Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The President We Need,And The One They Want,And The One We Deserve

There is a huge difference between getting what a person wants, or deserves,or truly needs. In the first instance, wants refer to the whole gamut of desires that may not be rooted in reality,or backed up by common sense.

When a person gets what he deserves,it means he has not been cheated,neither has he cheated the giver,he has received what he/she is qualified to get,or has worked for.

Needs,on the other hand, refer to an absolute prerequisite for survival,or sine qua none  for continuance of life. 

As I ruminate on the sketches appearing on our political canvas,one clear issues irks me deeply.

Are we,as a nation, going to get the president that Nigeria needs at this moment in time?

Or would it be that some people would get the president that they want;or would our complacency, deliver a president that we deserve,because we have let slip the fundamental,and cardinal reasons for electing a president in the first place.

I believe,that the president that we need,is one who would fix the problems of Nigeria. He/she might not succeed in doing so in eight years,but would have succeeded in putting us on an irreversible track of accelerated development,and modernization in the true sense of the word.

It would require deep thought,and bold political steps,to get us to the cusp of development. 

We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are a developing,or modern nation. We even call ourselves the giant of Africa!

We are not!

What we are,is an oddity,an anachronism,a consistent inconsistency!

The Maitama,and Asokoro districts,in Abuja today,are some of the most modern,and "developed" areas in Nigeria. I live in Abuja,so I know,but what do I see when I drive through neighbourhoods in these areas,cart pushers, selling water in jerry cans! That is not an example of development, it is an example of the worst of the bizarre! 

How can an area planned in the last twenty years not factor in how to provide water for residents?

If you go there in the evening,the deafening cacophony of all manner of imported generators,declare the wealth level of the various households in the area.

After fifty years of independence,we are still grappling with electricity generation in the midst of some of the richest hydro resources in the world!

Drive through most of the streets of Abuja,and you will see the ugliest contraption ever to come out India,the tricycle! In this day,as we speak,there is no efficient mass transit system in Abuja. And it is the case with the rest of Nigeria.Development seems to be like healthy skin peeping through a bad rash of eczema! The unsightliness of the two cohabiting,is galling.

When we get the president that we need,we would plan our development,and assign resources to the right areas,and have a holistic development.

But that is only possible,when we get the president that we need.

If on the other hand,some people get the president that they want;he/she would become,like all the others before,an ethnic champion,and a palace jester. He/she would wear the robes of a nationalist,and but pray the prayers of an ethnic bigot.

The fellow would only pander to the dictates of his/her ethnic group,and those who made him/her president. Contractors would become richer,and the people would become poorer. That has been the story of Nigeria,and we are in danger of writing a bad sequel.

The third possibility,is that we get a president that we deserve. Not the one that we need,or the one some people want,but the one that becomes the default by reason of our indifference,non vigilance,and carelessness. 

This would be a president that belongs to everybody,but is useful to nobody. In politics they call such a president a consensus candidate,a person afraid to offend the powers that be,a weakling,and a worm! 

This fellow is there because the majority that could have swung the vote in the right direction,did not come to the event. They were too busy twiddling their thumbs,and minding their business. 

Such a president would be phenomenally pedestrian in his outlook,and unimaginative in the way he tries to solve our problems.

Believe me,we have problems,big problems. 

They are in our education,in our economy,our banks,the power sector,in every imaginable area. Our problems would require deep thinking,and unwavering boldness to solve them.

My fear is that we may just get the president that we deserve,because some people want to enforce who they want on all of us,and this is not the kind of  president that Nigeria needs.


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