Category: Politics

28 Apr 2018

The Social Contract, Leadership and the the Journey Towards Infamy

Not only in developing countries, where human existence is still sort of primordial, but globally, men are wont to ask, what human society, as embodied in the state, holds for them. In other words, why does the state exist? And to what ends should its raison-d-etre serve?

So one of the most exciting foundational courses offered in most faculties of Humanities, Social and Legal Sciences, worldwide, is “Political Philosophy” or “History of Political Thought’. In some climes it is also offered as a General Studies course for all students. At postgraduate and doctoral levels, this becomes more pellucid, dwelling amply on the ethical foundations of the state and what values could rightly be placed on individual lives.

It is also relevant to state that virtually all leaders of religious traditions spent a good part of their teachings, using various metaphors and imageries to elucidate this matter of the state. More pointedly, thinkers upon the succeeding generations have followed the legends, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle to keep the tread of discourse on the question of the moral foundation of the State alive. During the 16th to 18th century Enlightenment Era, most men of knowledge, around European capitals of the time, joined to adumbrate on this matter. So from France’s line up of philosophers such as Rene Descartes, Voltaire, and Montesquieu to the Swissman, Jean-Jacque Rosseau and Germany’s duo of Immanuel Kant and Friedrich Hegel, what bothered the minds of the greatest of men was: why does the state exist and what does it hold for the individual? In England of the time, the stage was broader as scholars such as Francis Bacon, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill and more recently, Bertrand Russell all sustained the relay of this conversation for hundreds of years.

The conclusion from all of these philosophers, with variants, was that there exists a kind of metaphysical or moral ‘Social Contract’ between men and fellow citizens on the one hand and between the individual and society or state on the other. By this, men, especially our original progenitors are presumed at a time in the dim past, to have chosen to opt out of a ‘state of nature’ similar to how animals live in the jungle to subject their individual wills into a ‘vole collective’ or an aggregation of the general will of all members of society. That is, having escaped the supposed brutishness of the animalist life of the forest, men are believed to have given to the state what appears to be godly powers to order their daily peaceful existence.

To this established norm, we are all born into and anything contrary is regarded as defiant and a derogation.

lndeed some philosophers such as Karl Marx, went the extreme to elevate the state almost to levels that prejudiced itself against established religious orders and orthodoxies. His thoughts ignited mass movements in the Russian axis leading to the success of the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917. By that, its leader, Vladimir Lenin and those who came after him embarked, to create a supra-national state of social contracts known as Soviet Union (USSR). Mao Zedong carried out a similar communist revolution in China in 1949. These states and their satellites around the world were defined by collective existence, collective actions, communism etc. As a matter of fact, they came with an atheist undertone, as the State became a kind of all-in-all, leaving very scant or no place for religion or spirituality.

It is apt to elucidate that in its simplest illustration, the Social Contract as it pertains to man and the state is reflected in the kind of involuntary symbiosis found in normal father and child relationship. Men therefore expect the state to protect them and pursue their maximum wellbeing. In extreme socialist and communist cases, the state was devolved with the authoritarian powers of thinking for and caring for the individuals, all through life. In same moral exegesis, Kings, Princes, noble leaders and the like are ordained and emplaced to pursue the ideas of collective happiness and wellbeing. So even African response to colonial rule, fuelling nationalist struggle for independence was founded on that same narrative of wanting to build ideal nation states.

If the state was created for such superlative and altruistic ideals, the question which pokes the minds, thoughts and consciences of most analysts, and commentators is : why do people who are entrusted with the sacred heritage of the “collective will” turn out, time after time, nation upon nation, to be its greatest enemies? Such people have made the narration of world history a lamentable tale of endless conflicts, cruelty, travesty, injustice and bloodshed! Yes. Some rulers have really been cruel, mean, wicked, and devilish. A few examples will suffice.

We all recall the historical and religious accounts of evil potentates, like Pharaoh of Egypt and King Herod of Judea, both of whom ordered the killing of all male children, simply to satisfy their selfish interests. Similarly, Caligula and Nero were two Roman Emperors during the first century AD. Their dynastic legacy produced stately forebears such as Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony and Augustus Caesar. Yet both of these two emperors are merely remembered in history for tyranny, sadism and reprobate lifestyles. Under Nero for instance, the City of Rome, then capital of the world, found itself engulfed in a mysterious fire in 64 AD which destroyed most of the city. This was linked to him.

Going further down, the French Revolution with the maxims: “equalite, egalitariate et fraternite”, inspired liberation in the Americas founded on Republican ethos. But back home in France this revolution also produced a man named Maximilien Robespierre. Though very successful as a revolutionary leader, he ended his life very sadly, swimming in the blood of thousands whom he guillotined! He enjoyed killing people at will on all trumped charges. Another named Prince Vlad the Impaler Wallacha (Central Europe), is now typified merely as Count Dracula, a venomous vampire for his cruel acts. As a ruler in central Europe he loved the disembowelment of human beings. Another is Ivan the Terrible; first ruler of Russia. He is historically known for burning thousands alive. If we hazard a deep into African, Asian and Inca or Aztec civilization of South – America, blood, blood and blood trail the rulership of many. And the Trans-Atlantic State which went on 400 years under the watch of Africa leaders of the time, where about 12-15 million people were forcefully enslaved, many dying during passage.

In our own 20th century, what about Adolf Hitler and his henchman, Adolf Eichmann, on whose heads rests the blood of millions, including about six million Jews who were incinerated in the holocaust. The accounts of what Italian dictator Benito Mussolini are still gory and repulsive. This has become a reference point for reprobate governance within Europe. What about the sad tales of over 20 million people who were killed in Josef Stalin’s twenty-nine years rule in Soviet Union. Also, can history so quickly forget Pol Pot of Cambodia under whose savagery millions of people disappeared similar to what Augusto Pinochet did in Chile? What about the unabashed excesses of Idi Amin of Uganda and Jean-Bedel Bokassa of Central African Republic and the genocide in Rwanda where over 800,000 people died.

Far and near, the world is still littered with terrible, bloodletting leaders and their cheerleaders. One thing is common to all these people, they forget that earthly existence and indeed the privilege of leadership is merely a pilgrimage and a fleecing effervescence. One day, when everyone is far gone, historians will write, quite coldly, chronicles of all their acts. At that time all their stories like Hitler’s biography ‘Mein Kamf’ will be of no value to launder their legacy. Interesting enough, even a contemporary Nigerian leader, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, recently bemoaned the fact that despite his lofty achievements in democratic consolidation, little or no credit at all is being given to him. More than that, he doubted if any will be interested in reading his biography, because of his military past. Maybe the revered General in his characteristic humility is a bit hard on himself. Deservedly, some rulers of men will be remembered for seeking peace, benevolence and goodness. Alas the memory of others known for inflicting pain, injustice and bloody trail will be accursed with infamy, ignominy, irreverence; and not the least sighing. They will only join the pantheon of “the infamous”

About the Author
Dr. Igali is a Diplomat, historian and award-winning author.

31 Mar 2018

Unity Must Take Precedence

If Fulanis, a single tribe in a heavily multicultural society, head 15 of Nigeria’s 17 security agencies, that means one geo-political zone in the country controls over 90 percent of all the political offices in the land. Does that portray an equitable or perfect representation of all Nigerians? I don’t think so! This Buhari of Nigeria is a divider. Buhari, in fact, is a true president of Northern Nigeria. This man is the chief of nepotism, and that means he is totally unqualified to be the President of the Nigeria of our dreams. Buhari is a misfit for for Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Therefore, Buhari MUST GO NOW.

Nigerians must start planning Buhari’s exit immediately. We must start now by uniting together as ONE. If the good people of the north desire true federalism, they should join this move. If we refuse to embrace unity now, the South, especially, will be in far worse shape than this present quagmire that Buhari has got us into. And our children and the future generations will never forgive us!

A house that is divided against itself can never stand. That is why all southerners must see themselves as ‘one’. South-East can’t do it alone; let us be sincere with ourselves and this power paradox must change. A tree does not make a forest. We all need one each other. We must forget about the past and our differences. Well, our differences can be harnessed into strength. Now is the right time for us to come together as one. Taraba, Adamawa, Kwara, Plateau, Southern Kaduna and Kogi state must also join in this struggle for a better Nigeria.

When or if we are united and work hard, I have no doubt in my mind that we can defeat the monster called Buhari regime and his allies in 2019 Election.

One of the unsolved problems that baffle me in Nigeria’s economy is the decentralization of the Police. We must decentralize the Police. Every state must have their own National Guard (army) instead of this centralized charade that we currently have. This is how it is done in developed countries. I don’t see any reason it cannot be done in Nigeria, if we claim to be practicing democracy and not craziness. The system of government we’re currently practicing in Nigeria is like the one in USA. So I do not see why we cannot decentralize the Police and let each state have their own National Guard (army) and control their resources.

My fellow citizens of Nigeria, I have been watching and listening to YouTube videos and following other materials on social media; how the Fulanis have been killing innocent souls in their homeland. These barbaric behaviors which the Fulanis currently exhibit unrestrained can only be stopped when the Southern governors are ready to unite as one and fight back.

Let me remind you of a statement that was said by a Fulani man many years ago:

This New Nation called Nigeria, should be an estate of our great grandfather, ‘Uthman Dan Fodio and we must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We use the minorities in the North as willing tools, and the South, as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us, and never allow them to have control over their future. (Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sardauna of Sokoto in THE PARROT of October 12, 1960).

This is the plan of “President” Buhari as a Fulani man and his people have started to carry out the above statement. So, if the Southerners are still seeing themselves as different from one another, they’ll be making a big mistake. If the Igbos are seeing themselves differently from the Yorubas or the Yorubas sees themselves differently from the Igbos or Urhobo or Ishekiris and so on, the Fulanis will continue to kill the South and will finally take the entire Southerners as slaves. If you doubt it, wait and see what’s coming!

When you read the statement of Sir Ahmadu Bello, you will notice that the man didn’t say West or East or South-South, he said South which means a Fulani man sees the Igbos, Yoruba’s, Ishekiris, Urobos and other tribes in the south as one. The man also mentioned the minorities in the North and I believe he was referring to the northern Christians as willing tools.

We heard that Boko Haram abducted school girls and returned them after 2 billion USD was paid as ransom.  Now ask yourself: how many Christians would like come out to vote Buhari out knowing that the ransom paid to the extremist would be used to get more guns and cutlasses, which would be used during the election. Tell me please because I’m dying to get means of understanding this president?

Governor Fayose is the only governor that is performing his primary responsibility as a governor in my own view with respect to Lagos state governor. The number one primary responsibility of a government is to protect the life and property and the man is doing it for his state. Ondo state governor is the most useless governor I have ever seen in my life. What has the man done for Ondo state since he became the governor? I heard the man said Mimiko has done all the works in Ondo state and I said to myself, what type of human being is this. I can name numerous projects that can be done for the development of Ondo state and how we can implement them.

 

To be continued…

Unity Must Take Precedence – Part 2

31 Dec 2017

I Have a Vision

One day I was sitting in my office. I began to think about the numerous problems of the entity called Nigeria. I said to myself: did GOD curse Nigeria, so that the country and her leaders cannot make a headway? Or are the problems in this “great” country man-made problem? In my ponderings, the answer that I arrived at was that Nigeria’s problems are man-made, and have nothing to do with coming from God.
Nigeria got political independence from Great Britain in 1960, and since then, it has been a step forward and three steps backward, a very saddening situation. I want to know which way Nigeria is heading. Many years after independence the country still finds it difficult to make a headway. How long shall we be patient? By the way, we are already in the promise land so let’s save Nigeria so that the country [Nigeria] won’t die.

Which way Nigeria? Which way to go? Inefficiency and indiscipline are ruining the country while corruption is jostling and thriving everywhere. Inflation is rising so highly. Please let’s save Nigeria! We made mistakes during the oil boom not knowing that would become signposts for our national doom. In a country where a few persons have everything while the vast majority have nothing: tell me which way Nigeria?

Overdrive ambitiousness is pushing many to become billionaires through taking of a wrong direction! Everyone wants to be billionaire, and we all want to live in big mansions. While there is nothing wrong in becoming a billionaire, we must set our priorities right. One thing Nigerians must learn to accept is that not everyone will be rich. But we all need to be comfortable in life. We cannot continue to be voting the same set of unproductive or counterproductive, outrageous and extortionate, psychopath, exploiters and unconscionable liars in power.

Nigerians themselves must change from selling their voting rights for a bag of rice and genetically modified chicken change to our unproductive politicians. Remember, selling your votes will not take Nigeria anywhere, but will certainly destroy the country. We need people with vision, passion, good programs or agendas, and who are also ready to serve the country.

Nigeria has potentials to be great. But we must change our path for good. We must start right now to rebuild ourselves and to make our country Nigeria great. Let’s form a new God-leading political parties that will bring the good change that we have been hoping for. Real change will only come when we start showing love for our country Nigeria and for our own selves. Every Nigerian must be ready to put Nigeria first and not see political office as a money-making factory.

I must confess here that I really love the passion, love and zeal of Senator Ben Bruce for Nigeria. He is a man of integrity and I strongly believe that he is the type of leader we need in Nigeria. Only if Nigerians could put sentiments aside and go for a man like him. And support him if he would be interested in running for the presidency in 2019. I really don’t know him in person but I just believe he is a right person to lead Nigeria in 2019. I personally will give him my 100 percent support, if he would be ready in 2019.

God bless you and God bless Nigeria.

To be Continued…

Shile Akinrinmade writes from Atlanta Georgia, USA

10 Apr 2017

Nigeria’s Followership Problem

We’ve had many essays that addressed leadership problems in Nigeria. Many columnists have posited that the only way out of the quagmire Nigeria’s in is to push for leaders that have ideas and that can make things happen. Where most of these arguments fail is that they do not make it clear that as important as it is to have good leaders, it is even more important to have good followers.

Nigeria’s leadership problem may predate its followership problem but the effects of both problems are equally devastating. The problem of followership has always been there but nowhere is it more pronounced than now.

In the past, there were radical voices amidst the followers that challenged government’s actions and spoke relentless truth to authority. We had Gani Fawehinmi. We had Tai Solarin. There’s Fela, Soyinka. We had Chima Ubani. We had radical voices that led the student movement against unfavorable government policies.

But this generation has the biggest case of bad followership. The few voices that used to speak have either been bought over, silenced or have joined government and are not worse than those they once spoke against. There’s Femi Falana who has become a voice that rails selectively.

There’s former NLC President and Former Edo state Governor, Adams Oshiomole who joined politics, became Governor and became a thorn in the flesh of his people. A man who once rejected the Federal Government’s ‘no work, no pay’ rule turned around to do same to his people.

There’s former Ekiti Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi who was an active voice in the NGO world and who pushed for democratic ideals before joining government, but when he ventured in, he became a different man.

And there’s Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, a man who was part of the civil society, who fought alongside the people right until he became Governor, but what became of him? He became that person that fought the people he fought alongside and sent policemen after his former comrades.

But I digress….

Nigeria’s followership problem has never been more pronounced than it is today. Citizens have become accomplices in the destruction of the nation. Rather than monitor the activities of leaders, followers coin excuses to defend leaders’ actions, excuses that paid spokespersons have difficulty coming up with.

It is really simple. Nigeria has leadership problems but it has even bigger followership problems. Until the problem of followership is solved, irresponsible leaders will continue to be on the rise. Until citizens stop seeing challenging government as lack of patriotism, the country will not move forward. So, as important as it is to call for responsible leaders, it is imperative that we emphasize that responsible and responsive followers are a must for any nation to progress.

Save