In 2019, 59 years after independence, Africa’s most populous nation is a continuous series of disappointment, uninspiring leadership and chronic disorganisation. Nigeria has become synonymous with the word failure. The insularity of the people makes them think they are far better than other African countries. Asides from this being a problem in its own way, Nigerians themselves seem to fail to see how far better they should be than where they are currently.
Beyond the failure of leadership Nigeria is experiencing, many are lost in a mess of what is ethical and what is not. The Nigerian population is the enabler of bad leadership. The continuous failure of the Nigerian system rests in its youths and the country’s ethos of “managing things” while “suffering and smiling,” a terminology coined by Afrobeat musician Fela Kuti.
President Muhammadu Buhari elected for a second term, in power at a different decade from his military rule, presented 43 names as part of ministerial list 54 days after being sworn in. The list, comprising mostly of former governors and party cronies and only seven women are to be screened by the Nigerian Senate. But nobody knows what post each of the proposed ministers will hold. What are they then being screened for? Is the screening being done against the background of competence or knowledge in relation to the portfolio each would hold? Thus, the continued colossal failure of Buhari and Nigeria as a state continues amidst rising tensions in the country’s lack of security, incessant kidnapping and failing economy.
More troubling is the unwillingness of President Buhari, or Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to tackle the plagues troubling the country. Already, the fight against corruption has been sluggish. The fight against Boko Haram has not been won either. Farmers and cow herdsmen keep clashing in disputes over land and/or cattle. The possibility of a new group picking up arms keeps increasing as President Buhari refuses to obey a 2016 court order to release the leader of the Shi’ites, Ibrahim El Zakzaky whose protesters clashed with the Nigerian Police in the capital city Abuja.
In all the ongoing challenges, Nigeria’s youth is rather occupied with inanities and sees no reason to fight to save the country for future generations. While many plot their escape to Canada and other parts of the world, a majority continue to languish in poverty.
Unfortunately, the protests in Sudan and Algeria have not caught fire with Nigerian youths. While many youths die everyday to police brutality or bad roads, they equally fear to protest for fear of losing their lives.