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The Imperative Of Change And Naïve Realism

Posted: Mar 10, 2016 at 10:38 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Sam Kargbo

Many of us who are blinded by our presumed possession of an objective vision of the world around us tend to view anyone who disagrees with us as uninformed, irrational or biased. And in our effort to protect our parochial perspective, we war against others with all manner of weapons.

To put it in street parlance, it is naïve to think that we are mentally wired or genetically assembled in a way that allows us to perceive objects directly without any intervening process. Naïve realism argues that our thinking, perception, behaviour, choices, decisions and conclusions are affected by our mental biases, and therefore, inherently subjective. How true! Imagine the inanity of expecting a die-hard People’s Democratic Party (PDP)member to endorse President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war, or for any of the 55 people – including former Governors, Cabinet ministers, Government officials, bankers and businessmen – alleged to have stolen$9billion from the nation’s treasury between 2006 and 2013 to see any good in their arrests and prosecution.

This is why I had held back the urge to join the debate on the scandalous, record-breaking Dasukigate. It is foolhardy to expect such a debate toalter the clingy minds of those who have difficulty perceiving corruption as a virus threatening the life of the country; which explains why both sides of the divide fail to have a meeting point, talking past each other, on the issue. I have watched with amazement how lawyers, who hold Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as their hero and still have PDP alive in their souls, pontificate, cleverly sidestepping the legal issues in the Dasukigate. They indulge in the polemical rhetoric that the exercise is a façade for witch-hunting and persecution of Buhari’s perceived enemies, particularly PDP members.

The fact that as President and donee of the executive powers of the Federation, Jonathan was constitutionally obligated to execute and maintain the Constitution, laws made by the National Assembly and all matters with respect to which the National Assembly had power to make laws does not matter to them, and should not be a hanger on which to judge Jonathan on the issue of the diversion of the $2.1billion meant to buy weapons to fight Boko Haram.

These people who see only ugliness in everything that Mr. President does would want him to extend his fight from the federal structures to the tuffs of the state Governors. They do not consider it their civic duty to urge their Governors to fight corruption and bring to book corrupt politicians who have ravaged their states; or view the encouraging precedent set by Mr. President at the centre as an impetus for them to put pressure on their state executives to prosecute those people flaunting ill-gotten wealth stolen from their respective states.

Those hiding their conniving minds behind such fallacious arguments that Buhari is spending all the energy and will of the Government on what they consider an illusive war against corruption must be toldthat the running of the Ministries, Departments and Agencies of the Federation is in no way hampered by the anti-corruption crusade. The well-chosen men and women manning those offices are effecting change in them; those who are productive – and have business with them –canattest to this. Besides the war against Boko Haram which was undermined by a rogue PDP government, what is limiting the capacity of the organs of Government in this dire time is lack of funds.

Those who believe that the All Progressives Congress(APC) wrestled power from the corrupt, inept PDP though well-orchestrated propaganda – and therefore believe that it is a tool that can tilt the groundswell of grassroots support for CHANGE –must realize that the citizenry,the electorate, know better. The people can now relate to how corruption has denied them healthcare, good schools, good infrastructure, electricity, employment and a secure, crime-free environment.
Therefore, even if “Change” is unfolding slowly, the economy is biting harder and the naira is slumping, the people know where the blame lies; they are not fooled, and will never be fooled again. They have since taken their destiny in their hands; the change they effected at the last polls is not fanciful, cosmetic or transient. It is a definite departure from the past, a decided walk to the country of their dreams. Their assessment of the APC and their decision to continue with it beyond 2019 – or not – will certainly not depend on PDP’s propaganda, but on a reasoned comparison between PDP’s 16 years and APC’s four years.

Kargbo, a Public Commentator, writes from Lagos