Education As A Vehicle For Helping The Gullible And The Vulnerable
Grace Ego Omoni
The alarming rate at which social vices are spreading in our society today calls for caution. Such vices include scam, cybercrimes, rape, advanced free fraud(419), Yahoo syndrome, ritual murder, human trafficking, kidnapping, prostitution, widowhood rites, adultery, domestic violence, activities of fake pastors/ Alfas and drug abuse. Daily occurrences of these vices keep on appearing in our social media and one keeps on wondering why people fall victims to the perpetrators of these atrocities.
It is worrisome because the young and the old alike continue to be vulnerable to these criminals. Questions that do bother well-meaning Nigerians are:1) why do people engage in these social vices? 2) why do people fall victims to them at all? 3) what are the effects of these vices on the victims and society? 4)how can these be curbed or reduced?
It is obvious that the victims of some of these criminal acts are the vulnerable and the gullible in the society. Let us take a look at the two concepts: the vulnerable and the gullible. These two are interrelated. Many vulnerable people are equally gullible. A few stories presented here will give you the true situation of the writer’s assertion.
The Vulnerable: This is one who is defenceless, helpless, powerless, unprotected, weak or unguarded. Such a one is open to attack or hurt either physically, mentally, emotionally and has no self-will or power to resist. He or she is susceptible to something bad and is easily intimidated. Take the case of the practice of widowhood rites in our society.
In many parts of this country, when the husband dies, the woman becomes so vulnerable to the whims and caprices of the husband’s relatives, especially where the man failed to write a will. She has no right to the husband’s properties. These are hijacked including herself because she is also seen as one of her husband’s property.
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As part of her mourning, she is subjected to drinking the water used in washing the corpse to ascertain whether she killed the husband or not. She ties old clothes and sleeps in an uncomfortable environment. In some cultures, the widow must cry three times a day for the dead husband for some weeks.
To crown it all, she is not entitled to a farmland especially if there was no male child. When she goes to her people to ask for a piece of land to cultivate, she is told to go back to her husband’s family where she belongs! There was this case of a woman who was shared to her late husband’s brother. She refused to accept the offer. She was disinherited of everything her husband and herself worked for despite the fact that she had children.
Many victims of the perpetrators of these vices are so as a result of their vulnerability. Cases of incest, rape, teenage pregnancy and forced marriage emanate from the fact that these victims are vulnerable. Imagine a girl of twelve or thirteen being married off to a man old enough to be her grandfather!
A story is told of a father who took his daughter to a neutral location and married her. Everybody thought the girl was either kidnapped or was dead and for five years nobody knew her whereabouts. However, every weekend, the man will embark on a make belief business trip. Then, nemesis caught up with him not too long.
The wife acted on tips and traced him to where he harboured their daughter who already had three children for him. On questioning, the girl confessed that her father threatened to kill her under an oath if she should ever tell anybody about the illicit affair.
There are other examples of men taking advantage of the weaker sex because they are powerless, helpless and undefended. In the tertiary institutions, we have had cases where female students have fallen victims to male lecturers. There have been cases where male lecturers will forcefully take female students whether married or single to hotels and have carnal knowledge of them and even ask the victims to settle the bill.
There was also a case where a lecturer asked the class coordinator of 200 level science course to collect a certain amount of money from each of the students to enable them to pass. When the management got the information and the coordinator was apprehended, he quickly accepted the guilt to cover up for the lecturer because before the interrogation by the investigating panel, the poor student was already indoctrinated by this wicked lecturer to claim that he did it of his own volition.
The matter could not be pursued because the student who reported the case had to be shielded from being victimized. So, that was the end of that scam and the coordinator was only warned while the lecturer was exonerated for lack of evidence. In this case of obvious academic fraud, we see that the coordinator, the student who blew the whistle and those who already paid the said amount were all vulnerable… powerless and helpless. Looking at these stories, can’t one also say that the students were gullible?
What is Gullibility?
According to Macmillan’s Dictionary, gullibility is the failure of an individual to make use of his or her social intelligence giving room for such a one to be easily tricked. According to the definition, it further explains that the vulnerable are the people who are exploited and easily deceived.
Gullibility is the tendency to be easily persuaded to agree that something is real or true. A gullible person is too willing to believe everything that another person says. Such a one is too trusting and so quickly influenced, duped or cheated. Such a person is insensitive to detect cues of untrustworthiness and believing another despite clear-cut evidence that he or she should not ordinarily believe. Thus, gullibility is the acceptance of pressure in the presence of untrustworthiness.
In gullibility, the victim is usually insensitive to cues of untrustworthiness. It is the uncritical acceptance of information presented. At times too, an unassertive person might comply and accept the false promise because there is no willpower to resist. Such a person lacks social intelligence which is the ability to understand and manage an interpersonal relationship. In other words, social intelligence is the ability to understand and act on the feelings, thoughts and behaviours of other people.
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It is the capacity to know oneself and others and act wisely in human relations. When this quality is absent in a person, there is the likelihood that he or she would believe or trust others even in the face of obvious deceit. Some people have the belief that there is a thin line between vulnerability and gullibility. I equally belong to that school of thought.
Let us look at a few events and actions taken by people. What do you say about people who belong to religious institutions where it is a well-known fact that their clerics are dubious, make false prophecies and are dangerous sex maniacs? Why do people still troop to such persons to seek solutions to their life challenges knowing very well that many have fallen victims to them?
Again, let us examine what happens during elections. Go to the polling booths, you will see both party agents and eligible voters in the game of open bribery and corruption. The highest amount you see them giving out is 500 naira and when you attempt to caution the would-be voters, they will be the first to accuse you of blocking their chances of making money and they go ahead to sell their conscience and suffer for the next four years under a government that is not viable. Would you not say such persons are both gullible and vulnerable?
A few weeks back, I received a distress call from a young woman. She was troubled because of her 17-year-old kid sister in SS2 who was sleeping around with a man of about 30 years under the nose of their parents who too are enjoying some kind of financial assistance from the said man. Why the story is pathetic is that four of her sisters including herself are with children outside wedlock.
None of them finished secondary school. Out of these four, only two are living with the men who impregnated them without any dowry paid. The rest two are living in their parents home with their children. Their parents were confronted on this matter and after much counselling, they agreed to stop the relationship. Guess what? The young man is still coming to the house to pick the little girl every day with the parent’s consent. Will you say that the parents and the girl are gullible or vulnerable?
Why do people fall victims to the perpetrators of social vices?
The answers are not far-fetched. From the stories narrated, it is obvious that the main reasons are the gullible and vulnerable nature of the victims. Many of the Nigerian citizens are not well informed. They are easily deceived and manipulated. They are short-sighted and unable to differentiate between reality and falsehood. Many are insensitive to untrustworthy situations and deceitful people, hence they are easily scammed. At times you see women in a gathering of young men doubling money. The hard-earned money given to them by their husbands will be used to try their luck and before you know it, the money doublers would have vanished with their money but women never learn the lesson.
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Today, you hear of scammers on social media advertising on how one can get quick money from undefined businesses. Many have been duped through this but gullible people will not stop. Girls have been deceived by males into sleeping with them. Many of these people are poor, some are greedy while others are either uninformed, illiterates or semi-literates.
The government is also insensitive to the plight of the people. Many young people are unemployed and the only way is to deceive others to get rich while some others engage in these vices as a way of showing their dissatisfaction of bad governance. Rape, drug addiction, prostitution, Yahoo syndrome and scamming of various degrees are being practised on a daily basis.
The hungry and the greedy are their unsuspecting victims. I remember some years back, two boys who were arrested and interrogated on how they operate in this game of advanced free fraud categorically asserted that most of their victims were those with greedy tendencies.
Some men are wife abusers. The women will not talk most of the time. Reports will come from neighbours and the children from such homes. One facilitator on gender violence narrated how a man boasted that his wife had no say in the house because he was the breadwinner and had the right to do anything to her! I witnessed the trial and settlement between a wife beater and his spouse some years back.
The man had the wife thoroughly abused physically for agitating against the man for always bringing his concubine to sleep in their room while the said wife was made to sleep with her children in their own room. The elders who sat over the case never allowed the woman to state her own side of the story but asked her to pay a fine for disrespecting the husband which she did without protesting!
That was a typical example of tradition in the display. Culture and tradition make women to be vulnerable and gullible to all sorts of vices in the society.
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What are the consequences of gullibility and vulnerability to the nation?
Briefly put, these two phenomena retard progress in the society. A society where people cannot use their social and emotional intelligence to recognise the relation between good and evil, thoughts and response is actually heading towards depravity.
A people who believe everything and anything presented to them without questioning are indeed the most wretched of the earth. Such people will be under a governance that is unprogressive and oppressive because the people will not be able to make any critical analysis of the calibre of people to be voted for into power.
The nation will be littered with the disadvantaged, the brokenhearted and disgruntled elements who will not be able to challenge the government of the day. Thus, oppression and insensitivity on the part of the government will abound since they will take advantage of the fact that the people are vulnerable and gullible. Development will not be the priority of such a nation just as we are witnessing in Nigeria today.
Education as we all know is the process through which the individual acquires knowledge to realise his or her potential. Education determines the quality and magnitude of the overall development of a nation. It is the cornerstone of the development of the people. Ikeotuonye asserts that the picture that readily comes to mind about the quality of education in Nigeria is that of illiterate primary school leavers, semi-literate and disoriented secondary school leavers and unemployable university graduates. Thus, there is a call for an urgent intervention because of the decay in the education sector. Every developing country in this global dispensation needs qualitative education for its citizens.
No nation can rise above the educational system being practised. Education is a process whereby the individual acquires skills and abilities that will enable him or her to integrate into the society. Thus the quality of education and the curriculum need to be reformed to suit the challenges of modern Nigeria.
Education will diffuse gullibility and vulnerability. Our younger generation needs orientation on how to assert themselves. The adults need constant out-of-school education to enable them to know what the society looks like today. They need reorientation about ways of handling situations pertaining to their survival.
People should be sensitized to how to manage their emotion, thoughts and feelings.
They are to be taught how to identify, evaluate, control and express themselves.
People should be taught on how to listen very carefully to others’ utterances and analyze what they are saying. It will help one to direct one’s action and not just believing anything said by anybody.
Listen to the body language of the person talking. You might see more than their ‘cover’. Some cues are facial expression, the dress code, the hairstyle and eye contact. These will help the individual detect the kind of person one is dealing with.
Watch and listen to how they hear you, their reply to you and also figure out what they cherish or value.
Active listening, self-awareness and empathy can equip people to succeed in fighting against gullibility. Again, the society should abolish some of these traditions which leave women to be so vulnerable to the evils being perpetrated by men especially against womanhood such as male chauvinism, widowhood rites, early marriage and inheritance issues.
The solution to employment issues should be a concern to the government of the day. People are angry and hungry hence they are devising all types of ways to make two ends meet.
Stringent measures must be mapped out for those engaged in these social vices. They must be fished out by law enforcement agents. People should be ready to speak up. The culture of silence by victims of the perpetrators of these social vices must stop. Females who have been raped or being abused by the father, sibling or boss or husband must learn to expose the evil without sentiment.
Again, it is important for counsellors, religious bodies and non- governmental organisations to hold workshops and seminars to sensitize people to the consequences of these vices to the nation and individuals and that failing to report such cases to the appropriate quarters is suicidal.
Parents should practise authoritative and godly parenting styles in their homes. These would enable the children to have self-confidence in themselves. Communication skills and interpersonal relationship in such homes will enable the children to assert themselves anywhere, any time. Psychologists have proved that authoritarian and permissive parenting are disastrous to the ego of children under such training. Authoritarian parenting intimidates the child. Usually children under such tutelage are timid, vulnerable and gullible and act out of fear.
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Lastly, people should be contented with what they have. Contentment is great gain, so says an adage. Who are your friends? People should know the character of people they call their friends. Do not be easily influenced by the so-called friends and acquaintances. Friends with shady characters should be discarded as one does to refuse.
In conclusion, it is high time individuals reassessed their orientation towards their level of emotional and social intelligence. Gullibility and being vulnerable are not virtues. These are human weaknesses that incapacitate the individual from living optimally as a mature citizen. Thus, self-regulatory measures to enable him or her to evaluate and analyze another’s trustworthiness or otherwise should be practised. Assertiveness skills should also be part of the control measures. For instance, the skills for saying “no to sex” is what every female should know and be ready to use.
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The 2023 Elections And The Newness Of Nigeria
By Hope Nwawolo
Despite the hues and cries that greeted the results of the 2023 elections, what if the court’s pendulum stays or swings otherwise in the expected litigations?
What will it teach our inquisitive young children?
What will it do to the hopes and dreams of the youths?
What will it do to the mind set of those in diaspora, waiting and hoping to return?
How will it affect our heroes still alive and yearning for the good old times?
One basic fact is that no matter where the pendulum swings, something new has started in the political sphere of Nigeria. And because it was unexpected, it has become almost impossible to strangulate it.
In every competition, there is an expectation that the best man will win. That may not always be in politics, particularly, in Nigeria…where the winner may not be the best man or even the better man. And when it is said that politics is a game of numbers, sometimes, the actual numbers may not be visible to determine the end result. It becomes a case of the more you look the less you see; until interpreted by respected learned men with high integrity.
Politics, they say is a dirty game, where money speaks and promises made are broken without an iota of guilt. Where the gullible minds of the masses are deceived, with as little as a box of indomie. Where some vibrant but jobless youths are brainwashed to risk their lives to snatch ballot boxes for the politicians who do not know them beyond giving them stipends through some third parties. Where market women are forced to come out for rallies and campaigns because they cannot afford the fine that will be imposed on them if they failed to participate. They also do not want the harassment of the market leaders.
In politics, fear is palpable in the air, before, during and after elections. The 2023 elections recently carried out, depicted these more than expected in both the politicians and electorate. What started like the usual political pattern took a drastic turn about nine months to the first elections and though it was said to be only a social media affair, it got everyone sitting upright and tightening his seat belt, particularly after the first elections.
Now, there is a generational shift, a new awakening, a new dawn and a new political birth, waiting to happen. To wherever the pendulum turns; where the court stands, it will make a turnaround in Nigeria. It may be turbulent at the beginning, it may be emotionally draining and psychologically traumatizing, but it will point to light at the end of the tunnel.
There is a new hope backed by a high spirit of determination. An unexplainable faith in many people for that newness of existence and purpose. An unprecedented emotional and psychological strength in the youths not to give up on their dreams. An unquenchable desire to keep praying. Soon a newness will break forth to calm all nerves and dry all tears.
A newness that will permeate conflicts and hatred,
A newness that will dissipate unnecessary anger,
A newness that will usher in unquestionable and transparent political systems in future elections,
A newness of freedom to choose a candidate without coercion or molestation
A newness of jubilation after the announcement of election results.
This is the new Nigeria that is awaiting delivery…
Nwawolo, PhD, writes from Lagos.
Overcoming Policy Execution Trap As Nigeria’s Development Challenge
By Tunji Olaopa
If I am asked to give a succinct and apt summary of the entire challenge faced by the Nigerian state in terms of her policy architecture and development management, in spite of contestation in the development literature, I will not hesitate in stating clearly and unambiguously that it is the challenge of policy implementation; the whole dynamics of getting things done. By elimination, the implication is that the challenge cannot be located as that of the dearth of development ideas, insights, models and paradigms. Right from her independence, Nigeria has been inundated with several ideas, both local and global, about development policy and frameworks. And yet, policy outcomes keep getting bogged down in the murky waters of political shenanigans. This means that the new administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu has its challenge mapped out, in red, for it.
There is no shying away from this postcolonial predicament that has limited and kept limiting Nigeria’s capacity to honour the terms of her social contract with Nigerians. Hence, the Tinubu government will soon be inundated with the impatient agitations of Nigerians for a quick and tangible fix that will address their sufferings. And they are justified since they have not been given any real deal for the past sixty-three years of sovereign independence. And the new administration is obligated because that is the reason for seeking office in the first place.
Prof. Olaopa’s new book on public policy and development challenges
How then can we begin to understand this policy execution challenge? It is simple: how can an administration in Nigeria transition from governance vision and policy intention to policy outcomes that elevate and transform the quality of life of its citizens? Failure to understand and give critical and political attention to this question lies at the heart of the governance failures of successive Nigerian administrations. The new Tinubu administration cannot afford such a glaring mistake. And so, a fundamental case must be made out of the question of how policy intentions get circumscribed in the dynamics of policy execution that occasions policy failures in past administrations.
Modern states all across the world are distinguished by the traditional four functions they discharge as part of their administrative responsibilities—security i.e. securing the sovereign territory against lawlessness, policy formulation and implementation, governance regulation and service delivery.The capacity to perform each and all of these functions very well within an integrated framework in the governance context is what delivers the dividends of democratic governance to the citizens, and it enhances the state’s competitive and human development rating in global reckoning. With these functions, we have the metrics to differentiate between high-performing states like China, India, the United States,Botswana, the United Kingdom, the United Arab Emirate, Germany, Rwanda and the Asian Tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea), and low- or even under-performing countries like Nigeria that is still cluelessly stuck within a dysfunctional vicious cycle within her arrested development.
From the perspective of governance, there must be something these states are getting right in the connection between leadership, politics, and policy articulation. For instance, there is a trajectory of relationship that links elite bargains to development bargains. In other words, development is a
function of elite nationalism and the extent to which the political class of a state can commit elite suicide and gamble on development on behalf of the people they are leading. In Nigeria, low
manifestation of elite nationalism has made it really difficult for the political class to set aside their personal and egoistic class interests in ways that enable them to clearly and ideologically discern and navigate the deadly developmental landmines strewn all over our governance landscape by the
neoliberal implication of ideological apparatuses and frameworks to which Nigeria is beholden. And here, the factor of development gamble of the Asian Tigers’ elites comes into bold relief. From within the ideological ambit of the developmental state, the leadership of the Asian Tigers were able to define a policy space that consciously and critically weighed the benefits and shortfalls of external influences, especially the type that came from the World Bank, IMF and the other cohorts of the neoliberal policy dynamics. Their developmental circumspection paid off!
Since we cannot argue that Nigeria has been stumped by the lack of vision documents, development plans and blueprints, or even policy expertise, the locus of the new administration’s focus must be directed at the possibility of mustering the political will to undermine the mystified Nigerian Factor, and face the global neoliberal consensus in order to begin the crafting of an enabling policy architecture to drive development. And to achieve this translates to creating the delicate balance between ‘doing the right things’ (a function of decision making quotient) and ‘doing it right’(project and change management effectiveness), and overcoming the various political, cultural, structural and systemic constraints that trapped past well-meaning policies and intentions of Nigerian leaders in the dynamics of implementation.
There is first the conspiracy of elitist interest that ensures there is a poor resource allocation that focuses on elite bargain than development calculations and taking care of the national interest. Other constraints follow: (a) the disconnect between policy design and implementation due to weak implementation planning, risk assessment and incompetent change management strategies; (b) unstable and poorly managed macroeconomic policies; (c) policy and project discontinuity; (d) public service low capability readiness; (e) political interference; and finally (f) deep-seated political and bureaucratic corruption. In essence, development has failed not because Nigeria lacks the blueprint or paradigms to make it happen, but due to the dynamics of the politics that the political elite plays with Nigeria’s development potential.
Let me outline what we can regard as the “politics of policy implementation” that Nigeria has played for many years, a politics the new administration must take into serious consideration if it
does not want to fall into the category of failed administration right before it commences. This politics throws Nigeria’s development and policy non-performance right into the frame of the 2005 World Bank review findings about policy and development projects in Africa. According to the finding, 29% of development projects ever get completed, 45% of on-going projects are rated as satisfactory, while 26% of such projects invariably get cancelled. Such a review can never backstop a solid development project of a developmental state.
The politics of policy implementation in
Nigeria is founded on the following assumptions and practices. One: there is that dangerous presumption, that the new administration must resist, that once policies and development plan are designed, they are automatically implemented by the public service. And such a presumption is against the background of a scant investment in implementation analysis and planning, as well as the failure to facilitate the capability review, determine public
administration system’s capability readiness, and strengthening of the MDAs as the powerhouse of government administrative functionality. The MDAs, that is, are not working according to any
specific theories or praxis of change that can guide the functional integration of blueprints or paradigms. This kind of policy inattention draws attention to the policy contradiction: launching a
national development plan and strategy that are not implementation- ready in terms of adequate capability review of the MDAs integral to ensuring implementation success. Two: this
presumption is compounded by the uncritical reliance of past governments on policy experts and consulting firms who are tasked with designing high-end policies that are then dumped on MDAs whose capability reviews and implementation readiness have been neglected in the first place. The
extroversion of the policy design is then compromised by poor functional integration. The truth is that most of these consulting firms lack the appropriate deep content and solution frameworks that are in tandem with the context of policy dysfunction they are supposed to work with. Three: governance policy or project are hardly subjected to feasibility test determined in terms of scope and expectation that are captured by their framework of time, cost and risk assessments before
they are pushed into implementation. This makes it very difficult to benchmark funding projections for these policies and projects against revenue estimations, as well as facilitating in-built flexibilities that enable the policies and projects to adjust to volatilities and contingencies.
All the issues raised above constitute binding constraint that will undermine any governance possibilities the new administration requires to make a success of democratic governance. Undermining the binding constraints demands returning to the fundamentals. The first and most significant is that the new administration needs to interrogate the framework of how government business is currently being conducted. Governance successes are necessarily a function of how government business engages the complexities of the policy design and execution processes within a results-oriented frame. And that entails undermining the structural gaps between policy objectives, development strategies and policy outcomes. This demands second, setting the public service on a performance curve with the institution of a performance management system. This means that the public service must, for example, unfailingly now deploy KPI-based metrics to replace the cumbersome annual performance evaluation report (APER). And at the backend, it becomes imperative to have a monitoring and evaluation system supported by databases that enable staff and program continuous assessment, human resource development rooted in iterativep performance gap identification, supervisors-staff dialogue and multisource feedback mechanismsf for overall national development policy tracking and reporting.
The governance mantra must be on getting the balance between doing the right things and doing it right. And this cannot be achieved through the wanton multiplication or even duplication of
governance plans, programs and blueprints. What is needed is sequencing the blueprints into a coherent and feasible implementation programme, with the right amount of political will behind it. This gives the success of democratic governance a 95% chance of succeeding. The new administration needs that fighting chance!
. Olaopa, a retired Federal Permanent Secretary, and Professor of Public Administration .
Rigged Elections And The Moral Burden Of Illegitimacy
By Hope O’Rukevbe Eghagha
Adamu: A man who rigs his way to power carries a moral burden!
Orezime: A moral what?
Adamu: You heard me, didn’t you?
Orezime: I’m not sure I heard you right. Moral what you said?
Adamu: A moral burden, I said!
Orezime: Hahahahahahaha! You make me laugh! Are you from the moon?
Gani: Or Mars?
Emeka: In which country? In Nigeria? That principle does not apply in Nigeria! There is no moral burden on anybody in this country! The election which produced Bubu in 2015 was rigged. Where are the two million voters from Kano State who voted in 2015? Was an INEC official not burnt alive after that election? The one which brought Obj to power was also rigged by the forces which wanted him to ease the tension of the Abiola tragedy on the Yoruba people. Yet those men had the temerity to preach against corruption!
Orezime: The international community winked at the whole exercise.
Gani: Yes! That’s why those two could only preach; they couldn’t really act decisively. A moral burden? They spoke from both sides of their mouths on the issue of corruption. The late President Yar Adua confessed that the election which produced him was compromised. An honest man, he didn’t live long enough to right the wrong of the period!
Orezime: That’s why I laughed when Adamu talked about a moral burden arising from rigged elections.
Bankole: In the ideal world, any power that is stolen and acquired through a dubious means imposes a moral burden on the power holder. No matter what the person does, that power remains stained.
Orezime: What does that amount to in our country? Even the brigands who shot their way to power in the notorious days of military misadventure in Nigeria soon became legitimate.
Emeka: You are going too far in our history. See what happened in Lagos State in the governorship elections of March 18. Ethnic jingoists went about preaching hatred against Igbo people and warned them against coming out to exercise their constitutional rights. Security officials looked the other way when ballot boxes were snatched in broad daylight in places where the opposition was leading.
Gani: A serving state governor personally went about snatching ballot boxes and threatened to shoot whoever got in his way. The same governor declared somebody wanted without recourse to the Inspector General of Police! He worked against the party on which platform he won the seat to spite the party hierarchy!
Adamu: And to think that this is the President-elect’s state. He kept mute through the horrendous attacks on Igbo people in Lagos State just the way the incumbent president has looked the other way when herdsmen went on the loose!
Bankole: Rigged elections are so familiar yet notorious in our land. It was the main trigger to the crisis in the Western Region in the First Republic because the people reacted when they saw a rape of their rights and wishes! It soon snowballed into a conflagration that consumed the nation in the late 1960s. Already, the youths are talking about a protest in the ENDSARSNOW# manner. I hope it doesn’t result in disaster. We have lost too many lives already!
Orezime: What I fear is the rise of ethnic profiling in a supposedly democratic society. To be sure, Governor Sanwo-Olu and the party hierarchy did not single out any ethnic group for verbal attacks. They even courted them. Yet they didn’t caution their followers to stop the degeneration into ethnic hatred. It is a dangerous curve what is happening in Lagos. I don’t subscribe to the Lagos is no man’s land nonsense which some misguided fellows are spewing, but threatening anybody not to vote their candidate is a new low! Can a Sanwo-Olu victory be said to be legitimate if a significant percentage of the electorate is disenfranchised?
Emeka: Good question. They did not stop there. They rolled out the culturally dreaded Oro rituals on election night. Come on! Who is fooling who? The Oro festival was designed to drive fear into non-Yoruba in Lagos. In the 21st Century?
Gani: I am sure the reports from election observers will be damning.
Bankole: I don’t care about those biased observers.
Adamu: Where are we headed in this country?
Orezime: We are on the road to Kigali!
Bankole: May we not travel that route!
Orezime: It’s a good prayer. But what are we doing to avoid the descent into anarchy? Nothing. Those monkeys are simply interested in acquiring power.
Gani: The Obedient Movement seems to have lost steam once it was misbranded as an ethnic agenda to grab power at the national level. Peter Obi needs to tread carefully so he doesn’t become another June 12! Some people are egging him on to challenge INEC through protests.
Orezime: If he decides to lead a protest, it would be within his constitutional right to do so, especially as INEC is stalling on the issue of inspecting elections materials despite an order from the courts. Peaceful protests are guaranteed by the Constitution.
Adamu: No one can be sure whether a peaceful protest will remain peaceful after it starts. That’s the experience the ENDSARS people had.
Gani: It’s not enough to stop people from taking to the streets. Protests are fundamental to democracy.
Adamu: We do not want dead heroes! Mark my words.
Bankole: That’s ominous!
Emeka: It means nothing. Nigeria must change. We cannot go on like this forever! Things are just going down. No cash. No fuel. No power supply. No security. No nothing. Peter Obi gave a glimmer of hope. Now that has been dashed to the ground.
Adamu: Rigging will remain a moral burden each time our President-elect travels outside the country, each time he meets foreign observers, especially those ones who have a dossier on him. History will also judge him and assess how he came to power. This applies to all the states as well where some politicians have turned themselves into demigods and have compromised poor INEC officials with mouthwatering sums. This is not how to build a democracy. The votes must be counted and must count. Seventeen people have their lives during the governorship and House of Assembly elections. We are supposed to count ballot papers, not bodies. Sad!
Bankole: The moral burden of rigged elections is on all of us. Without our connivance there would be no rigging. We can only hope that this will end some day!
Emeka: Tough luck!
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