-ONWUASOANYA FCC JONES
Ordinary Nigerians are transferring their frustrations over successively failed political leadership to support for violent, subversive and dishonest agitations, while the elite whose wicked and irresponsible leadership are responsible for the frustrations of ordinarily Nigerians are shamelessly and deviously exploiting the situation to advance their political and economic interests. The activities and utterances of these elites are as scornful of the ordinary Nigerian as they are the clearest exposition of their irredeemable treacherous and traitorous nature.
The pathetic situation of the Nigerian polity is convenient for opposition politicking because they see it as an opportunity to enhance their chances at grabbing power in the next election, instead of an opportunity to proffer superior solutions to our problems. They say things they feel are popular with the ordinary masses even though they know the truth. This has brought us to a situation where we have villains posturing as heroes, and we applaud them for their deception and manipulation against us.
A responsible opposition, while not losing sight of the need to position itself as a credible alternative to govern, should also understand the need to set a line between opposition and nationalism. There is a thick line between opposition to a political Party to opposition to the nation and its people.
Sadly, both the governing and opposition members of the Nigerian political class stand guilty of dereliction, corruption, terrorism, felony and any imaginable crime against the Nigerian humanity, and none of them have shown any genuine interest in making lives better for ordinary Nigerians or even a genuine compunction for bungling the opportunities they have had in the past to make things better. Both divides are enjoying the steady and dangerous destruction by both politically and ethnically inspired irritants. For those in governing authority at the moment, it could be an opportunity to inflate costs of governance and expand their rapacious diversion of public wealth, for those in opposition, it is an opportunity to enhance their bargain at power.
In circumstances like this, activists and intellectuals were supposed to stand in the gap between emotions and truth. This is the time we have prisoners of conscience, standing up to defuse lies and put the correct narratives in the public domain. Unfortunately, this is not happening and cannot happen for several reasons.
One of the reasons is that the political class has consciously turned hunger to a weapon of oppression. An intellectual or an activist would be an irresponsible felon, if he cannot take care of his family because he is standing up for the ‘truth’. The Nigerian system is rigged against conscientious reasoning and advocacy. Those who have managed to retain a reputation for conscientious public commentary are either the sneaky, insincere loudmouths that follow the trend, rather than the truth, or the very few who have managed to remain above board in their public commentaries. For those who make conscious efforts to advance opinions that are in line with popular sentiments, they do not qualify for the role society expects activists and public intellectuals to play. You don’t flow with the crowd, you direct the flow of the crowd.
Another reason, activists and public intellectuals have failed to provide the direction they are expected to provide in moments like we are in is that most of them do not have the requisite knowledge, training and temperament to take issues through the lenses of logicality and unpopular truth. They haven’t got the ability, innate or acquired, to “suspend emotions” and incubate logic. For instance, we have very few Igbo people who are ready to give any Fulani the benefit of the doubt, of being honest, humane, and even angry at the murderous carnivals of their criminal kinds, we apparently have no one within the Fulani leadership class or in the President’s inner circle who could appreciate that the major reason for the popularity of these unhinged and idiotic agitations across Nigeria is the obvious bigotry of Mr. President.
Hypocrisy is another salient snarl. Everyone, especially, the activists would be ready to give you 1000 reasons why anyone other than himself or those he is affiliated with is to be blamed for the many sad things happening in Nigeria today.
For instance, I would be lying to myself if I fail to admit some responsibility. Yes, Onwuasoanya FCC Jones is part of the problems of this country. Now, how many more people are ready to admit to their failures? The idea that everyone is innocent but the man at the helm is a very incorrect theory. Everyone has a role to play, and for as much as you have failed to play your roles adequately, you are part of the problem.
Another reason for the failure of activists to intervene efficiently in the current situation is that a number of them, because of the lack of social, economic and even political security, have commercialized their talents and passions. Yes, they are genuinely passionate about a better society, but they cannot effectively do that when they cannot pay their basic bills and those of their dependants, hence, they commercialize. This kind of activists and public intellectuals can be found across political and ideological leanings.
However, those who are ‘fortunate’ to be in the ‘opposition’ enjoy a better public rating, because, they “stand with the people”.
I would be deceiving myself if I expect that this is somehow going to change very soon, but the biggest responsibility for changing this sad reality falls on those currently holding sway at different levels in government. They must stop playing the ostrich and come out with workable ideas to defuse the anger and frustrations of the people and take more deliberate steps at better managing our cherished diversity as a nation.MAY NIGERIA PREVAIL!
9News Nigeria (Owerri)
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