Thursday 31 January 2019
POLITICS AS DASHED HOPES IN NIGERIA
Speaking during the launch of 'Politics as dashed hopes in Nigeria' by Dr. Auwalu Anwar, his former Special Assistant on FCTA, Abuja on 31st January 2019, former President Olusegun Obasanjo (OBJ) said the world is watching how Nigeria will handle the 2019 elections. He called on Nigerians to guard the nation's democracy ahead of the general elections. According to OBJ, 'if we cherish democracy, we will all guard and protect it. And that, I believe, is the main purpose of the book'.
OBJ continued: 'I am happy most Nigerians are rising up to their duties and responsibilities as regards safeguarding our democracy. Remember that if you stand aloof as evil is being perpetrated, you become an accomplice in the perpetration of the evil'. OBJ was also concerned that prebendalism (money politics) has become an unnecessary but important aspect of Nigeria's politics. He then advised that we should hold on to our nationality which binds us together.
Anwar, the author, said that the book gives an insight into the activities of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC). The journey into writing the book started with a newspaper article. He said when the CPC went into crisis, committees were set up where a code of conduct was created because it was believed that the principal problem of the CPC was indiscipline. 'It was not a run of the mill Political Party'.
In his remarks Prof. Bugaje identified three areas where improvement is needed in our polity.
1) The character of our politics: The leadership recruitment process is warped. That's why the process throws up the worst of us as leaders and the competent ones either keep off or are edged out a la violence! Nigeria's politics is 'self-serving, incestuous and leads to sharp divide within the polity'.
2) Absence of elite consensus on germane issues like restructuring, setting targets for Nigeria, how to effectively feed our teeming population, principle of inclusion where no one is left behind, etc.
3) Nigeria is not futuristic: For example, the world has moved away from the use of crude oil refined as petrol in cars! Electric cars are now available in some countries. We are still glued to crude oil price and how it affects our budget! 65% of Nigeria's children are under-nourished. How do their brains develop for the task ahead in the information age and a highly competitive world? The world has moved from hard work to smart work for maximum impact.
The book reviewer said the 614 page text x-rays the inner workings of the CPC. It is also a definitive text of post June 12, 1992 politics in Nigeria. It discusses the altruistic and radical politics of the north, especially Kano. Heroism in many contexts is on display. Players are described as regards their roles in shaping Nigerian politics.
The logical consequences of heroism are self-evident. Attention is called to action and inaction by leaders as a result of their inability/unwillingness to learn from history. The reviewer said that the book is a reference point for political discourse in Nigeria. It is a daring/lucid expose that adds another dimension to our repertoire on landmarks in our political history.