The former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and elder statesman, Chief Olabode George, has decried the current ugly state of the country, saying Nigeria is now at the crossroad and that it would take the grace of God to bring it back.
This is even as he criticised the purported presidential ambition of the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, describing it as “a silly and inordinate ambition”.
George, in a statement on “Nigerian Democracy at 20: Our Challenges, Our Ordeals,” said despite the fact that the nation has reached an epochal stage in its democratic development this month, with 20 years of successive, uninterrupted continuity and maturation, such achievement ought to have been celebrated if Nigerians were in normal times.
He said: “This, by any standard or any stretch of historical interpretation ought to be celebrated if we were in normal times.
But unfortunately, we are not in normal times. This is a period of ferment and tumult. Our nation is not at ease.
“I speak today devoid of partisan frame, stripped of political identification, removed from any ethnic prejudice. I speak today as a concerned Nigerian elder and patriot.
“We are all ill-defined, ill-shaped, broken into a thousand pieces. The democratic purity is dangerously distorted, bruised, disfigured, savaged, hurled to the brink of a ruinous precipice. Our once glorious and beautiful mosaic of cultural plurality and sectarian diversity are being mangled, forfeited on the altar of infantile partisan and parochial divisions.”
The PDP chieftain further lamented that “this nation is without ethical leadership, without honour, without credible vision, lacking in purposeful articulation”.
He said the scourge of nepotism, the poisonous bile of tribal triumphalism, the hate infested curse of provincial fixities were gaining grounds everywhere, defining the thematic aberrations of our times.
George also said: “Let us be truthful and frank: our nation is embattled, scourged and savaged by the virtual selfishness of our collective elites. We are all guilty for the present ravaged state of our troubled nation. The ogre created by the selfishness of the few has come to haunt us all.
“But beyond the harsh confines of ethnic divisions, beyond the savageries of partisan furore, we are yet confronted by the murderous furies of bandits and faceless herdsmen who continuously subject every inch of this nation to a vast killing fields where none can claim a refuge of undisturbed safety and guaranteed protective cordon.
“Now, both the rich and the poor are easy targets. The dividing lines are now blurred, indistinguishable, flung upon the whims and the reckless inflictions of murderous bandits who negotiate with no one except when the price is right.
“Alas! We are now in a conundrum. Our nation is affrighted, thrown upon a suspended animation. We are hindered and halted in a cul de sac. Nothing seems bright and sunny anymore.
“But there must be a better way. We must return to the path of fairness and enlightened equity. We must return to the path of balanced ingredients of democratic purity where the logical essence of checks and balances prevail among the tripodal branches of the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. Justice must prevail over partiality, inequity and unfairness.
“The enlightened society can only be established when everyone, regardless of tribe and tongue, is treated fairly in the Nigerian commonwealth.”
However, he faulted the presidential ambition of Tinubu, saying that should not have been made an issue even before President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in for a second term.
George stated: “I am shocked by his ambition. It is a silly and inordinate ambition such as this that is driving our people into the gutters. He is ignorantly arrogant. We should pray for such characters.”
He wondered why Tinubu should be talking about 2023 presidency now even when only God determines who would be alive by then, adding that what the APC leader should be thinking about now is the legacy he would be remembered for and not a presidency that is beyond his control.