“Nigerian politics does not demand intelligence, but agbero brawns. The more grammar you speak, the farther the distance between you and the people.”
This was the banter of a friend; a very educated and informed one, but sadly this is the perception of many Nigerians as well.
I sat in my nest that afternoon wondering why we are often led by the worst of us; as if we are destined for a certain doom. The product of my ratiocination was a resolve that despite the normality of mediocrity here, we must speak the “grammar of disciplined politics” until the people become acculturated, and the so-called distance bridged.
As a matter of fact, Nigeria has just a handful of leaders, but a rowdy crowd of politicians.
I had a one-to-one interview with Kingsley Moghalu, presidential candidate of the Young Progressive Party (YPP), and he seemed not to covet the title “politician”. He tells me he is not a politician. Is he sterile of the vulgar importance of being a Nigerian politician?
Importantly, he tells me his opinion of the war against corruption and “the biggest problem confronting the country”.
He says the war against corruption is only a pretence, and that the biggest problem facing the country is the "total absence of leadership".
On Buhari’s war against corruption
Moghalu: There is no fight against corruption, but there is a fight about fighting corruption. That fight is the pretence about fighting corruption. It is a fight against political opponents by pretending they are corrupt and you are not. A good leader will fight corruption as a natural path of the process of good governance, because one of the requirements of good governance is transparency; another requirement of good governance is accountability. So, you cannot fight corruption if you are not addressing the value system issue, and if you don’t have impartial accountability. My fight against corruption will begin inside my government, not with the PDP and APC. I will set the EFCC free. And I believe that it should be merged with the ICPC into one body, and we will change the leadership criteria for heading that body. It doesn’t have to be a policeman. What makes policemen better than anyone else?
The biggest problem confronting the country
Moghalu: The biggest problem confronting this country is the total absence of leadership, because if you have that, it is the leader’s job to build a sense of nationhood. So, we always have to start from the fundamentals; because we don‘t have good leadership we have a lot of other problems that are avoidable. We have extreme levels of tribalism; we have extreme levels of corruption; we have no sense of being a nation. We don’t have leaders, but lots of politicians. And there is the political industrial complex that is the biggest business today. The tragedy is that out citizens are very active accomplices with the politicians in making themselves poor. The citizens are acting against their own interest by supporting these politicians. The reason they are doing that is that they are not as educated as they should be. And we are rewarding them (politicians) by voting for them as represented in the old recycled political class ...as represented in the APC and the PDP.... That is why in 20 years of democracy we have gone nowhere.
And with a note of finality, Moghalu says: “It will take me 24 hours to assemble my team; maximum 48 hours, not six months.”
Fredrick can be reached on Facebook: FredrickNwabufo, Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo