When I started this article, Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had just postponed a national election they had four years to prepare for. As at this moment, there is a viral video online of a customs officer allegedly shooting a man to death which has been denied by the Public Relations Officer of Nigeria’s Customs Service.
Sometimes, I feel the international community expects too much of us. As a libertarian, I am constantly aware of various tried and tested policies that can make Nigeria work but it is at times like these that I am convinced that the sheer fact of being Nigerians makes us physically and psychologically incapable of getting it right.
The whole world expects too much of us and I will highlight the reasons why we might consistently be inclined to disappoint them.
- February 5, 2019, Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State and arguably the most controversial governor in Nigeria, warned that international observers risk leaving the country in body bags if they attempt to interfere with our elections.
- A week later, 66 people were killed in Kaduna a day before the general election.
- The Independent National Electoral Commission citing logistical issues, decided to postpone a national election six hours before it was to commence. This is an election they have had 4 years to prepare for.
- Nigerians at home travelled across the country and those abroad travelled across the world to ensure that they get to cast their votes in their respective polling units.
- Osun state, one of the worst performing states in terms of Internally Generated Revenue, declared a public holiday a day before election was scheduled to take place and, in the process, lost valuable IGR for two consecutive days.
- Nigeria lost billions of Naira in revenue by failing to hold an election on February 16.
- According to World Bank, the State of New York’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is more than three times that of Nigeria, and we find it easy and convenient to not hold gross incompetence accountable.
Nigeria is a country where the examples cited above are common occurrences and most people still don’t bat an eyelid. Most Nigerians have given up and the opportunity of a greener pasture anywhere but here seems like a solid idea.
We rant online. We write articles. We call for resignations from virtually everyone we can find on and offline but we never go through with our threats and/or promises. We return back to the status quo at the onset of the next trending issue.
The international community for one reason or the other believes in the Nigerian dream and while a few of us are adequately equipped to see this dream through, we are part of a system designed to frustrate any plan to make the country work.
Nigeria, I am pained to say, is a ripe atmosphere for violence, incompetency, corruption and an otherworldly ability to quickly adapt to different realities.
While I am a strong proponent of not living life to please others because I believe most opinions don’t matter, Nigeria has successfully been able to take this to another level by consistently falling short when a simple act of getting it right is all it takes. We resort to quickly handing our affairs to a busy God like we are the only nation on earth in need of ‘divine intervention’.
If we are not calling God or other deities, we are busy trending funny memes of migrating to Canada while the cabal at the helm of affairs continually ruin our hopes and dreams. Regardless of all these proofs, the international community still naively believe that Nigeria can get things right.
A governor in the most populous black nation on earth ultimately questions the motives of international observers behind intervening in Nigeria’s general election. Is it me or does it seem like Governor El-Rufai is conveniently not aware of Nigeria’s consistency in election rigging?
I believe as a governor, he should be aware of the fact that being the most populous nation in Africa, our affairs will generally attract a lot of buzz and attention from the international community. Some set of people actually believe Nigeria can be a model of improved democracy for most countries in Africa and the rest of the world.
Most Nigerians still believe that by voting in the same set of people every election cycle, we will get a new result. We condone the recycling of power and has allowed our growth and development is determined by the notion of lesser of two evils. We have allowed ourselves, to the amusement of the international community, be dealt a hand we cannot obviously win from.
I have read Tom G. Palmer, Eamonn Butler, Ali Salman and Frederic Bastiat’s works. I know what Nigeria needs and so do most Nigerians whether or not they believe it. We might not care about the opinions of the international community but in so doing, we are chasing away foreign direct investments (FDIs) by not ensuring we provide a conducive business environment, a stable political climate and enforcing policies that reduces the bird-like migratory patterns of skilled Nigerians.