|Wednesday, April 24, 2019|
rior to the inauguration of Buhari's infant administration on May 29, 2015. With all honesty, modesty, and sense of profound patriotism, I wrote an article published in The Guardian Newspapers on April 28, 2015. It was titled: "Mandate of the Plebeians." I remember vividly that I overtly prescribed for President Buhari, the Lee Kuan Yew's style of government in Singapore. I asked Mr. President that his government should hover between participatory and benevolent democracy. While some of my readers misconstrued my political prescription for autocratic dictatorship, others honestly agreed with my postulation and submission for participatory but benevolent democracy in a dysfunctional and dystopian society.
This writer's interest in Nigeria goes beyond mundane or opportunistic tendency. It is a genuine concern motivated by the crisis of a wealthy nation. In nostalgia, I went through needless sufferings while I was in Nigeria. After I graduated from the University of Lagos, I was unemployed for a longer period of time. This has motivated me with unfettered interest in the progress of a wealthy but poor nation in need of succor. When I ruminate over the happenings around the world, it gives me an insight into how we are wasting away opportunities to get it right in Nigeria. But hope is not lost if President Muhammadu Buhari consolidates the privilege (not right) given to him collectively in the last general elections.
While African countries' leadership has taken its government to the gutter of misrule, the followership is bedeviled with nonconforming to natural norms and just society. With every sense of modesty, I think I am being vindicated today considering the plethora of nonsensical problems being uncovered by Buhari's administration.
Buhari seems encumbered by the nuances of democracy. Democracy can only thrive where there is rule of law. Any society where the law cannot adequately take care of corruption is doomed to go through the dystopian period. This nascent democracy in Nigeria will not be in peril if the Chief law officer and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces can go beyond party affiliation, or elite statue to encourage the dispensation of justice.
I read a profound article on Singapore, it blew my mind how Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore has transformed the lives of Singaporeans through a benevolent autocratic rule. More than forty years ago, Singapore was a war-battered and ravaged British port ensconced on an island off the southern tip of Malaysia. Singapore had a growing population of uneducated people. These uneducated people lived in the slums and squalor. But today, Singaporeans live under economic prosperity. Thanks to the envisioned Lee Kuan Yew who had earlier saw the future of Singapore. Yew discarded and discountenanced name-callings of him. He faced the future with imagination for possibilities. Singaporeans are one of the happiest people on the face of the earth today. The benevolent leadership in Singapore used what it had to get what it wanted, and this has transformed the lives of now-happy-Singaporeans. All Singaporeans are happy with the paternalistic government that gives them tranquility and egalitarian society.
Nigeria is an admixture of so many contradictions. Nigeria is a very simple but complex nation to govern. An average Nigerian loves life! Give Nigerians a comfortable life with freedom to fester responsibly, you will eke tranquility from their souls, and for the collective good of the society. But the present polarized nation is burdened by ignorance, ethnic and religious idiosyncrasies. No leader preaches love, harmony, and salvation anymore!
Meanwhile, for any leadership to rule successfully to meet the yearnings and aspiration of its citizenry, it must use the templates of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore and Paul Kagame of Rwanda. When these two leaders began the cleansing of corrupt practices in their respective enclaves, there were hues and cries from the corrupt politicians in their respective countries. The children of corruption from these two nations wailed to eternity, but Lee Kuan Yew and Paul Kagame remain focussed to bring sanity to the cognition of these children of corruption. Today, they are happier than they were in their respective countries. Even the West was not left out in castigating these envisioned leaders. But they remained unfettered and focussed. Today, skyscrapers, good roads, constant power generation, adequate security, good and quality education, economic prosperity, and participatory democracy are flourishing in Singapore and Rwanda. The West now sees these two countries once maligned as hubs and destinations for tourism, global trades, and investments.
The success of Buhari's government is anchored on the equal dispensation of fairness, equity, and justice for all. Irrespective of our status and party affiliation in Nigeria, we must all be subjected to the rule of law including the president. The current dysfunctional democratic norms in Nigeria are nothing but a futile tripod sauntering on a famished road to nothingness. But hope is on the horizon with the recent punishment and sentencing of one of its own in the echelon of government. This equality before the law can only be engendered through benevolent democracy. Anything short of these nuances of governance is like beating about the bush.
President Buhari is in the defining moment of his political bequest. God forbids! The failure of Buhari's government to entrench accountability, transparency and good governance will return Nigeria to the status quo when Buhari leaves office in not too distant 2023. Just like Lee Kuan Yew and Paul Kagame, Buhari must leave a sustainable legacy for the next generation.
Tomorrow is not too far!