In view of the Nigeria’s presidential election that is exactly a week away, a friend, a political activist and a rare mind that truly understands CHANGE as against a mere slogan to win the heart and vote of a nation; Gideon Oghenetega challenged me in a chat to a singular reason why whoever becomes the next Nigerian president will most likely fail.
Here is the chat.
Oghenetega: Tolu, let me interest you with something. Are you ready? If someone should build a structure for instance with the knowledge that he used bad materials, and people died maybe because the structure tumbled, what do you think we should do to that man?
Tee Abraham: The man is supposed to be charged with murder since he knew the materials were inferior
Oghenetega: Hmmmnnn…Do you mind if we tweak it a bit? Let us assume that the man didn’t know. Should we still charge him?
Tee Abraham: If he didn’t know…hmm. Firstly, he must accept total responsibility for that event. Secondly, I believe there are organised bodies to monitor building activities. If there are such bodies, they didn’t do their job. There are so many factors that will determine if he is to be charged or not.
Oghenetega: Ignorance though is no excuse for the law. Let’s focus on the man, for now, so we can understand better. What if I tell you I’m talking about a very prominent Bishop who has a crowd following? Should we still make him pay for what he did? Just follow the idea. I want to prove something to you.
Tee Abraham: Yes he should
Oghenetega: Do you know why you think so? I suspect it’s because we started from a premise. If the courts find him guilty, he will be charged and may even face a sentence? (I’m using him as an example to prove a point). But do you know that the state is having a problem with charging him? Even when it caused hundreds of death? Even Boko Haram has not killed 100 people this month (by the time of this chat) How come we are not angry about this particular situation? Why are we literally sweeping it under the carpet?
Oghenetega: The definition of change is not enough good roads, electricity, clean water and other social security benefits. These are the symptoms of developmental change. True change is a triumph of law and order over any man, I mean any man. If Nigeria will be a better society, Law and order must triumph, and it will come at the cost of religious, ethnic and political bias. When I say religion I mean alfa, ifa, politician, businessman, pastor all join. I say ethnic I mean all forms of nepotism. When I say political bias, I mean that the interest of the state is senior to political affiliations. Look at the political propaganda political parties have been spinning about particular individuals. The speculations and allegations raised ought to be pursued in courts, not on our TV screens, Even if the incumbent Government isn’t bringing up charges, why aren’t members of Lagos state raising any civil suit? I’m not sure if Nigeria is ready for change as we claim. True change is that if I or Buhari, or Daddy Adeboye, or Goodluck Jonathan or Ex-President Obasanjo, or Fashola or anyone else commits a crime against the state, she/he must serve the same punishment. The true change means that all men are equal before the law.
Oghenetega: The reason why law and order are important because it guarantees freedom for all men regardless of their social status, gender or any prejudice. If law and order do not regulate the actions of men, there will be no equitable distribution of wealth, no gender equality, and no fair way for people to climb the economic ladder. What guarantees the proper functioning of society is the prevalence and dominance of law and order. It is the only instrument that does not discriminate. In the affairs of men, there must be the fear of punishment, it is what prevents unruly behaviour and reinforces meaningful change and progress.
Tee Abraham: What of immunity clause for president, governors and other political office holders?
Oghenetega: There can be a law that states that if an official is in government and is found wanting, he should resign so that the law can take its cause.
Oghenetega: So Tolu I ask you, do you think Nigeria is ready for true change? The summary of all I’m trying to say is that true change means that nobody is above the law. For the record, I won’t be surprised if the particular Bishop goes scot free. We don’t have the stomach as a nation to take out our big men. Through our actions (talk less of that of our leaders), we endorse corruption and wrong. It’s not just our leaders that need to change. It’s our society that should change. That’s why I say it does not matter who is president, the Nigerian castle in Spain will still flop if the members of the society do not change.
God bless you, Tolu.
So I ask you, do you think Nigeria is ready for true change? Waiting to read your comments.
Alfa – An Islamic leader
Ifa – An ancient religion in south-western part of Nigeria
Contact Gideon Oghenetega via;
FB: Gideon O’tega
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