Over the years, Nigerians have been subjected to all kinds of falsehood and deceptions from their leaders who supposedly had their best interests at heart. From fake campaign promises that never happened, to exploitation of our common trivialities for selfish gains, the populace now have every reason not to believe their leaders.
In recent history, President Muhammadu Buhari enjoyed unprecedented support from all sections of the nation during his 2015 presidential bid that saw him win the election against the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
His campaign was anchored on the promise to bring about change to the erstwhile dangerous way we were living as a nation.
Nigerians had high expectations that the Buhari administration would turn around the economy, create the much needed jobs, stabilize power supply, ensure security of lives and property and fight the deadly menace of corruption head on.
This was partly because he enjoyed the patronage of elder statesmen such as former president Olusegun Obasanjo, Dr Paul Unongo Wole Soyinka, the late Alex Ekwueme and a whole lot of others.
Looking at his antecedents and the weight behind him, Nigerians believed that Buhari was the Messiah they had long been waiting for.
However, the reality on ground points to the contrary.
The nation is currently experiencing one of the toughest times in its history with the cost of living reaching an all time high. Most families now consider a daily meal a rare luxury, while some are left with no choice but to withdraw their children and wards from schools.
While the scourge of Boko Haram has been reasonably subdued, the herdsmen menace that has claimed thousands of lives in just about the crudest ways and caused wanton destruction to property is considered just as worrisome.
Unemployment has taken a new form, reaching an alarming level with a continuous dip since inception of the administration.
The country is considered more polarized now than at any other given time, (worse than the months leading to the ugly civil war era), due largely to perceived discrimination and nepotism by the government.
The hopes of Nigerians have once again been terribly dashed as disillusionment seems to have taken deep roots in the hearts of the people.
And just when it seems all hope is lost, the Third Force as championed by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has surfaced, and like a wild fire, is making its way, cursing through all the nooks and crannies of the nation.
One question however remains pertinent. Is the Third Force, (Coalition for Nigerian Movement) the way forward or is it just another prank by the political gladiators who are holding the country hostage, to once again usurp power and allocate it to their cronies, while leaving the nation in its present atrocious state?
Is the Third Force the Messiah or the Judas to once again betray Nigerians with a kiss?
There is no doubt that the two leading political parties have failed Nigeria and Nigerians woefully in providing meaningful leadership and or robust opposition.
It is therefore imperative that a viable, non partisan, and patriotic Third force, peopled by persons who have national interest as their overriding concern, to serve as a check on the political system and give Nigerians a sense of direction and purpose.
A Third Force is needed from where, if need arises, competent and qualified candidates could be drawn and presented for elective positions with the assurance that selfish interests would never again rule over national interest.
However, the Third Force must determine to resist the temptation to sacrifice national cohesion on the alter of religious, tribal, soci-economic, regional, political and or other sectional bigotry.
Nigerians are trusting, even at the risk of becoming highly gullible and despite the wide spread apprehension, disillusion and anger, they are still desperate to follow any Star to National discovery and recovery. This much is clear.
It is therefore imperative that the proposed Coalition, when it takes on properly, remains resolutely focused as the consequences of any further betrayal could be catastrophic on the nation.
By Mr. Terver Jime, PhD student, Department of Mass Communication, Nassarawa State University, Lafia.