The Nigerian political landscape is gradually opening up a new phenomena, and its in the process of engaging its people to understand what democracy is all about. As a child grows up and begin to understand his environment, he discovers that there are some things he needs to do for himself and not being directed by anyone. But much action of the child depends on the mother's social and cultural understanding of the environment. As usual, not all children do get to that stage of discovering or understanding that they themselves have out grown the age to be paddled. For those kids who by instinct or studying their cricumstances find solutions to their problems tend to instruct their parents not to spy on them as helicopter parents do due to embarrassment they are faced with in the presences of the mates. While some parents will no more be responsible for the actions of their children, others due to the stagnant nature of the social and political events in their societies, attitudes do not change easily, until a new phenomena happens by a stroke off luck or changes are forced due to the actions of a dynamic leadership.
If that does not occur, the ability for family members to start distinguishing between a son with wisdom and the one without would be evident in task distribution. Family members tend to allocated for the child which is still tied to his mother's apron little portion of resources when it has been discovered that he can not survive without the mother being around to instruct him on how to manage the resources knowing well that he has no personal initiative of making the best out of it. And for a child that can stand to defend himself under any circumstances as he grows, known with charismatic attitudes within the entire family, no matter the challenges his faced with, he has been seen to take personal initiatives to solve them even right or wrong, the family members tend to allocate a much bigger resources to such a child.
This analogy seems to be the next phase in which the Nigerian democratic dispensation is gradually moving into. Many states in the federation have decided to take upon themselves the mantle of electing a candidate they feel would be able to manage their resources, not totally on the basis of political party but on the basis of his manifesto and precedence in governance. The South West states of Nigeria are the first set of states to get to this self conscious political awareness. A natural political awareness that distinguishes between a personality and his party, that now follows not only party affiliations but a masses that have discovered that they have reached the age of telling the mother I can, I know and I can decipher the difference between a political party and a personality. The crowning of the cake was the Ondo governorship elections which Olusegun Mimiko won. At that level, it shows the wisdom and enlightenment of the South West population in their growth for better governance and ability to choose that which they feel can deliver unto them their desired results. Edo state under Governor Adams Oshomole and Imo state under the leadership of Governor Rochas Ockoroch is another example of early "teenage" political awareness in the Nigerian political scene.
The South East still has alot to do to get to this political awareness, its people both in rural and urban areas are still below the self consciousnesses of knowing the right candidate to elect after 13 years of democratic dispensation. It has been difficult for those in that society to harness their ideas and vote for a trusted candidate. Rochas case in the South East was a case of an individual that has spent time and money chasing Presidential slots and the Imo people were convinced he could deliver democratic dividend with his wealth. Not until, he began to change the perception of the people of Imo state with his socialist democrat ideas, that they knew the state has been receiving and generating enough for its development. The South East still need probably more years to study personalities and separate them from party politics for majority of its people to reach the required threshold which enhances the moving in the right direction of the masses towards the Nigerian political development.
Apart from Edo state which falls within the edge of South West and is aligned to the South South regionally, all other South South states are no different from their Norther region counterparts. Just of recent, Chief Edwin Clark a former Nigeria information minister in the 1970s, and an indigenous fellow of the South South said for the past 13 years of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rule in the Niger Delta states its governors have wasted 7.3 Trillion Naira without an tangible social infrastructure to show for it . Both the South South states and the Northern states in the North West, North East and North Central are seriously lagging behind in political enlightenment and development of its population, they have no other choice but to see party politics just the way it was handed down to them by the military regime in May 1999. They are still living in a distorted and imaginary democratic societies wishing to see a political change without a political education deep rooted from self consciousness. With the rate at which other regions are moving fast, the lack of political education will present a serious danger to the general political awareness of the entire Nigerian population. If there will be means to export these democratic ideas of differentiating between a personality and a party by political and social activist in both the South South and the Northern region to snatch away the populations of these regions quickly from their one way political belief of what they think the Nigerian politics is all about. It would be a good step in the right direction to save them before it becomes a culture which they will be willing to teach to the next generation.
The Northern part of Nigeria is in a more serious dilemma because those who claim to come from the major opposition parties, the CPC and ANPP which the people voted for in the last elections and are in various government offices both in local and national levels are no different from their PDP counterparts. The Northern masses choice in electing officials to manage their resources have not given them the desired democratic results which the South West are beginning to enjoy as dividend of democracy. Their efforts will not pay off as far as they rely on their low knowledge of the political situations and the way to fix it. The prerequisite for any dividend of democracy comes when the people can decipher within a specific period of time not more than 15 years in their polity to understand a personality with his own ideology to be different from a party ideology that is based on enriching members and not the society. After-all, it is a common knowledge in Nigerian that political parties since 1979 are not born out of ideology but designed as a committee of people who are interested in getting power for the benefit of their party members. These the people of the entire Northern region and their counterparts in the South South should discover in earnest for there to be any meaningful change in their political thinking first before there can be any socio-economic changes in their region. Political power belongs to the people, and the moment they cast it for the wrong candidate, the future of their region is in doubt.
The fact remains that Northerners are still far from reality in understanding the Nigerian political landscape that its only a personality with a people's vision that can bring about a change they desired for now and not a political party which puts its members welfare ahead of those which voted the party into power. If after 13 years, the people still do not know what to do and the educated ones among them have not discovered the political changes and consciousness that has been going on in the South West regions of the federation, then, before its too late,social activist have to raise up to the challenge or else there will be no remedy but to keep electing losers from the ruling party just as they have started doing now. The entire North with its large population have to put on their thinking caps and its political sociologist and commentators should begin to reason beyond religion and ethnicity which politicians use as a weapon to tied them down. But rise to the challenge of breeding or following a new sets of committed persons for the political development of the entire Northern region. While, the South South population must wake up and begin to calculate the strategies and ways to implement ways of not being left behind after 13 years in political enlightenment and education which is changing the concept of governance in democratic Nigeria to the benefit of the people and which is making states government especially in the South West to deliver the dividend of democracy to its people.
As the Nigerian political family portrays the genetic composition of an African traditional family, the husband has provided the money with the platform for education, its now left to the wives that their children are just entering into puberty age to lecture them on what to do to keep them up to date and how to go about it. I hope no region at the puberty age of democracy would want to take his or her bath outside the compound. But if there is a mother among the wives that does not care then she should be expecting her region to be responsible for her failure and for those mothers who wish to teach their child the necessary steps to take, the extended family can be sure such child will not be a nuisances and a disgrace to the entire tribe.
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