Nigeria and the curse of leadership
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DESPITE arrogating the moniker, ‘Giant of Africa’ to ourselves, the nation’s economy, infrastructure, education, healthcare system, among others, remain fraught with irregularities. Sixty one years on as an independent nation, we seem to be dependent. Saddening.
What is the problem with Nigeria? leaders.? It is very simple. It appears our leaders are a curse to us. They have superintended many years of waste and mismanagement.
Our politicians and leaders are supposed to be patriotic,but they derive joy in looting the country blind while citizens wallow in poverty. Ngugi wa Thiong’o’s ‘Petals of Blood’ come to mind now. In the novel, the elite were the only ones enjoying the wealth of the nation,while the economy was affected.
However, which is a means of liberation from the bondage of corrupt leaders is also crisis-ridden.Many Nigerians from an early stage do not have the opportunity of free and stable education. According to the constitution, all children, no matter where they live, have the right to quality education.
Sadly, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged five-14 years are not in school. Only 61 per cent of six-11-year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 per cent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education. Who would fight for such right when governance leaves much to be desired? Uneducated parents or their children?
Statistics shows that about 95.9 million people are living in extreme poverty. How could they be enlightened about those politicians who are self-serving? This is why individual liberty is so important. It protects individuals from the tyranny of the majority. It establishes a base level of intellectual, philosophical, spiritual, and economic diversity that ensures that there is enough free play of ideas in a society for the best solution to problems.
Educated citizens should be free to challenge government decisions and policies. They should freely express their frustrations and misgivings about maladministration. Instead of taking up arms, heading for the hills, and waging guerilla war against the central government, should take to the airwaves. They should participate in political discourse. Bringing about change should not be about violent revolution.Usually, it comes at huge costs.
Sofiullahi is a 300 level student of English Education, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.