Nigerians, including those who are public administrators have been losing confidence in their government and their political leaders. Nigerian ‘attitude’ seems to have accelerated this decline in confidence, but paradoxically Nigerians’ experiences with the leadership seem to have slowed down that decline.
Reputedly, Nigerians disdain the bureaucrat. Politicians run against the bureaucracy in an unending campaign for votes and, in fact, are measurably and radically more contemptuous of public administrators, than are the voters whose support they seek.
An analysis of a poll independently conducted by this consultant found that citizens and netizens used the word ‘restructuring’, on more than 70 percent of the occasions that they referred to public administrators, and nearly 84 percent of these references to ‘governance’, the term was used pejoratively.
Intellectuals foster an image of politicians that ranges from its being merely unresponsive to dangerously antidemocratic. Another analysis concluded that the most deeply rooted and persistent misconception of the term ‘politicians’ are not accountable to the led.
The media reflect these views. A poll conducted by this consultant concluded that federal governments were the protracted worst villains. A study of how local newspapers treated the governments of their own cities found a tilt toward the negative and the trivial. Why do Nigerians believe that their political leaders are against them?
Another national poll conducted by this consultant asked Nigerians if they had ever gone to a federal, state, or local government to get the leaders to do something that was not related to routine matters, such as streets road construction. In another vox pop, we did ask people ‘the names of their councilors’. The answers were in the negative. One meta analysis of 50 citizen surveys covering more than 200,000 respondents found generally unfavourable assessments by citizens of their local governments.
We do have fewer data regarding how services provided by governments compare with services delivered by private companies in the view of citizens who use both, and it is important to know this; after all, citizens might be ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with public services, as poll indicate, but ecstatic with joy over corporate ones, indicating a relative failure by government. What could be responsible?
Government trying, but efforts not yielding enough results? Are the people cynical? If efforts are sincerely being made and citizens are still complaining, why are not politicians be realistic enough in proffering solutions to the myriad of problems bedeviling this nation. In this regard, restructuring could be the game changer.
The Gerund ‘restructuring’ is from the word restructure meaning ‘organize differently’. It is time to organanise governance differently.Those who gave us independence practices parliamentary system of government. Those leaders, such as Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, and Tafawa Balewa, we hail and hold in high esteems were able to distinguish themselves adopting regional governments. Why can’t we toe the same line and take advantage of 21st century technology?
I know this is not a walk in the park considering ‘forces’ benefiting from this incontinent structures. The coming general election presents us with golden opportunities in correcting those lapses in leadership recruitment. If we do not make the right choice, we will suffer the consequences.
In his speech before Parliament on June 4, 1940, Winston Churchill said, ‘’Whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Those who aspire for leadership roles in Nigeria must understand the obstacles and opposition they would face would be unique. But these challenges are not insuperable.
This is no time for wimps or the weak. We need courageous leaders to choose between good, better, and best. We need leaders to stand against the status quo. Where are the leaders? Why are not they stepping up to the plate? Fear?
Fear will dismantle a country. Today, for example, we live in a country that is afraid of the consequences of standing up to good governance. Pastor E.A. Adeboye oncesaid, ‘’Think! You can do a lot more than you realise.” I see unrealized potential in this beloved land. I remember hearing E.A. Adeboye say, “Potential means you have not done it yet.” He realized his potential. Have Nigeria begun to realise her potential?
Victory implies a battle. We are in a battle, but we should not be afraid. We must be decisive these forthcoming elections. The scriptures tell us ‘’ the fear of man is a snare” ( Proverb 29:25). We are told to ‘fear not’. Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid.” Men will follow the lead of the leaders. Sadly, a nation rarely rises above the level of her leaders.
Fear of failure, fear of men, and fear of consequences will keep us crammed in a corner. It is going to take courage for you to step out of the box that this nation wants to put you in and take your seat for a first class ride. It is time to take stock of our nationhood. Whoever can restructure this nation to the path of greatness would be displaying heroic acts of courage.
The landscape is littered with the lives of those who said they were going to do something great for Nigeria and failed to do it. 2023 is not a dress rehearsal. To our aspiring leaders, what will your farewell speech sound like? Will it be, ‘’I’m sorry I was not… I didn’t… I should have… I wish I had…” Or will you be able to say, I did it… restructured Nigeria. I have never regretted that decision”.
The battles are real. The demands are great. The opportunity to make a difference is immeasurable. God bless Nigeria.
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