Date Published: 12/13/09
The Nigerian Tradegy By Okwe Ogah
The problem with Nigeria which has become the Nigerian tragedy deals
basically with the subject of ledadership.
Progressively over the years, we have continue to degenerate and slip
further away to damnation with each successive administration so much so
that today, there is a hue doubt amongst the populace when it comes to
believing their leaders.
The progressive degeneration in leadership quality has being with us for
as long as we can remember. It is such that our renown novelist and the
author of most celebrated novel - Things Fall Apart, Professor Chinua
Achebe had to crystalised it in black and white with an essay titled; The
Problem with Nigeria.
In the book, he placed the problem squarely at the door steps of the
He posited and I do agre with him that it is not so much the forced
marriage of the multi ethnic nationalities that we now call Nigeria; it is
not tribalism or sectionalism either, it is not cultural diversity nor
religious multiplicity but leadership ineptitudeness; because with a good
leader, all the listed ailments that besect us today will be non issues.
As a matter of fact, the poor quality of leadership actually contributes
to the heigthen tension those things listed above generate in the nation
as they are used as a platform with which these leaders sustain themselves
as it pays them that we remain divided and disunited
For those of us who are old enough to remember beginning with the first
republic where injustice was highly celebrated and feasted upon and which
consequently led to its collapse and to an era of heigthen corruption you
can begin to assess the various administrations the system produced
For emphasis, a brief retrospect journey into the past begining with the
General Yakubu Gowon will be of importance.
To begin with, we were saddled with a man who assumed leadership by sheer
reason of being the most senior military officer from the region percieved
to be unfairly treated.
During his days, we saw the emergence of super Permarnent Secretaries and
Military Goverors who were lords of the mayor.
Due to lack of vision (remember the holy book says ''a people perish where
is no vision'') the golden opportunity that presented itself through oil
boom was wasted. It was an era when the problem of the government of the
day was not lack of money but how to spend the so much money available to
In looking for a way to spend the money, they embarked on upward review of
renumeration of civil servants in the name of Udoji Awards. Since this was
done without any economic foresight other than that the civil servants
will have more money to spend, we witnessed new taste in the lives of the
people. Thus ostenticious lifestyle became the order of the day. Of course
this also created the problem of inflation as well.
Then late General Murtala Mohammed came with a mission and vision to
restore order and sanity. However liked it is becoming the clearer by the
day, good things never last in this part of the world. So even before you
could say jack, he was assassinated.
Over night, General Olusegun Obasanjo the number two man literally assume
the leadership of the country.
For a man who just came to power without preparation for it, he was too
much in haste to return the power to those who thought it is their
exclusive preserve to control the machinery of power in the country.
He exited with so much controversy than he met when he came to power.
Remember Ali mungo (Ali Must Go), operation feed the nation (OFN) which
provided the base and cover for Ota farm?Festival of African Arts and
Civilisation that a a mere jamboree and a conduit for deraining of public
funds; the 12 and 1/3 formula that brought about the fable and a weakling
Alhaji Aliyu Shehu Shagari governments and many others?.
For a man whose ambition was to become a senator of the Federal Republic
of Nigeria but later saw him as the Executive President of country, he
exhibited characters that clearly proved that he was not prepared for the
office he assumed. I am talking about Shehu Shagari
His era witnessed growth in graft and corruption, tighen of belts courtesy
of austerity measures, presidential task forces that became corruption
bazzar, essential commodities, green revolution that started and ended as
mere paper theory, etc.
Through the manupulation of FEDECO we started hearing of landslide
victories and a future projection of moon/space slides in the next series
election or is it selection by those in power like we are currently
hearing in gloating of the clawns in power that they will rule the country
for the next 60 years.
The duo of Generals Muhammadu Buhari and Tunde Idiagbon then came in to
arrest the rot and drift. They tried put some sanity in the choking
political atmosphere filled with despair, hopelessness and despondency.
Buhari/Idiagbon started quiet well. The corrupt politicians were thrown
into jail for several years, discipline and order in government and public
places were giving attention. The dark spot in their time was the excution
of drugs traffikers carried out under a retroactive law
But again as if it is an abomination to have good people in governance in
Nigeria, they were pushed aside again by the forces of regression and
darkness led by a thoroughly bad man.
This was followed by the reign of one of the most debolical man yet to
govern this country - General Ibrahim Bademosi Babangida - the self
confess evil genius.
IBB must have memorized