Some of us would remember the popular movie that featured the iconic Hollywood star Clint Eastwood titled, THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY?
For the purpose of appraising the state of the nation today, l would like to characterize Nigerians as the GOOD; the former ruling party, People’s Democratic Party ,PDP as the BAD; and the new ruling party, All Progressive Party, APC as tending towards being the UGLY, unless it mends its ways urgently.
The justification for tagging the APC with the toga of UGLY is derived from the fact that traditionally, the romance between Nigerian voters and their elected leaders lasts beyond 24 months before it goes awry, but the fact that APC’s deposits in the goodwill bank of Nigerians got rapidly depleted less than one hundred , 100 days of being in office, before it started being pummelled online by the same people who heralded the party into power, spells doom and justifies the appellation-ugly.
In the light of the foregoing, the very pertinent question to ask is: why is it that the good people of Nigeria after being ruled for 16 years by the PDP (1999-2015) until it was defeated by the APC on February 28th 2015, seem to have been consigned once again by some terrestrial forces into remaining in the throes of leadership miasma which hallmarked the immediate past administration?
The simple answer to that question is that there is no terrestrial power hamstringing Nigeria. Rather, the new ruling party is yet to phantom how to deal with the demon of high expectations from Nigerian voters which it created by over promising during her campaign to upstage the PDP and under-delivering.
That much was discussed in my previous article titled APC:CAMPAIGNED IN POETRY AND GOVERNING IN PROSE which was widely published in online platforms and mainstream media.
As we may recall, when the APC rode into Aso Rock on May 29, 2015 with change as its battle cry, expectations were high but the new govt has been on the saddle of leadership for all of sixteen months, yet all it has so far not exhibited any superlative leadership tendencies, leaving most Nigerians highly disappointed.
Those who share the opinion above, buttress their position with the argument that if in sixteen months of being at the helm of affairs – about a quarter of a four year tenure -the party has failed to show signs of its capacity to deliver on its promise to reverse the misfortune that our country has been mired in, since the return to multi party democracy in 1999, then it is unlikely to make change happen in the remaining period of the four years tenure.
The above assertion is validated by the old saying amongst sailors “Red sky at night, sailors delight. Red sky in the morning, sailors warning”. In other words, the morning reflects the evening. With the APC displaying Red sky in their political morning, there is cause for the palpable apprehension about the future.
The aforementioned sentiment is underscored by the palpable sense of resentment in the political firmament that one can almost touch physically owing to the hardship apparently being inflicted on the people by the ruling party hence the APC brand is now looking ugly.
Arising from the scenario above ,the same Nigerians who paved the way for the triumphant entrance of the APC into Aso Rock as the ruling party with Muhamadu Buhari as president and Lai Mohamed as minister of information, have been expressing disdain and disgust towards the leadership on online media platforms for failing to provide the change that was promised voters who awarded APC votes of about 14 million and above PDP’s estimated to be nearly 12 million votes in the last general elections.
Some of the rage being spewed online may be base and banal but they are reflective of the resentment of the masses towards the APC and the current Nigerian leadership which is basically the reason the party is looking ugly.
Although the claims in the posts highlighted above are not grounded in any technicalities and therefore spurious to the discerning eyes , yet they are doing the APC colossal damage because they appear to be logically correct to the ordinary folks on the streets. That should give the establishment concern enough to warrant correction of the misinformation via concerted efforts.
But instead of addressing such present and immediate concern/danger, what Nigerians are being regaled with is the new campaign ‘Change Begins With Me’ which information and culture minister, Lai Mohamed is promoting and which just got launched by President Buhari.
To say the least, the campaign is ‘breaking’ at a most inauspicious time because at this critical moment of seeming aimless drift of the ship of state owing to lack of clear policy direction of govt, Nigerians are looking for the leader who would truly drive change.
The electorate had seen that leadership ability and capacity in Buhari hence he was voted into office as President on March 28th 2015, but the same voters are now highly disappointed because under Buhari’s watch performance has fallen short of the high expectations.
Rather than change her tact by taking the leadership role more frontally and altruistically, APC is trying to shift the responsibility for change to Nigerians via the latest campaign which is obnoxious.
That is contrary to the party’s promise during its campaign to unseat PDP and in my reckoning, it amounts to abdication of responsibility by the ruling party which appear to have in her DNA the inelegant characteristic of blaming others, apart from its self, for the nation’s current misfortunes.
As a song star once put it “Every generation blames the one before”, but for how long such art of living in denial can be sustained is a different kettle of fish.
Obviously, the APC does not appear to know when to draw the line.
Some of the main tipping points or headwinds against the wave of popular momentum that swept the APC into power is (a) the lack of tolerance or aversion to dissent by the authorities which is undemocratic (b) lack of inclusiveness which is anti federal character principle embedded in Nigerian constitution and (c) sluggishness in policy formulation and implementation manifesting as leadership paralysis.
In the light of the foregoing, the earlier the govt in power realized that Nigeria is practicing democracy whose functionality is predicated on freedom of speech, freedom of association and right to express displeasure in civilized manners at government officials, the better for the ruling party in particular and the nation as a whole.
Nothing sustains followership in politics or loyalty in business better than keeping promises that were made.
When a leader carries the followers along as Mr. president has started doing lately through his recent humble appeal to Nigerians during the Muslim celebrations by seeking their understanding and patience in this period of socioeconomic tumult, all hands would be on deck to paddle the sinking canoe to the shore, but if the devil may-care-attitude of the past persists, l see perdition for APC in the hands of voters.
Considering the hunger inspired angst in the nation, the postponed Edo state gubernatorial election holding in about a forth night and the Ondo state governorship election also in the horizon may turn out to be foretaste of what might happen to the APC in the general elections in 2019.
Without discountenancing other factors that may be partly responsible for the parlous state of our economy which indicates that Nigeria is racing against time as she is competing against 54 African countries and about 200 other countries globally, the speed to remedy the economic situation should be more priority in policy making and implementation for the progress of society, growth of the culture of democracy and lifting out from poverty trap, a critical mass of long suffering Nigerians.
In other words, Mr. President’s fight against corruption is good but priority should be given to combating poverty and restoring hope in Nigerians that all hope is not lost.