… As Greed Plus Selfishness Redefine Our Patriotism
By Olakunle Agboola – Nigerian leaders travel often. They regularly traverse the length and breadth of the globe. Their exposure that should have impacted positively on the citizens however powers the engine of backwardness. The texture and worth of any democracy is measured by the level of the welfare of the citizenry, which makes the best definition of democracy, that of a political system that ensures the greatest good for the greatest number of the people.
It is only in that sense that we can think of democracy in Libya and Saudi Arabia where the people are no less comfortable than the least comfortable person in America or anywhere else in the advanced countries.
However, in Nigeria, there is so much to be done with our democracy because the greater good is reserved for the least number of people. The complaint and stories trending on our newspapers, blogs, and social sites these days reveal so much discomfort which has increased the migration to Saudi Arabia or Uncle Sam’s (USA) country where democracy is perceived differently as a land of limitless opportunities for anybody who has the capacity to think and work.
Lately, I have seen people selling their houses, cars and landed properties to relocate and bid Nigeria farewell. They can’t feel democracy and the perfection of their human rights in place; saddened by the cloudy view of supposed bright future of their families in their birthed country.
However, what makes a nation is the care for its citizen and no nation will be respected beyond the level of its respect and care for its own citizenry. A nation who shows less concern about its citizens and their feelings is bent on possible interference from the international community and this is the situation where we are today in Nigeria. We have promised the world democracy but it is obvious we lag behind in our own schedule, giving ourselves the image of an un-serious nation before the international community.
For instance, Donald Trump, the now elected American President once quoted during his presidential campaign
“Look at African Countries like Nigeria or Kenya for instance, these people are stealing from their own government to invest the money in foreign countries. These are the people who import everything including match- hundred years because they know nothing about leadership and self- governance sticks. In my own opinion, most African countries ought to be re-colonized for another.
Also, David Cameron once described Nigeria as “fantastically corrupt country” in a conversation with the British Queen, Elizabeth 11. Though he later apologized but he had already expressed his mind and feelings towards corrupt practices in Nigeria. On another occasion, Donald Trump made a controversial statement about African leaders and I quote:
“In my view, these leaders want to have all the freedom to oppress their poor people without anyone asking them a question. I think there is no shortcut to maturity and in my view, Africa should be recolonized because Africans are still under slavery. Look at how those African leaders change constitutions in their favour so that they can be life presidents. They are all greedy and do not care about the common people”
This statement became a subject of discussion on different social platforms across Africa debating if Donald Trump ought to address Africa in such manner. A lot of people agreed to the statement and felt we need such to wake up from our slumber. Others felt the statement is bigotry and demeaning while they endlessly blamed him. The bottom line is that this is not just Donald Trump or James Cameron perception about Africa or Nigeria, it is just how our leaders chose to present our continent to the international community. They can’t feel the love and the sympathy we have for our citizens. They can’t feel the democracy we profess, the benefit of which ought to be for the greatest number of the people.
The onus in a situation like this lies within the ultimate leadership. Our leaders should by now be concerned about this international shame that hangs on Nigeria. We will have to make up our mind to destroy the seed of corruption for our democracy to thrive. We will have to wake up and implant the seed of high ideals, morality, ethical values and selfless service to our political system for a genuine leader with human feeling, and sympathy to emerge.
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