There is a dangerous trend that is symptomatic of how hopeless the assembly line literacy program we call education has been. People would rather want to sound “Woke” than demonstrate their ability to think independently. I wake up daily to read torrential depressing requests for money/Jobs.
Yet we come on Twitter hoping to see quality and superior arguments but all you see littering the space is a “wokish” culture of emotive people indoctrinated by Neo-liberalism. I’m always glad when once in a while some folks grace the space with quality debates on socio-economic issues and superior argument that educates readers void of sentiments, emotions and blackmail as a defence for lack of point or counter. These folks are a breath of fresh air.
Now to the issues that should concern us all. You will agree with me that what happened yesterday to Presidential Aspirants Coming Together (PACT) must have an imPACT on the ideological PACT some of us had on the coalition, especially amidst the promising educated youthful aspirants. What could have led to the impending unpacking of this PACT?
Also, we saw what happened with the NBA elections considering the number of lawyers we have in Nigeria as against those accredited to vote as well as the voting process itself. Shouldn’t we do better as enlightened people to show the players in the political system the how?
When we advocate for change in any system, it must go beyond the noise. We must show within our advocacy the change we hope to see sustained by becoming that change. We did this with the #EndSARS campaign by mirroring the system and doing the needful to affect the lives of the populace directly.
The people don’t really care about your English nor would they be entertained by your registers, accent, diction or attics. They want to feel the impact of your action as matched by the articulation of priorities, plans, programs, policies and promises.
You can’t for instance win over our intellectuals with your display of comprehension of economics via the quoting of GDP trends, which really has nothing on the interests of Nigerians until you discuss Salaries, Spendings and Savings, which has a more direct impact on the people.
I’ve said many times that a country with over 70million youthful population is sitting on a Goldmine but our geriatric leaders are stuck in the 80s on the strain of the Oil Boom. There’s no Nigeria, without Nigerians and if it is not well with Nigerians it can’t be well with Nigeria.
The growth must be bottom up to be meaningful on a national scale than top to bottom. When the people are put to work with improvement on their earnings via the enabling environment for ease of doing business, only then can salaries, spendings and savings improve, thus causing a relative upward trend on the GDP as the GDP rarely, if at all measures the quality of lives of the people.
We have measured the pulse on the street enough to create a working template for the politically savvy to follow but can they read the signs? Can there be political will without organic impact on the people genuinely?
What happened at PACT is a microcosm of our holistic political problem. If you only believe that unless you are the President Change can’t and won’t come then your ideology is problematic. Are you more interested in becoming President or Changing Nigeria? Did the proponent of #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG have to join the police to effect the needed change?
We say let the best man win with the assumption that we are the best man. So when things don’t go our way we discredit the process and threaten to go solo. Despite the assumed enlightenment of the PACT, they can’t seem to divorce themselves from the base instinct as demonstrated. Could this be a distrust of others or a belief that only a certain individual can be President?
Can the members of PACT see the bigger picture and their message to Nigerians with their conduct that shows their inability to honour their internal agreement within a small group of less than 20, while expecting Nigerians to trust them to honour the constitution?
This demonstrably shows a failure of Integrity. However, the challenge we have as a people is the mindset that leadership is all about One man making all the plans and executing it all. Thus, we shop for expertise that would solve all the problems in a swoop.
I hate to break it to you, that this is a wrong view. The leader’s job is Visionary. He is an administrator at best. His job is to call all the competencies together in order to achieve a holistic vision that progresses the Nation. He is the most motivated player on the field.
As the most motivated player on the field of play, the job of the leader is primarily to be secure enough to allow the best players express themselves on the field towards bringing home the trophy and advancing the team to the top of the charts.
Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence. It is never about advancing the self but the advancement of the team towards the achievement of the bigger picture. The point of note here is that the team in reference here is not just a constellation of talents and competencies that merely work together but one that trusts each other.
Having said this, perhaps it will be better served if the President is the best spokesperson who can articulate the vision with great atticism as the mouthpiece of the Nation, without being petrified at the mere mention of Media Chats. It is about the influence, not authority. Authority within the confines of a leader is delegated while tasks are shared with the vision in mind.
Listen, the Presidential candidate or President at that, need not be necessarily the sharpest person but must be backed by expertise and competencies that can focus on his blindspots and weaknesses, while he would be expected to make them express themselves for the benefit of all. Leadership is not about wielding authority but empowering all and sundry.
A President must be capable of rallying the hearts and minds of the people while focusing on what he does best. This need not be a man who came top of his class. If we as a people can only have the leader we deserve, what leader do we deserve now?
Given the level of our political illiteracy as a people, we may be tending towards another blunder in 2019. The PACT, if still valid, as a coalition must sort their issues internally and show their political savvy in decorum. This only reveals how faulty their strategy is by the way.
The educated elites are most often obstructed from seeing the bigger picture, thus falling victim of the same plague of perpetual aspirants who can’t get above the vices of the elevation of self above the interest of the collective.
What exactly is more important, you being President or Change? There are two defined and tested paths to power. The first being the weight of the force of the masses and second, by an alliance with someone who already has overwhelming public support.
We demonstrated this with the #EndSARS campaign. There need not be any Ambiguity for you to become a rallying point of the people. By share weight of the numbers based on common ground (political will), the advocates of EndSARS were able to force and effect the needed change. Where is your clear message dear Aspirants?
What we have seen is nothing but general posturing and not definitive position. #EndSARS was clear and void of ambiguity. #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG period. It was direct and assertive.
Since most of the aspirant don’t have overwhelming support across interests (common ground) that leaves them with alignment via viable coalition but unfortunately persons of interest that are the focal/rallying points have shown intention to run themselves and they won’t come to your page unless you go under their canopy. So you see the dilemma?
So you can see where we are Socio-Politically and how much work we need to do to educate the public politically on statecraft and the unique masses in the Nigerian political space.
By Segun ‘Segalink’ Awosanya; Co-Convener #EndSARS and #ReformPoliceNG Campaign. First published on his Medium.
Hello, welcome to today’s edition of 1-Tweet Interview; where we asked individuals a question in a tweet/dm format and expect an answer that is concise like a tweet. After which, we develop their response to shed more light on what they wanted to pass across.
Our guest today is one we would like to describe as a deep intellectual, businessman and political leader. Mr Reginald Bassey who tweets from his handle