Getting different results in 2021
The year 2020 was unarguably a tough one for Nigeria and Africa. To get different results in 2021, we would need to do many things differently. Here are a few adjustments that would make the critical difference:
Less repression: Governments would have to be less repressive. There must be greater commitment to genuine democratisation and the entrenching of real freedom and the rule of law. These are time-tested fuels for engendering progress and prosperity. They do not fail. In a practical sense here, there are countries like Nigeria that need brand new constitutions. They should embrace this reality and begin to smoothen the path to their future.
More openness, collaboration and cooperation: This is most important. The penchant to see the people as outsiders that can just be imposed upon has a concomitant drawback of alienating them. Alienated people do not willfully support or go out of their way to promote the system. Governments must invest in openness and cooperate and collaborate with their people and other governments in a win-win mode. It is not enough to win elections of dubious consequence. Governance is a trust. Leaders must truly be leaders and not rulers. They must take instructions from, listen to and carry their people along.
Embracing reform and restructuring: The fact that the car is still managing to remain on the road does not indicate that it is really in shape. It’s continued motion could be attributable to being on a sloppy road or the leftovers of the force of velocity that was at play before that exact moment of crisis that is being glossed over. More so at a time like this when the business, health and climate systems of the world are being reset, wisdom says to reform and restructure. African rulers should no longer keep on swimming against the tide. If its not working, it has to be fixed.
Take off the limits: Many African rulers use glib expressions like ‘we must maintain our territorial integrity.’ No one says do not, but which territory are we talking about? Is it in the right form and fit? Are there necessary adjustments that will make it more nimble and productive. Take off the limits; be creative and pragmatic.
Nigeria’s EndSARS protesters in a candle-light vigil in 2020