Nigeria versus others ~ By Prince Charles Dickson
Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc-ra-cy): A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing; and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.
Until we welcome problems as perspective-lifters, Nigeria and Nigerians suffer ineptitude and it shows in how we tag issues, it shows in our lens of approach. We tend to sleepwalk through our days, our issues until we bump into an obstacle that stymies us.
If we encounter a problem with no immediate solution, our response to that situation will take us either up or down. We can lash out at the difficulty, resenting it and feeling sorry for ourselves. This will take us down into a pit of self-pity, exactly where we are now, everyone is wrong but us. Alternatively, the problem can be a ladder, enabling us to climb up and see our nation from a solution based perspective but…
So, let me start in this manner, I am not an IPOBian, I do not support IPOB, I am not an advocate of ESN, Amotekun or any ‘tekun’ for any matter. I subscribe to ‘some’ of the cries and hues that have birthed the agitations for secession whether they are of ‘Odua or Biafra’. However, I ask what happens to the other 300+ ethnic nationalities in the light of these agitations. I ask have the agitators looked inward and dealt with the issues that primary leadership has brought about, like what happened to the trillions indigenous leaders have stolen…?
I condemn in totality the killings of security personnel in the South East and the burning of electoral and government offices in the South East and any part of Nigeria for that matter. I vehemently condemn in totality the killings perpetuated by Boko Haram in the North East, and I am at loss at what has become the norm in parts of the North Central, and other parts of the North, Niger Delta and the entire South West now referred to as Banditry and Kidnapping. However I equally disdain the arrest of a vendor for months because he sold a Biafran newspaper, and the extrajudicial killings daily perpetuated by men and officers of state funded security apparatus because two wrongs never resulted in a right.
In all totality I stand in condemnation of the seeming ‘sidon-look’ attitude of this administration, it’s ‘no-sabi’ and continuous ‘pursuing smoke-while fire rages’ methodology that only mirrors a classical tale in ineptitude.
I state with unequivocal strength of truth that at no point in recent history have Nigerians been this divided at the proletariat level, where the ordinary man and women on the street are discussing with disdain the Nigerian project with a sense of dejection…because we are practicing ineptocracy.
Nigerians are tired of assurances without substance, kids abducted, school students kidnapped, scores unaccounted for, and even as I write, I dare say a kidnapping for ransom is taking place in some part of the nation, we are a nation ghosted by stark realities that leadership has failed. Bandits on the rampage, attacks air force patrol in Zamfara, Kogi Assembly and everywhere yet the political parties are just moving on, like in Zamfara where it’s more important to discuss the governor’s move from PDP to APC, ‘shameless inepts’ everywhere.
What’s the endgame for the current crop of leaders, what’s the endgame for the secessionists, do we need the Niger Delta leaders or militants to give an ultimatum for us to dialogue and negotiate nationhood. In Britain the health minister resigned recently after being caught kissing aide during lockdown. It was his personal life, his personal kiss, but he had to take responsibility because his personal actions affected others. Meanwhile in a widely circulated video a bandit is bragging how he kills soldiers and the crowd and police watched him and no one is ever going to be held liable, no one is accountable and the families of the security personnels are painfully regaled with such horror as no one will ever resign.
We think the problem with Nigeria is corruption, ethnic nepotism, and sagacious religious fanaticism, or the fact that every other part is basking in some form of ineptitude because we are people that practice ineptocracy. No, it is rather a case of we grab a dog with our hands and it escapes; thereafter we beckon it with two fingers.
Sadly we are a nation that, once a list, a comment, an opinion is muted, we look at the name, religion and ethnic cleavage, it cannot be right if it is not from our own side of the pole.
All the war of words have threaded tribal lines, most Ibos support the hauling insults on Yorubas, very few Yorubas agree with Ibos. The North (depending on which North) views the war of words, content with its own internal strife that has almost brought her knees down.
Everyone is engaged in massive false propaganda both at home and abroad, when the war starts atrocities will be committed by all sides, there will be military groups everywhere. It will happen because today in different ways we continue in the same manner, false propaganda and atrocities against each other.
Deeply rooted in the current debate remains a catastrophic trend of economic, political and social situation in Nigeria, occasioned by undemocratic and irresponsive governance, monumental corruption, high level insecurity, failure in all facets of national life, and crass ineptocracy.
The amorphous form of the Nigerian statehood pitches Nigeria versus the others, a nation of many impressions, we all have impressions of each other, and about each other. We care less about whether these impressions are right or wrong.
Armed robbers are caught. We check the names whether they are Ibos, Yorubas or Indians. Is it not true that Biafran debate is because we have refuse to collectively look at the Nigerian project in a way that it profits the participants, is the civil war not an impression to some and reality to others, the reason the President is erroneously or rightly crucified for calling an entire geography “Ndi Dot”.
Some nearly 60 years after, we are still fighting to define genocide, whose fault it was and is, and more is committed on our roads, by robbers, terrorists and government at all levels. While we are still under the 20 pounds impression, the “Ndi Dot” reality of biting poverty remains with the entire Nigerian dot.
We are fighting each other over mistakes of the past, and doing nothing at correcting them, while sadly even committing more grievous ones. The Yorubas worship Awo, with no effort made to reproduce a near Awo in leadership. The Ibos are all shouting foul and marginalization but really where are the Achebes, in a very disorganised unit, whose first enemy is herself.
My brothers in the North are still tied to aprons of the past, while citizens are led to the slaughter slab and economy killed. It is Nigeria versus our 36 state governors, leaders of politics, tradition and thought that have sat down, done nothing other than murmur sweet nothings. Have you heard a government official asking the government to do something…I cannot laugh, but I am laughing…indeed Nigeria versus others.
We have fought a war, do we want to fight another, our best days truly are gone…The era of Flora Nwanpa, Zainab Alkali, Cyprian Ekewensi, Soyinka, Fawehinmi, Achebe, Balewa, Awo, Zik, and co. These days, there are very few people to look up to; no roles, no models, only legislators that can barely write their names but earn millions, the small girl, big god Nigeria.
We are not ready to address our issues, we are only beckoning with two fingers the dog we could not catch with the whole hand, there was a civil war, genocide occurred, leaders on both sides were guilty, however, it looks like we are bent on doing an encore.
We have very little history of who we are as a country, at every turn in national discourse like the axiom, aki í fi ìyá ẹní dákú ṣeré, we joke that our mother has collapsed, always trifling with serious matters, playing with a loaded and primed gun. Forgetting that one does not hide something in one’s hand and yet swear [that one knows nothing about it]. We know our problems, it is us, we choose to stop this ineptitude, or we continue Nigeria versus others—Only time will tell.