Nigerian destiny: In the hands of the people
By Promise Adiele
Is destiny real? Can it be changed? Call it fate or predestination – destiny bulks bigger in the heuristic realm where humanity feebly exudes confidence and power. Many people understand it as the inevitable outcome of human endeavour within the context of existential ordering. Man’s plurimental consciousness provides an escape when his self-absolutism collapses at the altar of his numerous foibles. Blame is never far away from failed destiny. When failure happens, we say destiny has failed. When life succeeds, we say destiny has succeeded. The argument becomes a witness. However, ascertaining a true destiny is difficult. In Sophocles’ King Oedipus, was it Jocasta’s destiny that her son would marry her and have four children with her? Could she have stopped the odious destiny? In Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, was Caesar’s destiny to be gruesomely murdered by the conspirators at the height of his political eminence? In Nigeria, was it Sanni Abacha’s destiny that he would die suddenly while at the pinnacle of his military splendour? Is it Nigeria’s destiny that they would be trammelled and plunged into abominable leadership in the guise of democracy championed by two identical political parties – APC and PDP? What constitutes destiny, and how can we determine it?
Let us, for the sake of clarity, admit that destiny is the future. If humanity can change the future, then humanity can change destiny too. This submission saves us from further academic elaboration. Nigerians can influence the future but whether the outcome of the influence will be positive or negative is a matter of infinite conjecture. Right now, they are at the cusp of influencing their destiny as people of one country. The 2023 general elections beckon. It is an opportunity for millions of people to take their destiny into their hands. The country is rumbling. There is palpable fear in the land as millions of people lumber in febrile anxiety. Hardship wets the ground, smouldered by inflation, fuel scarcity, high cost of living, insecurity, bloodbath in all the corners of the country, and sundry emasculating conditions.
There is no better way to say it – Nigerians are suffering like a people without a leader. Ordinarily, one would think that in a country where 133 million people wallow in abject penury, the masses will be jolted out of apparent lethargy and vehemently rise to reject the structures that have consigned them to untold anguish. But no. Some people want Nigeria to remain in the doldrums because they can only flourish under such an indeterminate, facile superstructure. Many Nigerians are stewing in their juice, grovelling in different agonizing shapes and sizes. These conditions are written all over their faces, yet they pretend all is well. The opportunity to change the Nigerian destiny is here with us, just next month, the magical month of February. The Nigerian condition requires genuine destiny changers to get their PVC and hold it dearly, close to their hearts. Will it count? Let the people do their part and leave the rest to divine powers. Remember, God rules absolutely in the affairs of men.
Instinctively, one would expect that Nigerians are sick and tired of the status quo and are desperately yearning for a change. If truth be told, many Nigerians are genuinely tired of the hellish experience under APC and should be ready for a new beginning. But unfortunately, quite confoundingly, some Nigerians are rooting for a continuation of the present nightmarish experience. They want the violating conditions on the land to continue. Such thinking or mindset questions the basis of our continual claim to sanity. Why would anybody wish suffering to continue in Nigeria, an obvious tragic destiny affirmed and acclaimed both locally and internationally? Is it that some people love suffering or they wouldn’t mind the rest of the people suffering as long as their bread is buttered? These questions constitute a big challenge to Nigeria’s destiny. Is it the destiny of Nigeria never to have responsible and responsive leadership? Does Nigeria have the destiny to always frolic in multiple socio-economic debasements due to inefficient leadership? Given the present conditions in our land, it appears that Nigeria is doomed for a tragic destiny, that is, if we appraise destiny as a reality of our historical evolution. Indeed, under intense conditions, the byways of the mind can hardly gravitate towards anything positive concerning Nigeria. But there is hope.
The understanding that humanity can change their destiny gives hope and elicits fanfare in the mind of a conscientious observer. Nigerians have the opportunity to change their tragic destiny and steer the wheel of ennui to revival. Of course, one will never be tired of ex-raying how APC and PDP have jointly committed Nigeria in the melancholic abyss of mindless dereliction. Don’t be deceived, these two political parties will continue to dance harmonious minuet for their gratification. They have, over the years, enshrined corrupt mutations as active ingredients in shaping the Nigerian ideology. Under APC and PDP, corruption has become part of the country’s national ethos. It will be a waste of time to chronicle all the indices of angst, despair, and misery which have become synonymous with the Nigerian entity. This destiny, these conditions which continually provide a destructive substratum in the country must be rejected and abolished. However, it is painful that the people who should ordinarily be at the vanguard of the destiny-changing procession are so hungry and impoverished that they have no choice but to flounder at the offer of pecuniary items by those who hate Nigeria.
Hate is a strong word, isn’t it? People who believe that hate is a strong word have woefully failed to provide a synonym which can, at the same time, adequately replace it in a sentence. Dislike? No, it does not quite capture the semantic penetration that ‘hate’ immediately achieves when it is used. So, I stick with hate. It is apparent that many Nigerians hate Nigeria. They do not wish the country well. That is why they will throw cautions to the dogs and thumb their chests while clamouring for a continuation of the current hellfire experience in the country under APC. The haters of Nigeria are many and everywhere. These people constitute the greatest hindrance of actualizing a positive destiny for Nigeria.
I saw an APC presidential poster adorned by the presidential candidate and his running-mate with the inscription “the team to reconnect Nigeria”. I had a good laugh. The post agrees that Nigeria is currently disconnected therefore needs to be connected. But intriguingly, the attentive mind wonders how part of a problem can provide the solution to the same problem. Nigerians cannot leave their destiny in the hands of those who vigorously dragged the country to ridicule. Certain demagogues have long converted the entire apparatus of governance in Lagos State and Borno State into private property. Nigeria must not be a victim. The Nigerian destiny is in the hands of Nigerians. If Nigerians choose to rump and revel in suffering, backwardness, and continual desert experience, posterity will judge the people. If they wish to change the tragic narrative and positively turn the destiny of the country around, it is all in their hands. Opportunity to change destiny beckons, February beckons.
Promise Adiele PhD teaches at mountainMountain Top University
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