Column Opinion

Before 2023 Fit Make Sense…

By Prince Charles Dickson PhD

Let me start my admonition in this manner, it is likely that you have seen this somewhere, in one way or the other, the current Governor of Katsina, Aminu Bello Masari, was the Commissioner for works, housing and transport in Katsina state from 1991 to 1993.

He was the speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives between 2003 and 2007. He is 72 years old. His profile describes him as a Nigerian politician and current Governor of Katsina State. It is safe to say that he has been in politics for the better part of 30 years, in street maths, he has been part of politics, leadership and governance since he was in his 30s.

Now, if you look at the class of 1999, whether governor, legislator or minister, randomly Joshua Dariye of Plateau was 42 as Governor, his counterpart Boni Haruna of Adamawa was equally 42. Orji Kalu was 39 as governor of Abia. Gabriel Suswan was 43 in 2007 when he became a governor in Benue. Fashola was 44, and Yahaya Bello was barely 41 when he became governor in Kogi.

For a handful of these men, and some women, they have done nothing but politics, the older ones amongst them have been there since 1979 with Shagari and today they still hold public office. I know one from Benue state, he is 74 officially because once many of them hit 60 their ages start to change. He was chairman of the then ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) from 2001 until January 2005. He was former Minister of Agriculture of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from 2015–2019 under the current ruling party which was in opposition then.

In 1979, he ran for office in the Benue State House of Assembly on the Platform of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN), becoming deputy speaker of the house. He was Federal Minister of Communications in 1982–1983. 40 years later we are still where we were..

I know a current Minister, currently 63 years, 22 years ago was a minister, this same minister started politics in 1976, and by1994 was made a councillor and subsequently made commissioner by the military government between1994 and 1999. In other words, when the minister started politics, that minister was aged 17. If I talk now, people will say that I am talking.

In politics nobody has your interest, everybody has their interests. Dealing with politicians is like sleeping with tigers. You must always have your eyes open. In any political equation there’s always someone being used. If you look around and you can’t find that person then it’s you. Serving politicians is like a bandage on a wound, once the wound is healed. In politics never wail more than the bereaved, they will get the reward while you inherit their enemies. In politics, in any event, if any interest conflicts with your interest and you have to choose, always choose yours. Never cross any ocean for a politician, you may drown.

Have you ever asked a politician how much he or she earns, government is broke, these same people are spending to get into a government that is broke, have you seen a minister, or governor that resigned because government is broke, government has no money, but money comes out during elections, they tell us their predecessor left debts, yet they continue in the broke system. Like my friend would say, they are simply lying, there are two types of wicked people in government.

Type one, they eat current money, any money they meet in government they eat it. Type two; they eat current money and future money, they borrow money, of the future and eat it now

People’s development indexes are based on six fundamental principles, namely

Their theories

Their culture

Their ideology

Their paradigm

Their concepts

Their history.

This is what ensures that even after ten thousand years,

Chinese remains Chinese,

The Indian remains Indian,

Arabs remains Arabic,

Westerners stay Western…

They are,

by their culture

by their spirituality

by their languages

by their tradition

by their story

by their theories

by their belief

by their concepts…

and above all by their affiliation to their ancestors to whom they attach and celebrate.

As for us Africans, in just 500 years, we have become Arabs, Westerners, Chinese, Indians…We want to live in everyone’s shoes. Except in our own skin.

Our culture is lost

Our traditions are disappearing,

Our ancestors are denied and forgotten

Our languages are dying

Our history is falsified

Our religion is demonized

We are losing our roots

We have lost our identity.

This poverty of spirit contributes to making us financially poor.

We are lost:

Physically lost

Psychologically lost

Intellectually lost

Culturally misplaced

Economically lost..

Our leaders are astray,

Our “intellectuals” are lost,

Our parents are aloof,

Teachers are astray

The youths are looking for their identity.


Nigeria needs a saviour, a hero.

This HERO is YOU.

Before 2023 must make sense…there must be a mission, questions must be asked, accountability must be demanded, we must start to direct our steps elders, back to our cultural heritage and traditions, to practice and again desire to stay connected to our ancestors among other practical approaches to self awareness which will lead to a genuine emancipation of the mind.

This is so, because the mind at work now cannot give anything tangible, whether the articulated or obedient, whether the bats or eagles, what we currently have is a cacophony of noise. Nigeria needs men and women that are ready to change the narrative, we need them in spaces. Not the whole drama around PVCs, we need minds that know how to make the PVCs work right. In the United States between 2008 and 2020 the voting percentage has ranged between 57-62%. In Nigeria, according to INEC it hovers around 30-35%. We have a long way to go, we are witnesses to how our delegate system continues to pan out. There is a lot to do, I doubt if we are ready, 2023 can be a foundation but are we ready—Only time will tell.

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