Just In...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Much Ado About A President’s Broadcast! Clueless Leaders, Clueless Followers? (A Must Read)

This is an interesting piece I saw and feel like sharing it.

“In a democracy, the people get the government they deserve” – Alexis de Tocqueville
The presidential broadcast marking 2012 Democracy Day has come and gone however, as it has become the norm that any time the President speaks, there MUST be angry reactions this is no exception.
The President’s Democracy Day Broadcast has 71 paragraphs with each majorly treating separate issues. The renaming of the hitherto University of Lagos (UNILAG) as Moshood Abiola University (MAU) which was contained in the very last paragraph (71st) paragraph is the bone of contention this time.

So controversial it is that many Nigerians who did not listen “LIVE” to the President’s Broadcast would believe, thanks to the unnecessary noise, that all the President said during the one-hour Broadcast was the announcement of the renaming of UNILAG.
I am deeply disturbed by the unnecessary hullabaloo that this issue has generated. For God’s sake, Mr. President talked for one hour and it is shameful that one thing that we could pick out from the whole speech is the issue of the nomenclature of an educational institution.
Before I go on, let me quickly say that I am not a fan of President Goodluck Jonathan.
His one year in office is a huge disappointment. While many people believe it is too early to crucify him, a sentiment I partially share, the president has not done anything substantial to inspire in Nigerians any ounce of hope of better days ahead. A popular Yoruba adage has it that “if it takes you 20 years to prepare for madness, how long will it take you to enter a market naked?”
Additionally, the President has a great work to do to convince me that he is not a corrupt man. Many of his ministers have been fingered in many corruption scandals but he has not asked any of them to step aside pending conclusion of investigations let alone sack them. That does not portray the action of a serious man who wants to fight corruption.
That said, and now back to the President’s Broadcast, the President concluded the Broadcast by announcing the change of nomenclature of UNILAG to MAU. Yes he changed the name of a federal institution. And so? What on earth is a big deal in that action? Is he the first President to do that?
Let me refresh our minds a bit. The present Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ife was formerly University of Ife, Osun State. The present Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Akwa was an offshoot of the defunct Anambra State University of Technology (ASUTECH). The present Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria was formerly known as the University of Northern Nigeria. 
These three are just a few of the many examples that abound in our society. I am therefore at a loss over the rationale or appropriateness of the noise this one has generated as if what the president has done is something out of the blues.
While I cannot fathom why the president should be hated this much by the very people he is governing (that is not my business anyway – his media people should work on that) I think we should not hate or oppose his actions just because we hate him. I am appalled that this issue of opposition to President Jonathan and his government is deteriorating to the stage that any action or decision taken by the President will be opposed without any efforts to study the pros and cons of the action.
We are not in an animal kingdom. God did not give us the power of reasoning for nothing. He did in order to prevent us from taking actions based solely on our feelings or emotions. But, how many of us have truly considered and analysed and appraised any government policy before criticising? Indeed, many people passing judgements on the President did not listen to the speech neither have they read a copy of it.
It is my belief that we should not reduce criticism to a level where those in government will conclude or have the impression that “there is nothing we do that they will not criticise”. My fellow Nigerians, if situations degenerate to that level that those in government cannot trust the citizens’ criticisms to be devoid of partisanship then I am deeply afraid.
To the UNILAG students or more accurately MAU students protesting the change of name, I will strongly advise that you people should face your studies. Seriously, I do not see what any of you stand to lose by the name change. If old and present students of OAU, ABU and NAU did not lose and are not loosing anything due to changes in their Institutions’ names, I do not see anything that any student of MAU stands to lose this time.
I am not saying that students or people should not protest or criticise or disagree, all I stand for is that our protests, our criticisms, our oppositions of/to government policies should be a product of serious reasoning and honest appraisal of issues – we should not protest over issues that are so mundane, so irrelevant, so trivial that in the end we dissipate our energies on fruitless adventure.
I am sure that there are many other genuine issues UNILAG students could protest for. There is the inadequacy of dormitories inside the campus, there is the issue of inadequate lecture-rooms, overcrowding of lecture halls, etc but we are not seeing any protest march in these areas. Unless an Akokite can point out just one area in which he stands to lose personally due to the name-change then I can conclude that the protest is hugely unnecessary, uncalled for and a waste of valuable time they could have committed to their studies.
There are many things we could protest for, there is high level of corruption (billions are stolen everyday), high level of unemployment (millions of employable youth do not have jobs), and lack of security in the country (thousands of people have been killed by the mad men called Boko Haram). None of us, I repeat, none of us has protested against these serious issues. We have not organised any mass rally against the 3 evils. Now, we are so clueless as our leaders are that we are now protesting “change of name” of an institution. How cheap! How easy!
To the rest of Nigerians, I am beginning to think, rightly too, that Nigeria’s problems may not entirely be the doings of our leaders but also the undoings of the followers. I am beginning to ponder that the followers or rightly the masses are ruining this country in no small measure. I am indeed, beginning to believe strongly in the famous quote of Alexis de Tocqueville that says “in a democracy, the people get the government they deserve”.
The President uttered approximately 3 words in one second throughout his Broadcast. This means that the president said about 10800 words in the 60 minutes’ speech and sadly, all what his people could pick from his speech is “the University of Lagos is now renamed Moshood Abiola University”. How sad!
Our actions simply show that we do not even know what we want as followers. The President talked about the economy, elections, employment, foreign policy, corruption, academic scholarships, local content in production and consumption and even in this controversial issue of UNILAG/MAU the president talked about the planned establishment of an Institute of Demographic Studies in UNILAG/MAU. These are issues that affect all of us collectively but these are issues in the president’s speech that we are not paying attention to. Of what serious concerns is the issue of UNILAG/MAU to the Hausa cattle ‘rearer’ in Kano or the Ibo trader in Onitsha or even the Yoruba farmer in Ibadan?
As much as our leaders are clueless about what is to be done to salvage this country from the present sorry situation the followers are also clueless as to how to effectively, productively and constructively impress it on or engage their leaders on what their needs are and how those needs could be met.
Thank you.

SOURCE: Osolake Victor

1 comment:

  1. @obehi,GEJ should employ as his media person,lol.To be candid,i quite agree with you.Their protest has been in how the name sounds i.e unilag to maulag. they should settle down and face their primary biz in school.


Shop Online From The Comfort Of Your Home Or Office By Clicking On This Banner

Welcome To Obehi Okoawo's Blog...We Love To Hear From You In The Comment Box Above, Thanks