When the center can no longer hold the society together. When the rule of law is debased because those who make the laws break it at will without consequences. When they arrogate to themselves the right to decide what is good for the society based on their own standards. Their arrogance and insensitivity to the plight of the people they govern has risen to the point of absurdity.
Are they really the people we voted into power? Has power corrupted them? or are they acting some kind of scripts we are not aware of? Has the dictum that “power corrupts, power corrupts absolutely” caught up with them? Be it what it may, they must not forget “we the people” every four years have the power to change those who rule us. Lest I forget if they allow our votes to count. INEC for once should in 2023 allow the process to work. The consequences of their failure are what is giving the politicians the guts to treat us the way they do. The politicians have come to believe they don’t need the ballot boxes to win elections, this must change.
When every power centre assumes it has become the law on to itself, operating in complete disregard of the laws that bound us together as a people and as a union, the predictable outcome would be a disaster.
A house divided can not hold but these are the realities of our times today. The servant has become the master.
They treat the citizens with disdain, contempt and disrespect, some even have the temerity of using the state cohesive agencies to intimidate, cajole and arrest innocent citizens, simply because they voiced their opinions or advised on critical national issues, forgetting that power is transient and rotational.
One of the basic tenants of democracy is the participation of citizens in governance where such rights are denied dictatorship flourishes.
Unfortunately, leaders whom we would have voted to higher positions come the next circle of elections have been exposed in their handling of the COVID 19 pandemic. Their undemocratic tendencies came to fore. They seem to have forgotten the people they are treating with contempt are the same people they rode on their backs to get to positions they found themselves today.
We warn however there is a limit to how far the society can be pushed. When despondency, utter confusion and hopelessness engulfs the society it is likely to react. History is replete with such examples and we have witnessed how societies have gone to the precipice on the account of leadership failures.
We have seen how demagogues and autocratic leaders destroyed their societies. The attitude playing out in our power centers does not give us any comfort the Union can hold us together.
The states are operating at cross path with the central government. Is this a deliberate policy or an indication the center and federating units are overwhelmed by issues? Is it a sign of weakness or failure? Can we allow this disunity to consume us? This is the reality facing us as a nation.
The attitude of some of the prodigal sons we collectively voted to power to run the affairs of the constituent part of the state is becoming disturbing, they operate as if we running multiple countries, they have become power-drunk that they longer listen to anyone.
We are first Nigerians before any other considerations. The way victims of the COVID 19 are being treated is dividing us more than any other thing. States close borders and lockdown societies without consideration of our interdependent existence.
Some dangerously engage in the segregation of the society by moving patients to their home states on the account they have the virus, this negates the concept of citizenship granted to all Nigerian by the constitution. It is also against the concept of exclusivity and concurrence of duties granted to the three tiers of government. Nigerians have the right to enjoy all facilities in any part of the country regardless of which state they come from, especially during this trying times.
The success of containing the spread of COVID19 in a society like ours where mass poverty and high level of illiteracy exists depends on several factors.
Firstly we must appreciate the fact our economy can not sustain the demand loaded on us by the developed economies and the World Health Organization, no matter how desirable their prescriptions are.
Social distancing, partial and complete lockdown of our cities and border closer between States though desirable may not succeed in a poverty-ridden society like ours. where interstate infrastructure needed for the movement of goods and services are almost absent.
Secondly, the literacy level and our religious interpretations of issues do not help matters when it comes to adoption of new ways of living. Ours is primitive society that hardly believe in science. We tend to accept all matters whether good or bad to predestination and move on, unlike in the developed world that everything happens has reason for it’s occurrence.
Thirdly our fragile economies can not withstand the kind of palliatives other economies of the world are providing for their citizens our people are yearning for. Our is a society where people go to bed without having their suffer, worst still people wake up the following morning without resources to have a decent breakfast, they live day by day. If you lock them for a long period of time without any tangible options, is like living between the devil and deep blue sea. In the absence of any support from the government, the options available to them would to stay home and die of hunger or go out and contract the virus either to live or die. Naturally, people will take the most easier option that appeals to them.
The politicization of the process by the state governments also hindered the success of the lockdown and social distancing. Many believed the whole campaign is political palliative meant to cushion the effect of lockdown are distributed as if we heading for elections.
when the whole thing started the PTF did a good job in advocacy and sensitization until when the states took control of the process.
There is also lack visible attempt by the government to convince the citizens on the way forward rather emphasis we’re more on enforcement and curtailing the mobility of the citizens through arbitrary contorted laws.
Isolation centers were also bereft of adequate facilities, testing equipment were not there or grossly inadequate. People are not idiots they soon came to realize the inadequacies of government. The process instead of giving people hope created fear, hopelessness and despondency took over.
Another major failure of the handling of COVID 19 was the public announcement of the names of those who contracted and died of the disease. We live in a traditional society people became sacred of stigmatization, as a result they refused go in for testing or contacting the CDC, even if they had the symptoms of the virus thereby facilitating family and community spread of the Virus. This is where we are today and perhaps unexplained rise of mortality in some communities.
If what the scientist are saying is correct one positive carrier has the potential of infecting at least 37 persons. As an airborne disease the threat is phenomenal.
We must therefore as a nation come together in respective of our political affiliations to fight the disease. The enemy we are fighting is invisible and does not respect space we are all in this together. The discordant approaches we are applying to deal with pandemic will not take us anywhere. Those in power must swallow their pride mere exhibition of arrogance and power will not help the situation.
Only last Saturday 30th of May 2020 the CDC reported over five hundred people tested positive the highest in a single day since the Pandemic started. We are not out of the wood yet more especially the cure or vaccine for COVID 19 is still in the realms of imagination.
We must therefore as nation rethink and learn from the mistakes of other countries. United we shall succeed divided we fail.