[dropcap]T[/dropcap]o this day, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, has not cleared the air over the scandal that rocked Nigeria over his doubtful qualification to run for office as president, although case of his incompetence is a manifest reality and pungent notorious fact.
The import of having a nation’s leader preside over it with doubtful qualification, disregard the issue of competence or otherwise for a moment, is that it compromises every conceivable value the nation holds dear to itself while making allowances for the inadequacies of the leader and other such misnomers that arise as a consequence, therefrom.
Societies, and by extension nations, are built on values. They rise and fall on the basis of the values they espouse or choose to compromise. Nations that have endured through time are those who against much, have stuck to their guns, insisting on the promotion of cherished values irrespective of the huge cost of doing so. Enduring nations are those whose population have become so conscientized that no single individual, desperate minority of the ruling class or even the overriding majority itself can circumvent the transcendent influence of values within it.
Social values, according to YourArticleLibrary, “form an important part of the culture of the society. Values account for the stability of social order. They provide the general guidelines for social conduct. Values such as fundamental rights, patriotism, respect for human dignity, rationality, sacrifice, individuality, equality, democracy etc. guide our behaviour in many ways. Values are the criteria people use in assessing their daily lives; arrange their priorities and choosing between alternative course of action.”
In addition, it posits, and indeed it is true, that values provide for stabilities and uniformities in group interaction, bring legitimacy to the rules that govern specific activities and societies, help to bring about some kind of adjustment between different sets of rules and ultimately provide goals or ends for the members of a society to aim for.
Juxtaposing these qualities with what is being experienced of the current Buhari led governmental system, where norms such as following laid down stipulations that define qualifications for public office have been utterly bastardized, one wonders what the place of universally cherished societal values is in the current scheme of things.
From having doubtful qualification himself, President Buhari has made allowance of Kemi Adeosun, the embattled Finance Minister who also scaled the fence in the qualification criteria for holding her office. Is it also accidental that we have an Inspector General of Police who is generating unsavory buzzes?
But who do we really blame? How does one so blatantly incompetent become a Nation’s leader if his ascendancy was not validated by the majority of the people themselves? Whether that was the case or not, especially if it wasn’t the case, isn’t the silence of the majority a colluding albatross?
Hasn’t Buhari been quoted to have excused criminals killing Nigerians on the basis of the alleged favoritism Niger Delta Militants were said to be receiving at the time? Didn’t Buhari say he was President for those who voted him in? Has Buhari ever been postured as a nationalist? So what values is he promoting for the good of Nigeria? On what basis is he being touted as a Statesman and one with integrity? What integrity? Does the clemency being enjoyed by corrupt politicians working for him not speak for itself?
The truth must be said that until Nigeria is governed on the basis of values, the constant slide of the country will end up in complete ruins. This is not really about Buhari, it’s about a national system that finds a way to make excuses and allowances for mediocrity, the less than the best. It’s about the Nigerian system that has never worked anywhere else and, while appearing to thrive in Nigeria, is quietly, slowly and steadily killing it because a people who justify anything will ultimately create their own destruction.
We all, the mass of our people, undo Nigeria and ourselves by endorsing and excusing mediocrity in our little ways. From our sharp practices as students and lecturers in the school to how we compromise healthcare by cutting corners for personal benefits, every excuse we make contributes to the decline of Nigeria, make no mistakes about that. To end the decline, we must place premium on values. It begins by relearning civics and citizenship and most importantly refusing to compromise values; by simply saying “No.”
If we fail in these insignificant but vital duties, it won’t be long before we kiss Nigeria good bye. The cascading fall is just about to be obvious. May we not get there. If we do, remember we were warned and did nothing.
Oraye St. Franklyn is a barrister-at-law. He is senior special assistant to Governor Nyesom Wike on Social Media. He is a strategic communicator and good governance advocate, writes from Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He tweets from @SaintOraye. He is also on Facebook.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.