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2023 Politics: Avoiding Blame Game
Published Jun 11, 2022 IN Column, THE REALITIES,
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IF there is anything that appears as a meaningful accomplishment by the out-going governments at all levels in Nigeria, it is the governments’ discovery of the numerous causes of the nation’s catalogue woes. They blame the problems on past governments. Even though the act is noticeable at all levels of governance, it is more pronounced at the federal, particularly since 2015.

What is “blame”? Without necessarily citing any authority, it can be said to be a word to describe situations when man shields himself from responsibilities for his actions or inactions. Put simply, blame takes the centre stage when man exonerates himself from being the cause of his failure to execute given tasks. This perhaps explains the adage that says; “it is the lazy farmer that blames his implements for his poor agricultural cultivation”.

Africa as a continent is used to blames of all sorts. Even when a scientific autopsy carried out on dead children prove them to have died of kwashiorkor, the people still find a ways of attributing such deaths to the handiwork of witches and wizards or other “remote controls”. Some churches use the words; “spiritual attack” to describe most of such occurrences. This is in spite of the fact that kwashiorkor is an ailment that does not require special skills to diagnose. The blame game has been embraced by African leaders who are not prepared to accept responsibilities for failure to deliver the dividends of good governance to their citizens.

Prior to the election of General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) to office as Nigeria’s president in 2015, his political party, APC promised Nigerians that vices such as kidnapping, wanton killings, destruction of properties and other heinous crimes would be things of the past if allowed to take over from the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

But, over seven years down the line, the APC government is still in search of solutions to the country’s security challenges. With the recent attack of St. Francis Catholic Church, Owo in Ondo state by hoodlums, one can safely conclude that the challenge has now taken a new dimension – reflecting federal character and equity which the governments have failed to implement in legitimate areas of government as enshrined in Nigeria’s federal character commission act. All the regions are having their fare share of the lapses in the safety arrangements for citizens.

Insecurity is not the only challenge that has defied solutions from government. The economy has equally nose-dived. Food items are generally costly. Means of generating income is hard to come by. And the environment is harsh for personal businesses to thrive. Above all, corruption arising from economic leakages is gradually eliminating entrepreneurs from the economic system with civil servants and political office holders awarding contracts to themselves and assigning businessmen to supervise such projects at fees that make skill acquisition in schools unattractive.

Surprisingly, even before the elections of 2023 that Nigerians expect to usher in a new progressive era to the country, politicians are already rehearsing their blame games. They seem to be working on stories to tell Nigerians if they fail to win the coming elections. Some have blamed their losses at the party primary elections on excuses ranging from opponents’ inducement of delegates with money to sabotage and betrayals by colleagues. Others have began telling those ready to listen that the elections would be won or lost on grounds of the geographical areas of origin of contestants. Only a few are paying attention to competence and general acceptability as major requirements for winning elections. Glossing over these facts provide a lacuna for blame game after election victories ahead.

Meanwhile, it is pertinent to let the political class know that Nigerians are now in better positions to hold it accountable in the acts of governance. Excuses will not be acceptable in 2023 and beyond going by the mood of the populace.

The myriad of difficulties facing the country are well known to every Nigerian wanting to contest for elective positions. Those without the well withal to solve the problems have no business participating in the leadership choice process. The ones that may not be thoroughly aware of the tasks ahead, must be prepared to throw-in the towel anytime they become overwhelmed by the issues of governance.

It is high time Nigerians began to demand blue-prints in form of political party manifestos from politicians. This should be with a view to checking their performances from time to time against the “working documents” from their associations. The people should bid farewell to slogans like “three-point agenda” from individual leaders instead of collective party working documents as a guide.

Strict sanctions should be melted out to any politician who fails to appear for public debates prior to next year’s general elections. A repeat of the previously displayed attitude of politicians wherein some of them sent proxies for debates on their behalf should be viewed as enough reason to lose the votes of the Nigerian voting population.

The APC’s purported projection of Alhaji Lawan as its presidential candidate (real or imagined); no doubts altered the political equation of the country’s democracy. It awakened the consciousness of docile politicians who hither to behaved as though power is graciously handed to desiring persons on a platter of gold. Tinubu shot himself on the foot with his unguarded speech at Abeokuta in the cause of wooing delegates towards his ambition. He spoke as if he actually single-handedly “crowned” Buhari as president without even the votes of the electorate. Now that he faces the singular honour of being the first national political party leader from western Nigeria to also win the hearts of a broad spectrum of political stawarts from other parts of the country, it is hoped that he would avoid costly errors that stand to throw him into a state of political irrelevance along with many of his southern Nigerian colleagues in APC. Citizens are waiting for his actions or inactions. The blame game must not be allowed creep into 2023. A word is enough for the wise!

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