May 29 is the baton handover date for Nigeria’s political leadership. With May 29, 2023, Nigerians come to the end of an eight-year leadership under President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressive Congress (APC), an era that has witnessed record anguish, abuse of office, deaths and desolation.
An unprecedented 63,111 Nigerians are reported to have died from various conflicts within this period while the bulk of the skilled manpower, especially youths migrated abroad. These were as a result of governance failure, a system crash that began with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government in 1999, which the succeeding APC regime worsened, making life unbearable for citizens.
The Buhari administration exhibited so much impunity that it encouraged even governments in states controlled by rival political parties to take a cue, where public officers serve themselves at the neglect of the people; borrowing without deploying funds to projects.
In the Niger Delta states, Rivers State for example, citizens’ rights were grossly abused, needs were not met despite drawing huge resources from both federal and internal sources. Transparency and accountability were jettisoned while the people were harassed by security personnel and spurious executive orders, while the legislature despite having oversight powers to checkmate the executive impunity, aided it.
The people rejected this misrule through their votes in the February and March, 2023 general elections, but the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, chose to subvert the votes when it failed to respect the rules as set out in the Electoral Act 2022. That singular act further created new uncertainties that have generated the apprehensions surrounding today’s transition.
It is clear to Nigerians and the world that the country needs leadership, a committed and empathic leadership to properly harness the abundant material and human resources it has; restore trust and confidence in the people and earn world respect again.
Taking up from those handing over to continue on their path will be disastrous because the country is already on the brink of collapse, with a huge external debt record of $41.8billion, ever growing insecurity, collapsed infrastructure in all sectors-education, health, roads, etc., massive corruption with officials embezzling in hundreds of billions and getting rewarded with higher position.
Things have got to change to avert a revolt, whose consequence can be catastrophic. The people are choking, merely surviving and angry that their votes did not count in many places. They are angry that the yearning for the unity, peace, progress and opportunity promised them by the Nigerian National Anthem and the founding fathers are turning to an endless dream.
They are tired and want to breathe; and be real partners in the business of building Nigeria. This is the truth that all those coming on board the political leadership train today must understand and work towards. That oath to serve must cease to be abused but, be respected. Those electioneering promises must be honoured. Get ready to walk your work and be ready to respect the will, demands of the people. The world is daily changing their rules to shut the door against the influx of Nigerians and you cannot allow that to continue.
Remake Nigeria for by so doing, you are securing your future also. Generals have been killed by hoodlums taking over our forests and roads. Our top leaders like Ike Ekweremadu, a former Deputy President of the Senate, are in foreign jails because we failed to build a sustainable country. This is an opportunity to correct the many years that the locusts have eaten.
Come in prepared to serve, the people are watching! We welcome the Labour Party and expect to see the difference of their presence in the new leadership.
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