Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Changing Nigeria's Political Landscape

copyright: Micha Klootwijk
Politics in Nigeria is corrupt and unevolved. It is riven by mismanagement and tribal partisanship. There is a strong belief that it is unlikely to see a change for the better anytime soon. It is difficult to argue with that. Even the current crop of up and coming political aspirants are steeped in the lazy and uninspired principles of their forebears. Unfortunately entering into politics is driven by a desire that accumulate wealth or escape poverty rather than a vocation for selfless public service. This has created a status quo of corruption and incompetence in both the executive and administrative arms of government.

It is time for a new vanguard of socially conscious Nigerians to create a new narrative that both connects with the aspirations of Nigerians and addresses their most pressing needs. In order to do this there needs to be a profile created for public service. Capability and integrity have to take precedence over wealth and patronage. Public can no longer be seen as a passport to personal wealth.

Successive governments have failed to address security issues with regards extremists and crime and disorder. Public services only serve to entrench deprivation and inequality. Economic policy has been regressive. There is little appetite for investment in sustainable development. Economic regulation is inadequate and poorly enforced. The north east remains isolated, unsafe and underdeveloped. The south remains an environmental disaster zone exploited by oil companies and local militias.

An association of young people supported but not led by some like minded older and wiser hands need to come together to form a viable political party. Nobody with present or past affiliations with political parties or groups in the country should be eligible to take up membership. This new party would campaign on a platform of good governance, transparency, financial accountability, economic development, youth empowerment and open society. This new political movement will start small and look to grow its membership and relevance on a local and national basis. It will seek to develop a solid support base and promote its political values across all states. It would hopefully be able to build this up into a credible national presence.

It is time to reimagine Nigeria as a place where there is strength in diversity. Where unity can be achieved through fairness and unselfish patriotism. A place where social capital is built up, maintained and reinvested in national development. A place where elders are role models and mentors to the youth. A place where young people grow up with a sense of integrity and an aspiration to personal and public improvement.