A new year just began and thoughts of new things are on most people's minds such as new resolutions, plans for the year, how to make sure 2015 is a much better year than 2014 and the election of a new President for Nigeria, however some will look back at last year and say "What a waste!" because they did not achieve much or actually lost out in the past year. That comment most likely will also be applied to children born in Nigeria shortly after 1960 whose "future" was strangled to stupor and slowly killed off by the preceeding generation holding their heads under water as it were. They, the immediate pre independence parasitic generation eating off their fathers struggles and children's future, put in place systemic corruption that is not going away any time soon as can be deduced from the current crop of politicians choking and bleeding that country to death. Recycling waste is big business these days and environmentally friendly to boot just because it is simply smart to reuse what we throw away instead of burning or burying them in landfills but in the case of politicians and failed leadership though, this does not apply and where it is smeared on regardless, a formula for redundancy is imprinted on the psyche of the people. Does that sound familiar? Nigeria practices this better than any country I know of and though I may be wrong it is hard for me to come up with another country that recycles its leaders the way we do.
I admire some of those in the business sector and academia as they have been able to somehow raise the bar in some cases, compete on the world stage and come out shinning. Hopefully they will be the saving grace for an otherwise failed generation that history may judge them to be even if controversial because excuses abound for why they could not make any real impact. The dearth of leadership in almost every facet of politics in Nigeria has denuded it of treasures she could have gleamed from that wasted generation and even now as 'Andrew', representing many of Nigeria's educated youth started checking out in the 1980's starts returning, fingers remain crossed all over the nation and diaspora that they will be able to find their nitch within the Nigerian system and not be frustrated by their fathers who are still canvassing for positions their children, parents of their grandchildren should be occupying.
As many of us watched with amused disdain rallying cries for the recycling of those that should have been discarded on the dung heap of political ineptitude during various presidential primaries since the rebirth of democracy in Nigeria and engaged in quite a few discussions about the merits and demerits of the emergence of another person from this generation as the Presidential flag bearer of the APC party, it seemed like we forgot so soon how these men and women have denied that first post independence generation as well as those that followed them any real say in moving Nigeria forward but instead have given its citizens a reduced quality of life due to lower standards of education, decay in moral integrity and an amazing lack of vision. Yes, some of those born after 1960 have been able to stand out in Nigeria; they are exceptions since most of the graduates we generate now cannot be compared to those from their father's generation and to make matters worse, they have now exceeded their political mentors in corruption! That is one area we can definitely see progression of some sort though technically, it is actually termed 'retrograde progression' as theoretical musicians are aware. An example of this is a house with a helipad on its roof owned by a senator and not an ex Commander In Chief, Head Of State or President? Systemic vomit! Only being achieved now by those with less power than previous alleged looters of the treasury who prior to achieving political office only dreamed of owning mansions like these! This is a very mild example too. Please pardon the vituperation!
If the current contenders for top tier political office are the best we can come up with, seeing they are no more than recycled politicians, decades old in the 'Nigerian system' and entrenched in the bog of political ineptitude that has brought our dear country so low even if they were in the military, where is the hope of a greater tomorrow? In their younger clones competing for the droppings off their munchings on the National Cake? Fresh ideas from a different generation and of a very different mindset is what Nigeria needs right now however with succeeding generations appearing to be clones of preceding ones, how will that come to be? This accounts for many preferring to go with the retired General rather than younger clones of the old order. What a waste of the vibrant minds Nigeria is blessed with from so many diverse cultural backgrounds! Where are the thirty somethings and forty somethings with integrity?
We claim to be a nation of educated people but how on earth have we proved that our supposed exposure to education has created political awareness in the masses when recent events in Ekiti State supposedly known as the state of "bookworms" make us do a double take! Do you not wonder how seemingly "educated" people can walk the path they are walking on in that state with wide open eyes? Is this a distillation of Nigeria at large or an abnormality because the rejection by the people of a government perceived by many to be focused and disciplined though not perfect for one that seems to thrive on debauchery and 'photo operations' is really strange. Time will tell if what seems real now is not just a mirage; which one was just a perception and which one actually is tangible? I am reminded of the 1983 election in Oyo State when Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo defeated the incumbent governor, the late sage, Chief Bola Ige in the race to occupy the Governors mansion at Ibadan when many could not understand what just happened. They did not get the chance to experience what an Olunloyo Governorship would be like for long though because that generation could not get its act together so the military stepped in by staging a coup alleged to be planned and executed by General Ibrahim Babangida who we now know is the "father" of President Goodluck Jonathan and that military coup's beneficiary was the current Presidential candidate of the APC, General Muhammadu Buhari! Talk about recycling from a generation that wasted its progeny!
So It seems as if not much has changed since we still have recycled people on a recycled platform within a recycled system in 2015! The National governments we look back on with some form of nostalgia in Nigeria were truncated. Generals Muritala/Obasanjo/Yar'Adua/Danjuma and Buhari/Idiagbon's military regimes as well as the short lived Presidency of Umaru Musa Yar'Adua did not get enough time to be properly evaluated; so we are left with warm memories of the good they did and forget some of the backward decisions made by them as well. Who knows what would have happened if they had more time to work in the Nigerian environment like General Gowon did. Right now, how many of the principal actors and even those in secondary roles have been recycled or are being recycled, slowly using up the 'air' their 'children' should be breathing? Many may be applauding but they are only very reluctantly clapping to a very slow beat! It is depressing really.
I know some will say that this is just a regurgitation of what has been written before and ask for solutions to fix the Nigerian state instead. There have been solutions which worked within a corrupt system in Nigeria before such as "Option A4" that led to the June 12,1993 election which was generally seen as the fairest election in Africa at the time and has been thrown away instead of built upon. Nigerian as well as foreign intellectuals have proffered different solutions that have been soundly ignored by those who thrive in a system with little or no 'checks and balances' where they can excel at pilfering the National treasury above all else! Our politicians travel to countries where democracy works and their governments, even if not perfect, give a lot back to the people though we read and hear of corruption there like the series of Governors from the state of Illinois, President Obama's home state in the United States of America who are in prison just for that, yet these well traveled politicians go back home and continue as if they deleted everything they saw on their all expenses paid trips by the tax payers from their minds as soon as they land on Nigerian soil or maybe it is the Nigerian air that erases those images! How many more proposals of solutions do we need before we get things right? The problem is not a lack of methods to fix a broken down system but those we tax to do the fixing. Phasing them out and trying a new set of people should be the plan.
Either President Goodluck Jonathan or General Muhammadu Buhari who both belong to this group of people we need to put in rocking chairs with a bag of roasted peanuts, 'ępa sisun' will be in charge for four more years and that is a headache we have to live with at the moment, nevertheless Nigerians will do well to make sure the recycling ends here and after electing in February whomever they decide to trust Nigeria with for the next four years, they need to immediately start making sure it is the last hurrah for that era. Those who think President Jonathan is the face of the new generation need to ask if that is the face they want representing a change from the past and even the most die hard General Buhari supporter cannot do a makeover on him that removes that label. In order to stop the wasting of a generation, recycling of those who should have been discarded needs to end.
Follow the writer on twitter @Broslan
See Others: Home Page