Nigeria governed by myopic leaders – Jega

Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, professor Attahiru Jega, has described the current crop of leaders overseeing the affairs of Nigeria as myopic, insisting that some of their administrative lapses were responsible for the wave of insecurity and economic devastation experienced all over the country. Jega, who presided over the elections that ushered in the All Progressives Congress in 2015, made these assertions when he spoke at the 2022 Workers’ Political Conference organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja on Wednesday, with the theme: “Commitment to National Emancipation and Development Through Effective Political Engagement by Nigerian Workers”.

Nigeria governed by myopic leaders – Jega
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, professor Attahiru Jega, has described the current crop of leaders overseeing the affairs of Nigeria as myopic, insisting that some of their administrative lapses were responsible for the wave of insecurity and economic devastation experienced all over the country. Jega, who presided over the elections that ushered in the All Progressives Congress in 2015, made these assertions when he spoke at the 2022 Workers’ Political Conference organised by the Nigeria Labour Congress in Abuja on Wednesday, with the theme: “Commitment to National Emancipation and Development Through Effective Political Engagement by Nigerian Workers”. According to Jega, who currently lectures in the Department of Political Science, Bayero University, Kano, the state of uncertainties may spur a revolution if need be. He said Nigeria is, undoubtedly, at a point in its history when the issue of national emancipation for credible national development, beneficial to the Nigerian people, requires being raised high on the front banner of national discourses by patriotic Nigerians and friends of Nigeria, and especially by the Nigerian workers themselves. He alleged that the sorry state of the socioeconomic conditions under which the Nigerian working people, indeed the overwhelming majority of all citizens live and work, the reckless misrule and misgovernance by a tiny, rabid and reckless band of elite, and the manner by which these myopic ‘elected’ so-called ‘leaders’ and their collaborators, have devastated the Nigerian economy, heightened insecurity, and virtually destroyed the basis for national cohesion and integration, Nigeria, as a potentially great nation, is crying for a rescue mission, before it is too late. Going down memory lane, he recalled how Nigerian working-class organizations and movements have had a long, remarkable history of successful struggles to advance the interests of Nigerian working people, especially on trade union issues of salaries and working conditions. “Even on larger issues of national interest, beyond the particularistic economistic interests of the working class, they have joined hands with other credible professional associations, students’ movements and civil society organizations, to act with relative success as ‘popular tribunes’, advancing, protecting and defending the interests of the Nigerian people generally. “This history of successful partnership in broad based patriotic alliances and collaborations has, however, witnessed a relative decline since the late 1990’s, and especially since the on-set of the Fourth Republic, beginning from 1999. In the past 22 years of transition to civil/democratic rule, united and effective struggles working class movements based on alliances and solidarity with other popular organizations, have regrettably witnessed a relative decline, largely on account of the divide and rule tactics of the ruling elite, relying of the heightened mobilization of ethno-religious and other divisive primordial identities, in their effort to capture, retain and perpetuate themselves in power. “Nigeria is currently, essentially at crossroads, as the country prepares for the 2023 general elections. Nigerian citizens generally, and the working people in particular, can either continue play the Ostrich on the current trajectory of reckless, senseless, visionless journey towards democratic and socioeconomic development, and allow the country free-fall to imminent self-destruction, which is clearly in sight, OR they have to wake up, rise and join hands in solidarity for struggles and active engagement in the political process towards, national emancipation from a devilish alliance of exploiters, both internal and external, evidently hell-bent on not only eroding Nigeria’s natural potentials but also destroying it. “A revolution may, indeed, be desirable under the circumstances, but given the current realities, it is far-fetched. Broader patriotic and emancipatory struggles for good democratic governance may under the circumstances, help rescue the country and reposition it towards satisfying the fundamental needs and aspirations of all citizens, and improving the scope and space for working peoples’ struggles for improvement in their wages, working and living conditions.”