– The Sun News
POLITICAL MENTORS

In search of political mentors (1)

From interfacing with our youngsters in nearly two decades across my three mentoring platforms (Bush House Fan Club Int’l, League One30 and The 20 Questions Community), I know that their number one leadership challenge is the scarcity of political mentors.

Michael Bush

Nigerians are a fantastically-difficult people. This is no plagiarising the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David William Donald Cameron. No, this is just a smart patriot refusing to be used as an in-country distributor of extraneous insults on own compatriots. Clarification made, let’s revert to the point about Nigerians being a fantastically-impossible citizenry.
The generalisation is neither hasty nor fallacious. Our history captures that our ancestors, who ran the country mostly in khaki, were so childishly hard to please that they played musical chairs in quick succession with national leadership. If you laugh off such Neanderthal malfeasance, perhaps you would choke when reminded that only once or twice did they not shed blood before, during or after the harbinger martial music. Succeeding generations have picked up that mannerism, but with a little finesse.
READ ALSO: Leadership: Nigerian youths tasked on mentoring, right knowledge
Since 1999, when this democracy returned, we have tried to show class by refining our elective leadership recruitment process. However, you don’t need spiritual eyes to see that we are in dire need of deliverance from ancestral or familiar spirits. In the 21st century, we still bicker endlessly over something as kindergarten as picking a leader. We still kill, maim and destroy per ballot!

It’s a crying shame that the three generations in the succession queue have, learning from the best, perfected the art. Check out the last of them: undergraduates angling for membership of a leadership caucus as basic as Student Union Government go to ridiculous lengths just for the concomitant peanut bragging rights. On one campus recently, polls were violently disrupted and after the authorities ordered a runoff, a loser female candidate using a hammer and chisel left an alumnus for dead at his home. Please stop asking me why: she suspected him of supporting the winner and therefore causing her loss!

It’s not for nothing that nature has perpetuated our grannies in power. For one, my generation is not ready; ditto the one ahead and the other behind. Everyone is still too busy focusing on self, on ethnicity, on religion, and such other nation-destroying nonsensical subheads. Our democracy remains forever nascent because the overdose of cronyism, nepotism and corruption we inject into it daily stunt growth -not enhance it.

But, we must not give up. We must start working for the future of our country and of our children and children’s children. We must discontinue the autopilot belief that our alarming negative input notwithstanding, the country would be on the roll when the time comes. We must start treating Nigeria with some godliness and patriotism so that our young people can in the process learn right. That is the one stone we need to kill the two birds that have been flying over our nation in perpetual mockery!

This is it: self and godlessness are the two birds that must die for Nigeria to be free. Both are responsible for the monumental past and present mistakes that caused and sustain our country’s perennial horrific drift and citizens’ morbid innate fear for each other. Let’s reach out beyond our ethnic, linguistic, political and religious boundaries to find and showcase models. This is the mission of this column today.

From interfacing with our youngsters in nearly two decades across my three mentoring platforms (Bush House Fan Club Int’l, League One30 and The 20 Questions Community), I know that their number one leadership challenge is the scarcity of political mentors. They are right and correct, because those we thought in (the run-up to) 2015 were the finest specimens have, three years down the line, failed the integrity test conclusively. No, this is not only about Abuja; this is also about most local government headquarters, state capitals as well as ministries, departments and agencies of government. But, are standards set by our youths too high or aren’t they looking hard and wide enough?

My answer to that double-barrelled poser is what I call twin affirmative. Yes, Nigerians always always raise the bar too high for compatriots and yes, we over-reduce both the bar and the search-jurisdiction for ourselves. Next week, I reject our insistence on angels and saints by proposing Senators David Mark, GCON and Ahmed Makarfi, CON as models of political mentors at whom the youths of Nigeria may wish to take a second critical look. God bless Nigeria!

The church and the times

This is a bad time to be a Christian or a minority in Nigeria. Too much senseless bloodshed in the land; greeted by too much inhuman helplessness by Abuja. Clearly, the situation is beyond be-careful.

The church has been understandably incensed. While nearly all major senior leaders have condemned the organised tragedy in the media or on their pulpit, most of their middle-class protégés have taken to the trenches leading public protestations. Variously, the Christian masses have been praying, etc.

What remains though, is corporate prayers. CAN, PFN et al should set aside a day and timeframe for the Nigerian Church nationwide to pray and fast together, quietly: 2 Chronicles 20. That’s the voice of the Lord!

 

2019: Time to change the preachment

With three weeks to the commencement of electioneering, we’re on the eve of the 2019 general elections. Yet, fixation persists on the Old Testament gospel, ‘go and register for your permanent voter card (pvc).’

No, now is time to engage gear three. The new narrative should be three-pronged: ‘collect your pvc, don’t sell or gift it and prepare to use it.’

Aspirants should be readying to deploy gear four to accelerate and gear five to speed off to victory during primaries and elections proper, respectively. Not too early to prepare the message for that time: ‘ensure you vote and that it counts!’

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Tokunbo David
Tokunbo David

Writer and editor.

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