Friday, 27 March 2015

The Need For Attitudinal Change Towards Politics - Take It Personal

Yes, if we must grow as a nation, Nigerians need to participate more in governance and politics until we choose leaders we can trust with the destiny of the nation. "I don't like politics, it's a dirty game." That's the most selfish, nauseating statement "comfortable" Nigerians make.

When i say "comfortable", i mean Nigerians who have been able to secure a job or own a business. people who own or rent a comfortable living space, own a car and most importantly own a small power generating set they use in disturbing their neighbors at night.

Another group of Nigerians will say "Politics is too dangerous, i don't want wahala, we are only praying to God to save us." Well, that's not the way it works because if it was all about praying, Nigeria will be the most prosperous nation on earth. This attitude towards politics and governance is as a result of years of frustrating disappointments from previous governments and the threat of violence from probate Nigerians who have taken politics personal and have made it a get rich quick scheme

The message is not to die or kill for a politician, though Nigerians that benefit directly or indirectly from a government will. The idea is to take any issue relating to governance 'personal', the way we study day and night to pass that important exam that will boost our career prospect, the sacrifices we make to expand our small business is what i'm talking about. The same perseverance and commitment given to things we believe will affect and change our lives should be geared towards scrutinizing, choosing and appraising our leaders.

Africans have this mindset of "leaving the hood","moving to greener pasture" or in the Nigerian context "Chop your own clean mouth when your time come". Don't get me wrong here, i'm not against the idea of individuals working hard to change their situation or people who make sacrifices to improve their standard of living. My point is that the "hood" can change, the "3rd" world can become first world (ask Lee Kuan Yew) and with the right leadership. Hard-work can become focused, smart-work and more rewarding. Good leadership creates nations where you don't have to be a genius to earn a living.

There is a caveat to taking politics/governance 'personal' in Nigeria or in any other developing country. When you fight corruption and bad governance, it fights back, dirty and bloody.
Ok. let's look at individuals who took governance personal and changed lives in the process. late Dora Akunyili, Patrice Emery Lumunba, Thomas Sankara, Lee Kuan Yew, Obafemi Awolowo etc. What do these individuals mentioned have in common? They performed their duties with an altruistic mind set, "my position and activities affect millions of lives, i will do the right thing to make things better". Some of them paid the ultimate price, killed in cold blood, survived assassination attempts, ostracized for having the interest of their nation at heart and labelled dictators.

These people suffered in one way or the other in for trying to better the lives of their people, but what they gained in immortality. Stolen wealth, fear or being passive can't get you that.

My point is this, things will never get better if we don't choose sound minds to lead us. We will always need to "get out of the hood" and be a genius to live. There is an easy way out, life can be good in Africa if we choose good leaders and they only way to that is to get involved in the political process no matter the danger posed. Nigerians who know a government is up to no good need to teach and explain the real situation to rural folks on the need to be logical when voting a leader. Nigeria should not have to go for more years with sane leaders, the only way for things to get better is to be more involved in the the so called "dirty game". Ask questions, use your magic wand (PVC) and participate in shaping the destiny of the nation.

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