Nigeria, as in other lands

The outcome of the American midterm election released to the world within hours after the end of voting was more enlightenment to Nigeria on how to be civilised and honorable.

Duro Onabule

Two incidents of kidnapping within a week and the victims were pupils in two different schools in Cameroon, one of Nigeria’s closest neighbors. Seven hostages were taken away in the first incident and 79 hostages temporarily lost their freedom in the second incident. The only consolation was that the entire 86 hostages were all released. Yet, these incidents remain the first alarm of the spread of kidnapping school pupils as a weapon in pursuit of the causes of the culprits.

READ ALSO: Three in police net for kidnapping

Cameroon as the latest country experiencing kidnapping of school pupils might not be a surprise. All along, this neighboring country had had to cope with occasional intrusion of Nigeria’s Boko Haram insurgents either being pursued by Nigerian security or in a curious attempt to create cells on the Cameroon border with Nigeria. Whichever was the case, Boko Haram’s kidnap tactics, despite being criminal in nature, were not lost on our Cameroon neighbors. With religious supremacy as the undisguised aim of Boko Haram with bombings and guns as main weapons, it was not clear what might be the goal of the kidnappers in Cameroon.

However, whilst there has never been any doubt as Boko Haram never disguised themselves as religious fundamentalists of the most callous and terrifying order, there is a raging controversy on the true identity and aim of the kidnappers in Cameroon. The government on one hand accused the secessionists on English-speaking south of resorting to kidnapping in their bid to break from the country while the separatists, counter-accused the government of blackmail of attempting to discredit the legitimate cause of the separatists. The ruling class all over Africa detest secession like poison.

Whichever side is responsible for kidnapping the school pupils in Cameroon, the major relief was that
all the innocent hostages in the two incidents were not only all released on either occasion within days but were all also unharmed throughout. In Nigeria, Boko Haram on the other hand are still holding up to half of hundreds of the hostages after more than three years while even those released had tales of woes to narrate.

Everyday, events occur in every part of the world for governments to tackle. But in Nigeria, emphasis is always, and mostly wrongly, on peculiarity or questions raised on motive or capability, all depending on bias. Some five years ago, when Boko Haram operated freely throughout north-east and federal capital, Abuja, the accusation was that Boko Haram was sponsored to discredit the Goodluck Jonathan administration despite the fact that the violent religious fundamentalists actually went wild under the preceding Umaru Yar’Adua administration. And of course, now that the Buhari administration is dealing with remnants of Boko Haram, reduced to that state from threat to the country’s existence, Buhari inherited in 2015, the accusation of incompetence is bandied about.

A good example is the latest American midterm elections which featured many of the controversial issues in current Nigerian politics. What with lazy, indolent political desperadoes demanding unnecessary pampering for social treatment in their aspiration to public office on no other ground than being young or of the female gender. Nowhere in the world should that be made state policy. Anyway, not with the numerous human rights in the Nigerian constitution, some of them barring discrimination on any ground which, for example, would be violated if any group was held down for another group to advance in whatever endeavor.

The outcome of the American midterm election released to the world within hours after the end of voting was more enlightenment to Nigeria on how to be civilised and honorable.

The first lesson Americans offered in their elections was in the change of leadership in the House
of Representatives where ruling Republican party lost its erstwhile majority to the opposition Democrats. The new House of Representatives will be inaugurated early 2019. Yet, immediately after the America midterm elections with each party’s membership strength clearly established, House Speaker Ryan Paul, a Republican, was the first without any prompting or controversy, to congratulate his potential successor as the new majority leader of the victorious Democrats, Nancy Pelosi. There was no fraud of the purported independence of members of the legislature to choose their leader contrary to worldwide convention of a majority party’s sole entitlement to that post of the presiding official. It is a matter of honour.

Last time, much was made of a deceased party man (being) appointed a member of a public board. Clearly, the man was selected while the list was being compiled but died before the list was released by Nigerian government. still, that confusion rendered Nigerian government to a mince meat for critics at home and abroad, especially in the media. As it turned out, the recent American elections clearly showed that such CONFUSION is not peculiar to Nigerian government. Anyway, those elected into the legislature in the state of Nevada was Dennis Hoff, a Republican. Mr.Hoff died as far back as October 16, and for unexplained reasons, still contested the elections and defeated his Democrat opponent, Lesia Romanov.

Any confusion by not substituting the deceased? When we were young, the explanation would be that “a mistake in Nigeria is a style in America.”

Did Nigerian women observe recent American elections? If they didn’t, then they have “missed” a real lesson. Following the emergence of candidate Donald Trump on American political scene and large scale expose of his relationship with numerous women as well as his completely uncomplimentary remarks about women after his election in 2016, American women, on their own and of every age, decided to shrug their limitation, and contempt by President Trump by embarking on class political/ election showdown. By the way, they were women from whatever political affiliations, and never demanded to be pampered. Neither did they whinge over their humiliation to demand a reserved percentage of seats in national and state legislatures.

American women emboldened themselves to challenge their male counterparts in both political parties for nomination to contest elections. The outcome far exceeded the expectations of the womenfolk in United States. More than 100 women won their seats to the House of Representatives and at least 20 of them are first timers. Would any American president or party leader have reserved that large number of seats for women to contest into the House of representatives? There is no such law for special treatment for women either in Nigeria or United States. For Nigerian women to continue nursing the illusion of special treatment is to sentence themselves to indefinite political recession.

Self-help may appear unfeasible for Nigerian women in politics. Such will be no more than self-depreciation. In pre-independence days, there was a country woman who dares to rob shoulders with the Nnamdi Azikiwes, the Tafawa Balewas, the Obafemi Awolowos and the Ahmadu Bellos. Nobody took Adunni Oluwole seriously when she formed Nigerian Liberal Party in time to contest the 1954 federal elections to House of Representatives in Lagos. To everybody’s astonishment, Adunni Oluwole’s Liberal Party won a seat to the House of Representatives with the candidacy of D. L. Olateju from some constituency in today’s Kwara State. Unfortunately, Adunni Oluwole died before Nigeria’s independence in 1960 and with her into her grave was the Liberal Party. Nigerian women can therefore learn from the precedent set by Adunni Oluwole or better still, from their American counterparts.

Equally, Nigerian youths must learn from their American counterparts. Notably, if President Buhari had vetoed the so-called Not-Too-Young to Contest Bill, he would have been easy target for all classes of critics. How many of the presumed potentials beneficiaries of the Not-Too-Young to Contest law made attempts to contest elections at the state houses of assembly? Their target, if the needs ever rises, is the presidency or governorship mansions in their respective states. These are fellows who don’t even know how local governments are run.

Again, when confronted with the humiliation of President trump, American youths fought back not by seeking election to White House in Washington. They were realistic enough to commence their political career at local councils, state legislatures or at the highest, house of representatives in Washington. No American youth contested for the Senate, let alone the White House office of the President or any governorship mansion. Among those elected was a 29-year old lady from New York now heading to the House of Representatives. On the other hand, if the Nigerian youth does not aim at State House of Assembly, his life ambition will be to become a P.A. (Personal Assistant) of whatever category. That is event of their lack of seriousness or ambition.

Before the recent elections in United States, President Trump’s Republican Party controlled majority in both Senate and House of Representatives. But after the elections, opposition Democratic party snatched majority in House of Representatives. against the background of the controversial behavior of president Trump since assuming office in 2016, the general expectation worldwide was that the democratic would embark on a polity of containing Trump. Instead, the potential Speaker of the new House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi of the Democratic Party, made it plain that their focus would be bipartisan agenda for the good of the entire nation.

Patriotism has no other name.

READ ALSO: USA and Midterm global reset

The post Nigeria, as in other lands appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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