] Talker Chris: According to Kenneth C. Wheare , “federalism is a method of dividing governmental legislative powers ; so that the central and the state are each within a sphere , coordinate and independent” . Nigeria is unarguably practicing Tudor federalism which is absence of that democracy. In a Democratic government, the state is supposed to be in charge of the economic and political sector because it is the states that have the indigenous resources, but clearly the central is in control.

[03:24, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: @talker Chris, I disagree with you when you said this is democracy, this is alienation of Nigerian populace and looting of our public funds. There is no confidence in our Judiciary for a common man, the Legislatures are representing their selfish interest and a whole lot. When the former governor of delta state James Ibori was arraigned for misappropriation and misuse of public office here in Nigeria his files were always missing in court but when he was arrested abroad his file never for once missed in court and he was prosecuted there. You can imagine the former governor of Anambra state whom his wife is a judge with the supreme court  Mr Peter Obi going to court and collecting court injunction to resist arrest. Democracy as defined be Abraham Lincoln is government of the people by the people and for the people so therefore the aim of electing a leader is to return dividends of democracy to the people.

[04:56, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: Because we have left governance to people of questionable character. They can only pick characters like them. Now talking about the system of government I don’t think we have one cos what we practice is neither democracy, kakistocracy nor kleptocracy. I think what we practice is just plain wickedness. Our politicians shroud what they do with a name (democracy).

[07:36, 6/22/2017] Moderator: Interesting and insightful comments. But the bigger question still remains: How is it that a country of so many good men is ruled by a few bad people?

[08:28, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: Cos our religion did tell us that politics is for evil people. So we all bought it and let their cancer spread. I remember as a child I will go to church and hear the preacher say things like that

[08:30, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: And we all know the influence our religions have on us so instead of wrestling evil with good, we bought the opinion that as a Christian politics is for evil people well now truly politics have been reserved for evil people. As u can see our so called politicians don’t act human,                    they use all sorts of means to get power.

[10:05, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: I disagree with this my able comrade, politics is not for evil people but the actors in our contemporary world are evil, Nigeria to be specific.

[10:10, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: To your question moderator, all of us are bad and corrupt, I stand to be corrected but that is just the simple fact. If we are not corrupt how can the minority which is the ruling class can supersede majority? is not possible but in our own situation it is possible because all of us are corrupt.

[10:20, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: In the midst of 10 Pastors you cannot have their leader as a thief or corrupt person while the remaining 9 are saints, certainly not. In a country like Nigeria where we have over 170million people and just 5million are dominating us with corrupt practices it can’t be possible we must check ourselves and find solutions to our problems by ourselves and within us. If all of us will stand authoritatively most especially as youths and radically tell the ruling class that enough of this acts definitely corruption will be a thing of the past. But believe you, me ladies and gentlemen even if we plan to do that, some persons will sabotage the move. Some because of centrifugal forces and others because of stomach infrastructure. I listened to one of my brother from the North who said anything Buhari does weather good or bad he is strongly behind him since he is from the North which is very terrible.

[10:24, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: So we should change our attitudes, look inward and correct this abnormally by the ruling class, they are just using us for political gains. A Legislator can never sponsor a bill in common man’s favour, never his or her plan is to seize power without judicious use and consolidation of the powers, so the problems are within. See yourself as a Nigerian before you see yourself as an Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Tiv etc.

[10:30, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: If u read my submission well I didn’t say politics is for evil people, I only meant it was a notion that has been created and as a young man growing up I heard that said and even preached in churches. And if all of us are corrupt then what is the criteria for selecting the few good men?

[10:33, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: The criteria for selecting good ones is just by simply staging a radical revolution to unseat the ruling class with their proceeds then things will be done commonly, ownership of properties will be by state and there will be equality and equity.

[10:34, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: I will say because the system rewards evil we have militants, kidnappers touts and unscrupulous individuals we will only have people look up to them as role models, cos as of today those are the role models Nigerians have. And in your radicalism do we have to shed blood?

[10:36, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Yes we have the above mentioned because the government is not fair to citizens so most of them see no hope but to perpetrate evil.

[10:41, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: And on our radicalism blood must be shed, I love this Karl Marx mentality and I quote one of his perception on revolution “Every revolution must be planted by a flower and for that flower to grow, it must be watered with the blood of the slain saint martyrs” this entails that for every radical revolution innocent blood must be shed but at the end of the day generations unborn will happily leave owing to the out outcome of that revolution. We hear of Russia among the world supper power today it’s because of Vladimir Lenin’s revolution so definitely people will die.

[10:43, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: That was when anything goes Brother Karl Max and Lenin were proponents of bloodshed, so what difference are you from a coup plotter?

[10:44, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: I think we can do that by conscientization and having good examples rewarded. Example is the families of those policemen that were killed in that robbery incident in Imo. It took Nigerians 4 days to raise $15,000 for them cos someone spotted a good man in the society for what they did.

[10:51, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: In this same society we have policemen that would have dropped their guns and run or some that will encourage the robbery.

[11:25, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Is not as if Marx was a proponent of bloodshed but Marx’s emphasis were and are always on class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat and so many scholars like Thomas Hobbes and John Locke who advocated for equality and equity in society

[11:29, 6/22/2017] Talker Aliyu: That is d nature of activism.

[11:39, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: I read in the news today and they said by 2050 Nigeria will become the world’s third most populous country and I laughed. If with over 170million people and we are battling with terrorism, insurgency, kidnapping, rape, herders/farmers clashes, and all sort, is it when we become the third most populous nation that the aforementioned will be curbed? Certainly not, in the 1960s, we were battling with countries like Brasil, Indonesia, and the rest infact by 1983 countries like Malaysia were coming to Nigeria learning palm oil business, and importing palm nuts from Nigeria. But as of last year Nigeria was exporting palm oil from them. Nigeria is trying to survive, corruption have become so endemic in this country that, we no longer think ahead.

[11:40, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: Hehehehe when you are jobless sex becomes succor, hence the population explosion.

[11:43, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Zik, the iconic nationalist celebrated till today wrote a book “The ideology for Africa, is it capitalism, socialism, or welfarism” so not until we have leaders with ideologies, leaders who are ready to learn, leaders who must listen to all of us before we can advance, is not by prayers, is not by magic,

[11:43, 6/22/2017] Talker Aliyu: it is all about Re-orientation and scratch strategies

[11:50, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Is not by travelling to other developed countries, they can never love you more than their citizens, their aim is always what they will get from you, exploitation., I remember when the white men came to Benue State to drain river Benue so ship can be coming with goods, they said they will do the drainage without collecting money but every treasure found in it will be theirs. Thank God for the then governor who refused such an offer.

[12:03, 6/22/2017] Talker Aliyu: Karl Marx has spoken the truth.

[12:06, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: After quoting Karl max me I would like to quote me, “One medicine doesn’t cure all disease”. At his time that was what was obtainable, we are in a different time, and we can be the solution to our unique problems.

[12:14, 6/22/2017] Talker Aliyu: But is difficult to unveil the problems from d beginning, or the truths about all matters.

[12:16, 6/22/2017] Talker Aliyu: “At his time that was what was obtainable, we are in a different time, and we can be the solution to our unique problems.” @eze, I appreciate this point of view.

[12:17, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: U can only solve the problem by first understanding the root cause, then we can work at several remedies until we get the right cure.

[12:18, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Very true! So @Aliu,what is the root of our problem, saying Karl Marx submitted all this based on what happened during his time so relating it to our problems how can we get out of this mess?

[12:21, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: We should push for debates for our politicians

[12:22, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Hahaa, will they come

[12:22, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: We should push for it, they will come. It was at the Rivers State debate that I knew Wike was a disaster,I swear.

[12:24, 6/22/2017] Talker Ibaba: Zey they will not come because of the fear of the unknown, they may be thinking we are planning of what happened in Ghana when their leaders were called and killed.

[12:25, 6/22/2017] Talker Eze: Hehehe we need to push them oh na so we go take catch them. We can raise a hash tag #LETOURPOLITICIANSDEBATE

[14:35, 6/22/2017] Moderator: To my ear, the argument has been more finely balanced, There is the general acceptance, I judge, that our system of government (whatever it is), has only got a cloak by the name “democracy”.

If so, on a strict interpretation, you might expect the general populace to fight the minority ruling class with every possible means, but sadly they are more mesmerized by the glim and glam this class displays than the pursuit for their own happiness and wellbeing.

I wonder, too, if we are making progress at all? Some guests never said a word, while others feel it is mere rethorics. This goes a million miles to prove Talker Ibaba’s stance that to a large extent, “we are our problem”, the loss of our sense of value and the lack of will to act in the face of evil, make good men stay silent and endure an evil rulership. In that instance, we all become evil and corrupt, because “he who knows the good to do and does it not, to him it is sin (evil)“. However, Talker Eze has opined that, “we can work at several remedies until we get the right cure”. meaning we must never stop trying, in spite the bleakness of the situation. So then if talking about it is all we are able to do now, by all means we will keep talking, we will talk-am with love, strength and faith, so that when the opportunity comes to act, the actors will have a clear guiding path to follow, even when we are long gone.

I specifically took two lessons away from today’s session and they are:

  1. Never look at the other person as the problem, constantly evaluate your own actions and position. Sometimes you might be wrongly right, so never be fixated on your point of view, try to look and reason from the other side.
  2. There is never a one-fix-all solution, life and its processes are dynamic, so too should your approach to issues. The Nigerian issue is older than us all, but the very day we stop searching and talking about ways of finding a sustainable solution to our problems, that’s the day we decided to MURDER our generations to come.

Take this lessons this week into the streets, mosque, churches, markets and hangout spots and you would have saved two Nigerian souls from unnecessary bloodshed.

On a final note, if a successful debate is one that sends a clear signal, then the success of this one is already assured.

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2 thoughts on “The Nigerian Dilemma”

  1. I am Omgbadewu Peter odey. While I agree to a large extent With the various submissions above, it is imperative note that form of government the state adopt, what will be more visible is the character of the players. The inherent ideology manifest. When you observe our conduct during lectures where students interrupt lecturers with what they call questions or is it contributions leaves more to be desired. How can such an atmosphere raise reasonable leaders for any any system. An extension of this is what happens in the larger society. Consider a case where where youths make themselves available to politicians to be hired to achieve an inglorious task (rented crowd). How can the any system work when those perceived as looters of the economy, like one of the comments above rightly captured Ibori was convicted in London, but on his return to Nigeria after a ten year jail term he received a heroic welcome. How can democracy work when the people who owned the power are not even aware of its use?

  2. Thanks guys, your political articulation is superb.

    Actually, the Nigerian state is practicing Kakistocracy, in reality no state will subscribe to such system.

    That brings me to the question that , why are our Leaders corrupt?

    If we should go down memory lane, 1914 almagamation , North and South were falsely married together. And the political elite knows that the foundation is faulty and that the future is uncertain, then they started looting our treasury for their our personal substance.
    They coined the phrase “national cake”

    It was these same faulty foundation that lead to the coup of 1966, between the North and the East.

    Nigeria can not practice true Democracy, because of these false, pretentious marriage, which will not stand the test of time.

    Finally, the only way the system can survive this futuristic disaster, is to go for Restructuring, Regions should have unrestrained access to their natural resources. Anything aside that ,hmmm.

    Thanks Ibaba and the honorable moderators for this awesome platform.

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