By: Ishowo Ayomide
First and foremost, people get the kind of leaders they deserve. Obviously, this a very popular saying whose authenticity is now in a distrust system or format as the case may be, most especially in the light of leaders Nigeria have been producing in the past few years of our nascent democracy.
What have we Nigerians specifically done to deserve the kind of people we actually produce every electoral year, most importantly In the last two decades of democracy? The answer to my own knowledge is “nothing”. I was in a “Maruwa” yesterday’s afternoon In Ilorin when a citizen was lamenting the bad state of Nigeria, the lamentation got me demoralized and thrown me into a deep thought.
From independence of 1960 to the early 80’s which can be regarded as our glorious or our excellent year? The men who presided over our affairs were charged with offences, most especially financial related offences. Yes actually, they might have towed wrong paths, but such wrongs were sheer product of ignorance or inexperience .
During the 80’s Tafawa Balewa was accused of been partisan and incompetence. In the same vein, Aguiyi Ironsi who also had a very brief spell on the leadership saddle was also accused of naivety; can you imagine?
Yakubu Gowon, who ruled for nine years and at the most trying period in the life of the nation is carpeted and tagged as been too nice and lenient. That, while he was personally corrupt, he was too soft in corruption cases. He was at the helm of affairs at a time when Nigeria had so much money nobody knew what to do with it. Yet Gowon did not steal our money and keep it in various foreign banks or stashed it .
Although, he was in power during the turbulent Civil war years, nobody has seriously indicted him of gross violations of the rights of citizens.
Now, similarly Murtala Muhammed who came like a comet and went like one, is blamed for rashness. Olusegun Obasanjo who also succeeded him is accused of naivety by singlehandedly accepting a foreign loan of a billion dollars at a time Nigeria was awash with billions of petrodollars.
Apparently, that act of naivety, it was said , laid the foundation of our present det noose.
Like Gowon , Shehu Shagari is seen as a man who did not like personal integrity but out of weakness of character allowed so much corruption to reign. Our drift down abyss is traceable to his rule.
But now, listen to the accusations against the leaders that emerged from the early 80’s to the present period. Their profiles read like the description of lead actors in a horror movie. One is accused of complicity In the attempted kidnapping of a citizen in a foreign country, the other one is also accused of gross acts of abuses of both the rights of citizens and foreigners.
However, among all these leaders, the one that came after Obasanjo was tagged as a very nice and an exemplary politician and that was Yar’ adua in the year 2007, but unfortunately death deprived him from performing as an answerable leader.
Subsequently, Jonathan who was also his Vice took over his position in 2009, and was also later tagged as a corrupt politician.
Conclusively, History is yet to give a verdict on the current administration of Buhari because it’s yet to run its course till the end.
By: Ishowo Malik
Ishowo is a Student, learner, political and media enthusiast, writer based in llorin in Kwara State.