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Saturday, 17 August 2013


 The ingenuity of Nigerians,especially the political class,has never seized to amaze me.When you think you have been able to keep pace with them in understanding or giving meaning to words frequently used by them,they come up with new words to outwith or confuse you and therefore shock you to a ''state of unshockability''(apology to late Dele Giwa).
In the recent past since our journey into 'democracy',the plitical class has coined words and in so doing give explanations to cover a bad decision or mistake in course of duty.Samples of such words in the political class vocabulary are:-
-home grown democracy
-moving the nation forward
-family affairs
-equal joiners and owners
-doctrine of neccessity
-dividends of democracy
-cabal etc.
Since the swearing in of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan(GEJ) as President and the warming up to the 2011 general elections,suddenly the political class has elevated a new word to the forefront in its political vocabulary.The new word is PROVIDENCE.
PROVIDENCE -God, or a force that some people believe control our lives and the things that happen to us,usually in a way that protects us.(Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary).
The arguement by the political class now is that since providence threw up GEJ as the President,he should be allowed to run and continue as President irrespective of achievements,antecedents and ability to lead and sanitise the country.Nigeria is a country of prayer warriors,very vast in in biblical verses and expectations.They believe generally that,''God is a Nigerian'' and that explains why most Nigerians do not plan and prepare for anything.This has been the Nigerian arbatross politically,economically,administrativelly etc.,since independence in 1960.If you do not plan,there is no success;in otherwords,if you fail to plan,you plan to to fail.
Whatever course of direction,profession or career one decides to pursue in life,there should be planning and a passion for same no matter how lowly.
It is in this regard i will like to justapose PROVIDENCE and PASSION against the background of the various leaderships and governments we have had in this country since independence and let us determine if providence in government has actually produced the desired leadership in Nigeria.
PASSION-a very strong feeling of love,hatred,anger,enthusiasm etc(2)a state of being very angry(3)a very strong feeling of liking sth.a hobby,activity etc that you like very much (Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary).
In 1960,Nigeria had three(3) regional governments and leaders that were very passionate in leading and serving their people The leaders were Obafemi Awolowo,Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikiwe,all of blessed memory.They also built followership and had lieutenants that were also passionate.
However for sake of serving their people in the regions,Awolowo and Ahmadu Bello stayed back as Premiers in the regions untill Awolowo's passion to lead the country propelled him to the centre to contest for the Prime Minister position,which he never became, while Ahmadu Bello with the added traditional title of Sardauna of Sokoto, chose to remain in his traditional domain to serve his people.
Tafawa Balewa, a lieutenant of Ahmadu Bello,out of providence, had to be seconded to the Federal level and he became Prime Minister, a position he did not have the passion to aspire to in the first instance.How well he was able to perform as Prime Minister,is not the issue in this write-up,but a debatable subject.
In 1966,we witnessed the military incursion into governance with the Major Nzeogwu led coup and the coup has been and still a subject of controversy and debate as to whether it was propelled by patriotism,passion, providence or otherwise for the country.
Also the Gen.Ironsi and Gen.Gowon's regimes have also become subjects of controversies and debates as to whether the regimes were that of providence,passion, patriotism or otherwise for the country.I will restrain myself from discussing these regimes and allow students and writers of histrory to decide.
However in 1975,late Gen.Murtala Mohammed took over from the Gowon regime and we do not need students or writers of history to tell us that Mohammed's passion for governance and for the suffering people of Nigeria and the passion to cleanse the rot and injustice in the system then,propelled him to oust the Gowon's regime in a palace coup.
To all intent and purpose,planning and execution of programmes of the Mohammed's regime,it had direction but unfortunately his life was cut short by those in the system who had no passion for the country.Then providence threw on the country the Gen.Olusegun Obasanjo regime.
By providence in 1979,Obasanjo gave us the Alhaji Shehu Shagari's government.Shagari's ambition politically was to at best, be a parliamentarian.That was his passion and did not have the passion to become President.Did he perform as President?
However in 1983,Gen.Mohammadu Buhari's regime outsted the Shagari's government with a passion to correct the ills,corruption and injustice of NPN government.The regime was outsted by fifth columnists in that same regime and providence produced Gen.Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida's (IBB) regime with the aid of the system and establishment people.
IBB took the country through a winding,tortous and expensive electoral process which MKO Abiola won,a man that had the passion and drive to aspire to become the President.The passion and drive was truncated by IBB and his loyalists,even though the election was rated and still is considered as the freest,fairest and best conducted election so far held in the political and electoral history of this country.
Then by another providence, we got the Interim National Government (ING) of Chief Earnest Shonekan and subsequently the late Gen.Sanni Abacha and Gen.Abdusalam Abubakar's regimes.
Providence brought Gen.Obasanjo out of prison and from the hands of death and he became the country's President from 1999 to 2007.Did the country benefit from this providence?
We had barely recovered from Obasanjo's government of providence,then Obasanjo gave the country another government of providence in the late Umaru Musa Yar'dua's and Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) as Vice President,after Obasanjo's failed third term attempt.
The government of GEJ is no doubt a government of providence.His supporters and support groups have not failed to remind the country of this fact.
The crust of the matter and the question we should ask ourselves in all honesty is - has governments of providence led the country on the right path?
Providence since 1960 has led the country nowhere and obviously will lead to nowhere this time around.
We should forget providence and let us be passionate in what we desire for and from our country Nigeria.
Let the country choose and vote for a Presidential candidate with the passion to lead Nigeria to greatness.
That candidate is MUHAMMADU BUHARI.

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