By Andrew A. Erakhrumen

NEWSDAILYNIGERIA: Nigeria’s political firmament is visibly cloudy! What kind of rain will result? We may not know – now! However, with past experience, if things maintain their course, predictions can be made. As we said in the past, typical Nigerian politicians, whose interest is always, only, in next election, are on top of their game, again: “…..They are already positioning…..repositioning themselves for offices, [this] 2023 and beyond, when they are not sure if ‘tomorrow’ will come, and if it does, if they will see it! As always, they are calculating…..recalculating… get into, or retain their stay in, public offices…..” ‘Vultures’ have been hovering over the land looking for prey; dying or dead! Their strategies have not changed! They have been: engaging in tokenism; bowing, prostrating/kneeling, everywhere; eating roasted yam/plantain/maize on the streets. How they have succeeded this long is bewildering! Why the masses, the people, have been unable/unwilling – since 1999 – to come to terms with the fact that power belong to them (the people) is puzzling! The pace of enlightenment must increase, increasingly! It is work in progress, we must not quit!

Enlightening the people, massively, is important because, according to Bantu Stephen Biko simply known as Steve Biko (1946–1977): “…..The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed…..” The people, owing to primordial leanings – (clan, tribe, region, religion, sectarianism, among others), all types of poverty, high level ignorance and underdevelopment – allow themselves to be hoodwinked by their oppressors who are supposed to have long been legally sentenced to be tied to stakes and executed! This is not an exaggeration! These felons have inflicted much damage on Nigeria that it is now on a life support ‘machine’; one that is becoming unsustainably expensive to maintain! Should we allow it to die? Not at all! Even as those charlatans/con-artists do not give a hoot about its current state! Nigeria may be far from what its potentials suggest but it must not be left in the hands of robbers! Prior to this January, 2023, many contestants – in quick succession – have already ‘thrown their hat into the ring’.


All bona fide citizens of this country (if not lawfully encumbered) have inalienable right to present themselves for elective political offices. The corollary to this is that the electorates, also, have inalienable right to accept or reject contestants by voting for, or against, them! This should not call for arguments. This is the beauty of participatory democracy that has not taken firm rooting here. Nevertheless, with the current unsightliness in Nigeria, people should pay attention to those who want to ‘lead’ them! Nigerians must ask questions; they must deeply interrogate these contestants on what they want to do differently. It will be pathetic for Nigerians to still allow the same set of people, who have brought the country to this low ebb, to get recycled again. Already, politicians that contributed – one way or the other – in foisting the calamity Nigeria/Nigerians are experiencing, on them, have also declared their intention to seek for political offices! Is this not ludicrous? Nigerians have really allowed these characters to be this audacious!

Who are these people? What is their track record? How did they acquire their wealth? What is/are their intention(s)? Whose interest do they want to serve? What is/are in their message? Have they been tested to be trusted? Do they have their own private business? Have they been able to manage their private business successfully? How ‘successful’ were they in their previous political position(s)? These and many other salient questions are necessary because, currently, Nigeria is seriously sick! Therefore, the country needs all hands to the pump to help in preventing its death! As at today, the names being bandied about (except very few) as contestants in this year’s (2023) oncoming elections are those with hidden body bag for Nigeria’s ‘corpse’ in case of its sudden death! In other words, many of the contestants have been primed to accept the role of undertaker for Nigeria – if it dies; but, it will not die! Why the optimism? It emanates, purely, from Nigeria’s spirit of never say die! Nigeria has what it takes to survive; and it will!

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The country has the humans and other resources necessary to achieve its potential. The challenge being encountered, now, is the inability/refusal of Nigerians to allow competent people get in the saddle. It should be stressed that the ‘Turn-by-Turn’/‘Come-and-Eat’ politics practiced in Nigeria by privileged political elite have not taken, and will not take, us to any other destination, except, of course, chaotic and crisis situation! This is what we have been clamouring against! A system that deliberately impoverishes its youth is sitting on a ticking time bomb! It should now be clear to all and sundry that eyes and ears must be open in order to get things right. Nigerians must demand credible answers concerning politicians’ courage to confront the mammoth challenges the country is presently encountering. We are not demanding for sweet talk or mudslinging but concrete verifiable plans! We are yearning for political office holders who will galvanise Nigerian polity towards erecting sustainable credible strong institutions.

We are not talking about rocket science here! What we are rightfully demanding is achievable! What the country requires is a crop of leaders with clear focus and sincerity of purpose. It is utter self-deception and disservice to think that Nigeria can develop with the ambushing, entrapping, oppressive, repressive, exclusive, discriminatory and fraudulent anti-democratic shaky superstructure erected since the 15th of January, 1966! Linked to this wobbly structure is a conjured document (for justifying past fraudulence) imposed as the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is baffling that the said questionable document is still alive today! We are talking about a document that makes any Nigerian president the ‘most powerful’ in the whole world! It is doubtless that many of us love the country. We surely do! However, the current system – that conditions people to not expect much from life – is only fit for the ash heap of history! This is January, 2023CE, another dawn – for Nigerians – to swiftly set forth!

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*Andrew A. Erakhrumen currently teaches at the Department of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria


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