The rather abrupt creation of the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), a group deemed to replace the roughshod of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), is potentially going to be circumvented with the tremendous navigations and manipulations of SARS. The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, shouldn’t have demonstrated such sound-bite myopia towards the myriads of #EndSARS protesters, especially with his astute announcement of yet another seemingly ideologically conformable police arm on Tuesday. I do not know if, in actual fact, the creation of SWAT was born out of the necessity to deploy “special weapons and tactics” in quelling and subsiding the burgeoning and possibly uncontrollable #EndSARS protest.
Indeed, the grundnorm of the sprawling and wing-spreading anti-SARS demonstrators is a rounding up, I suspect, of the bureaucracy of Buhari’s Nigeria. Instead of superficially focusing on containing the contention between the protesters and police, I think it’s about time we recalibrated the entire governing structure of Nigeria as it were. And in fact, the #EndSARS burgeoning brouhaha for social justice and police reform is a straightforward pointer to soul-searching persons that their catch-cry is yet a trigger to solve and resolve the wounds Nigerians have been bearing and nurturing without any cure whatsoever.
Imagine a whole leader saying the youths of this generation are lazy. Take it or leave it, no reasonable youth could without any genuine and germane reason begin to perpetuate reprehensible and recalcitrant actions and decisions. No, it doesn’t happen like that! Youths are a group of people with impressionable minds that whatever you upload in them is what you download from them. There’s no two-way about it. So, it could be argued that the Nigerian youth have been frustrated and infuriated by the belief of their insignificance and incapacitation to contribute to the growth and progress of Nigeria. They’ve so be psychologically depreciated and deprecated that what we have them display now is a resurrection of the repressed unconscious. They cannot bear the hurt any longer. They cannot bear the shaming and abashing any longer. They cannot continue to cope with the constant reminders from leaders that they are political misfits and economic cankerworms. That’s been the overall and ultimate gesture of the #EndSARS protesters; in other words, they are claiming that the Buhari administration has wearied them with the wanton ‘do-as-I-say-but-don’t-do-as-I-do’ phenomenalities.
I think what needs to be clamoured for is the Nigerian structure and system of governance and leadership. The business and accountable governance of leadership rests on the premise that those who have been vested with constitutional powers must and should demonstrate the essence of the calling. The Buhari of 1980s, 2011 and 2015 shouldn’t be the father or god-father of other “Buharis”, come 2023. That’s the idea: namely that a leader is the competent one who has the vision and passion to lead, direct and instruct the people in a right, productive and profitable manner.
The leader is not the one who has no record or attainment of skilled leadership in his personal and professional life. Such a leader, with no background of groundbreaking success, would lead the country in a directionless and futureless way. So leadership should be based on merits, not by wealth, connection, privilege or “grace”. The chain and circle of leadership in Nigeria is surely metaphorical of the indisputable fact that the Nigeria government positions have become, on one hand, family business, and the means of employability and sustainability of just jobless groups of people, on the other hand.
It’s very inconvenient so say that that’s long been the modus operandi of the Nigerian system of government. Even so, the youth lives have been rather relegated to the background that they’ve been unrecognized as agents of change and transformation. And why do we so like mouthing the mantra that “the youth are the leaders of tomorrow?” Leaders of tomorrow and they have not been properly reared and bred in values-based principles of leadership? Leaders of tomorrow and those in loco parentis are extremely myopic of the necessity of nurturing their offspring in the power of transparent leadership? Leaders of tomorrow and the future and destiny of the country is not being committed into their hands in a definite and practical way? You see, that’s the peace and problem of a country which has routinely remained deliberate and intensive with the horrendous rigmarole of gerontocracy.
The youth should, furthermore, be encouraged and integrated to the systems of leadership of the country. We should do away with the untoward gesticulation that they’re lazy and looting in nature. That’s gross observation, isn’t it? How about the noticeable numerous adult delinquencies that have been reported in the geographic space of Nigeria? There should be a balanced perspective in everything we do. The youth of this generation are very hardworking youth with transforming and reforming minds. They’ve got the penchant and passion to lead by enviable examples with time-tested humility and equanimity.
Most successful people didn’t become successful overnight. No, even Rome was not built in a day. Champions behave like champions until they are champions. That’s the idea: you should begin to enlist these resourceful youth on the visionary platform of leadership and governance and see them perform. That’s it. Majority of them are gifted and talented leaders needing the space for performance. But you know our problem? Those who have anciently been there want to be perpetually there. They want to make Nigeria the property their generations and unborn generations would come to inherit. They want to make Nigeria generational business, because of the curse of dimensionality. We need to change the curve form horizontal to vertical. Kudos to the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E. A. Adeboye, whose relentless and resilient vociferation and intervention is apt in the opportunism and adventurism of power!
Ige writes from Lagos