I agree to a certain extent with the analysis of some who claim a Ribadu-Adeola (Muslim-Muslim) ticket will not fly because of the primitive tendencies of the voting population. This is political realism in Nigeria due to the abuse ordinary Nigerians have suffered from our early politicians who chose to play ethnic and religious politics rather than on ideals and purpose. Its no surprise then that at a time when we should be allowing the intellectual likes of Pat Utomi and Donald Duke create a niche for idea-politik, we are still grappling with ancient and tactless strategies.
For those who premise the similarity of this ticket to the Abiola/Kingibe ticket of 1993, they forget too soon that the political reality then is far removed from what it is today. Every Nigerian was united in booting out the military by any means; even if it meant a Gorilla from the forested slopes of the hinterland was to be presented on a party platform, we were ready to vote it in. So we are in a different season, when the heterogeneous filaments and antennae of the average voter is hyper-sensitive (as some commentaries have already sounded the marginalization of Ibos). Things are different now and we shouldn’t ignore this reality.
But since I assume that everyone in this localized cyberspace is rich in comprehending matters of higher concern to the nation, we must never at any time be tempted to disregard the ideal and trade it for existential issues. Yes Ribadu and Adeola are both Muslim, but does that really matter? Shouldn’t we in this heavy discourse be analyzing thoroughly what their manifestos contain to see how strategic these men are in articulating the desire of the common Nigerian? Since our universities have failed to exert influence on the system by organizing national debates as done in other countries, then we as verified loyalist to Nigeria’s cause must raise this issue to the fore and educate ourselves before we make choices based on cosmetic ratings.
The fundamental challenge for leadership in any country with a disparate collection of nationalities is how to articulate the desires and aspirations of such Peoples and design a grand concept which satisfactorily meets the expectations of everyone. It is even more complex when one cannot trace a central ideology within each of such heterogeneous groups. How then does the leadership begin to conceive of and to interpret what each group wants, and how does each need become the balancing ingredient to concoct a national broth? This is probably one of the great challenges of the Nigerian state since it began striding the paths of nationhood.
The country is beleaguered by several issues top of which is corruption. However, it is the inability of the country, through its leadership to draft a common cause, and to imprint or implant that into the minds of every citizen that has cost us much more than the price of corruption and bad leadership.
When there is no defined vision within a specific group, it is a truism that people will craft what is acceptable to them and pursue that without regard to its encroaching effect on others without. What also is a given is that people perish without vision. They may not perish as in men falling on the streets and dying of asphyxiation, like a scene from an apocalyptic movie. But if we carefully prognosticate on the likely trajectory of a vision-less people, the eventual picture would not be far from one similar to the outcome of the Mayan civilization. Or perhaps it could be safer to say that what may result could likely be the brutish society for which a social contract was needful to escape.
While my analogies may be quixotic, it still borders on sensible possibilities given the history of human extremities. I keep thinking to myself what will become of the country Nigeria in the next thousand years. Those who are students of history would probably be able to play with such thoughts as human activity overtime has provided a laboratory through which they can test existential issues against past realities. Will Nigeria stand as a strong, prosperous and flourishing country in ages to come or will it become the playground of archaeologists longing to weave theories of why societies fail?