Every sane Nigerian will definitely be incensed by ex-Vice President Alex Ekwueme’s inordinate ambition to still rule Nigeria even in his 80s. This apparently smacks lack of generational shift in Nigeria Politics. It is appalling to see the same old generation of politicians, who have led the country’s politics in the last couple of decades, still hovering around Nigerian Politics. Even more annoying is the fact that these epitomes of failed leadership are still in the driving seat of Nigerian Politics, whereas they should have been relegated to the background and history of Nigerian Politics as spent forces.
That Nigerian politics is chequered and her political development beleaguered is owing to the stupendous political latitude given to these recycled ill-political leaders, who have become more or less a reoccurring political liability to Nigeria political development. It should be noted that it is these old breed politicians that sown the seeds of ethnicity that has become a monstrous issue in Nigerian Politics. It is still these same politicians that have become a conduit for colossal drain of public funds to date.
It is the same old breed politicians that sown and propagated “godfatherism” brigand in Nigerian politics, leeching the national coffers to date. This same breed of politicians has been the main culprits of political instability, political assassinations and electoral malpractices that have plagued Nigeria contemporary history. There is no disputing the fact the set of politicians that held sway in the First Republic still reemerged in the Second Republic. While some remnant politicians of the First, as well as those of the Secondary Republic re-emerged in the aborted Third Republic. But for IBB’s shrewd ban of certain old breed politicians, they would have taken over the political reign in the Third Republic.
Even the Fourth Republic has been witnessing this same lack of paradigm shift from a generation of leaders bereft of leadership qualities to transform Nigeria’s perpetual underdevelopment quagmire. One vital fact to note here is that, in the few states that have or are currently enjoying good governance, such good governance emanates from new breed politicians. Such good governance would have been widespread but for some of the old guards still lurking around as “godfathers”, ripping off the state’s commonwealth from their “godsons”.
It should be noted that, for Nigeria to surmount most of her daunting challenges, a further paradigm shift is needed. That is to say that the unproductive and less productive politicians of the first, second and third transitions of the Fourth Republic must give way to new breed politicians and younger progressive minds that can muster the political will to transform Nigeria. Nigeria cannot continue to be ruled by these old guards and yet expect political, economic and social transformation and development. Perhaps, these politicians’ stranglehold on Nigerian politics requires the same revolutionary trend as witnessed in the Arab uprising. Maybe the subtle drive for political paradigm shift would not be as effective as a drastic one.
The latter is imaginable given the vivid signs shown by the January protests that followed President Goodluck Jonanthan’s ill-advised subsidy removal logjam at the beginning of the year. Buoyed by similar revolutionary trend in the Arab world, many Nigerian youth are now brimmed with the mindset that only a revolution will bring about the much-needed change. This is a stereotype behaviour cutting across ethnic, religious and other sectional divides. Unless the old breeds of politicians give way, a revolution is foreseeable.