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- Construction workers hail FG’s decision on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
- Senate adjourns plenary for 1 week, dissolves to Appropriation committee.
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- Judgment in Oni’s appeal stalled, re-fixed for Jan 8
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- Appointments: S/West not marginalised —FCC
Who is Nigeria’s worst president?
THE malaise of our current times has been compelling me to ponder and ponder and ponder… Our country has become a country of confusion and turbulence, and fear and fear and more fear have forced the ordinary man to be beset by memories and real fears of lack of jobs and several economic problems plaguing the land. New ideas about different kinds of crime have floated themselves on our waters of hope worsened by the problem of employment especially since the time Niger Delta rascals who became militants and then “ex-militants” created a climate of great pain and terror in the land; a climate of great pain and terror that Boko Haram men of our savannah and desert have inevitably recreated with irrational manifestations whose end is not in sight.
My twenty-first century Nigerian mind is being compelled to ponder and ponder the solutions that would help our governments at all levels to solve the myriads of problems. I don’t have a magic wand in the same way that our Achebes, Soyinkas, JP Clarks, Niyi Osundares, Odia Ofiemuns, Abubakar Gimbas, Femi Osofisans, Sad Sams, Peter Pans, Allah Dehs, Candidos, Adamu Ciromas, Gbolagbo Ogunsawos, Tam David Wests, Mohammed Harunas, Tatalo Alamus, Pini Jasons, Lasisi Olagunjus, Alowes Ego-Jimanzes, Tunde Fagbenles, Edwin Madunadus, Chinweizus, Pat Utomis, Dele Sobowales, Kola Animashauns, JOS Ayomikes, Ocheronne Nannas, Diran Apatas, Toyin Willoughby Muyis, Tayo Lewises, Donu Kogbaras and our other great twenty-first century minds don’t have magic wands to put a stop to our problems. But I, like these and other great twenty-first century Nigerian minds, see problems and try hard to drive towards solutions through my travelling in and out here and elsewhere.
Now, I feel the need to tamper with my floating thoughts for a while and acknowledge my numerous civilised readers who through their respective text messages and calls testified to the overwhelming impact of In and Out on their imaginations and thoughts. (Some of them are reactionary in their views and carpet me for the wrong reasons but I find them inspiring all the same). Because the readers are truly numerous indeed, I am ceasing here to identify anyone of them as in times past. But I must acknowledge that our faith in rational progress as it pertains to our country shall never go bankrupt. Our firm and optimistic belief in the natural goodness of the peoples who constitute our different ethnical groups shall never be extinguished by different kinds of worthless leaders who have brought us to the condition of mass misery and poverty that are our lot today.
Worthless leaders. Yes. They, since the independence we won from the British in 1960 without firing a bullet, have caused us different kinds of anguish and cruelty that have compounded the problems of living in Nigeria ever since. My mind recalls the anguished outcry at the cruelty of the Igbo pogrom and the 1967 to 1970 civil war. The pogrom and civil war were surrealist in their nightmare disorders, and they profoundly affected negatively our passion for oneness as a people and a nation. Of course, the events that inspired the pogrom and civil war, and happenings thereafter, have given birth to different doctrines of pessimism peculiarly Nigerian. One of these is that of political, social, economic and moral failure of leadership. It is a doctrine that has achieved fame over the years.
Every succeeding generation or group of leaders seems, since independence, to be outdoing each other in its villainous treatment of the masses of our people. And we cannot but ponder and wonder: Which monster created many members of Nigeria’s political class, civilian or military? The more one ponders the question, the more perplexed and intrigued one becomes by this and other ponderables.
Being one who is also interested in sports analysis, I have never had any doubt regarding who the best footballer of all time is or ever will be. Pele of Brazil who won three world cups and who scored well more than a thousand goals in his well more than fabulous playing career, is clearly the king of football. He is the best ever and will remain so until another unbelievable footballer appears from no where to beat his goal-scoring record and world cup victories. By the way, the football king did the wonderful things he did for the game at a time players and champions of his generation never got the kind of protection today’s players and champions get. Moreover, in King Pele’s time, the ball used was real leather, which was not as light and as efficient as the one of the present time that is far more favourable to modern footballers. If the Brazilian Ronaldo, the Argentine Maradona and Messi and the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo are kings, Pele is indisputably the King of kings. But who is the world’s worst player ever? Nobody knows and nobody will ever know.
Now, you know where I have been playing my ball to. Who is Nigeria’s worst ever President, civilian or military, military or civilian–depending on where you want us to start from and who to start with from Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan? And, by the way, are we interested in Nigeria’s best political leader ever? We must answer the latter question straightaway by all perimeters of political leadership at our disposal and by others anybody may wish to invent. All Nigeria’s Heads of State who went by their respective titles of Prime Minister, Head of State, and President, ceremonial or un-ceremonial, have caused us different kinds of anguish and nightmare of incongruous dimensions. Each (of them who have prevailed on the land as captains of our ship of state) is easily recognisable as an anti-hero. None can go down in history as a committer to the true Nigerian dream of one nation, one destiny. Every one of them, without exception, will go down in history as a committer to the narrow and selfish dream of his ethnical nationality, first and foremost. We have lost considerable progress and development in all ramifications to this anti-heroic concern of all of them. Of course, each achieved fame (or infamy) according to his doctrines of nation-hood, but in the long run, the masses of our people suffered (and are suffering still) from the plague and pestilence of their respective doctrines. And we are where we are today. But Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has one huge advantage over those who played the game of Nigeria’s number one personality or number one citizen before him. What is this huge advantage? To correct the many errors of his predecessors, and thereby emerge as our best President ever. But he won’t and we will forever remember the “Best President Nigeria never had.” Indeed, I see Lord Jonathan going down in our historical and even political imagination as ….. The rest is silence. But before he creates the eventual wounding wind, we call upon him to give each ethnical nationality its rightful, fair and equitable due; we call upon him to rescue the great Nigerian masses from the great slaughter in the land; we call upon him to wash Nigeria’s garment in the pool of real modernity; we call upon him to plot for us a vision we can rigorously but happily move towards and pluck in our wish to be real citizens and real human beings of the modern world and of all future worlds of goodness and further goodness. He mustn’t go down in our imagination as our worst President ever…. which he is presently not even though his regime is short of people of candour and…. The rest is silence…. The rest is silence…...Share