Don’t Dare Elect Idiots, Comedians, and Showmen Again. Lessons of COVID-19 
Please don’t read this post if you are not a reasonable person. Ignore it. Don’t comment on this post if you don’t understand what I am talking about.
This decade, as I have repeatedly said in previous posts, is going to be very volatile, uncertain, unpredictable, very dynamic, constantly changing, advancing, and challenging.
Ugandan President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, warned his people against misbehaving during the COVID-19 period, and I quote “God has a lot of work; He has the whole world to look after. He cannot just be here in Uganda looking after idiots”.
Lesson 1 – A Dynamic Decade.
Lesson 2 – The Death of Abba Kyari—Nigerians Hardly Learn.
Lesson 3 – Captain Tom Moore—The Elasticity Of Humanity.
Lesson 4 – The Nigerian Army, Police Force, And Citizenry.
The challenges of the next decade would require leadership who are informed, articulate, and futuristic in their thoughts and actions at all levels.
Let me quickly turn your mind to all the regional and tribal leaders who have been making noise for the past years in Nigeria. Have you heard anything from the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria for a while? This bunch of ignorant and terrorist cattle breeders were virtually an authority on their own. They dared regional governments. They threatened governors and tribes, and the federal government and some governors behaved like mute dogs. The military and all security agencies seemed helpless. But what has MACBAN contributed to alleviate the threat of the coronavirus pandemic in the north, not to talk of the whole Nigeria that consumes their product, beef. If you don’t know, animal husbandry is about 5% of the GDP of Nigeria.
We have not heard anything from the Northern Elders Forum who were talking as if they had the interests of the common Northerners at heart. I have not heard anything from the Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, during this pandemic. They have not even wondered about the whereabouts of the Vice President, Yemi Osinbanjo. The Pan-Ibo group, Ohaneze Ndi Igbo, and many Igbo politicians have been so silent, even with the disproportionate killings and brutality netted to Ibo citizens during the lockdown.
There has been so much noise about the leadership tussle in the Urhobo Progress Union (UPU), one of the oldest socio-cultural organisations in Africa. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, I have not seen or heard anything from the leadership of the UPU. I’m not talking about distribution of food. Even if it is paid enlightenment jingles on Radio or TV, or coordination and collaboration with our politicians and elites, it would have gone a long way. I have not seen any of such.
I must state firmly that if the coronavirus had started with the poor in rural areas and in the slums, the political elite and the rich would have all left the country by now. They would have taken their families and left the poor alone.
Don’t be distracted by all these food items that politicians are distributing with video cameras, and crowds milling around them. If they were really reasonable, organised, and really care about the spread of the virus, they won’t have such crowds hustling for food.
The poor organisational abilities of our leaders and their hangers-on became more obvious this period.
Even to organise the markets, so that people can buy and sell safely, many local government chair persons were very incompetent, and some were issuing tickets to poor traders.
I’m usually amused at the way people can easily be deceived in Nigeria. Politicians are giving back to you your own money that they got an unfair share of, or stole. Dare ask your state governor how much he gets for security votes. I mean, monthly, some get up to 1 billion Naira which is unaccounted for. You don’t know how much was budgeted for those palliative materials they send to you. The poorest always pay the highest price in every crisis situation.
Ghana did more tests than Nigeria; they sanitized their streets. They even used drones in their efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus. They had military buses parked at the airport to carry anybody returning from other countries to beautiful hotels for isolation. Ghana was ahead of the virus. They are already opening up their country. That’s intelligent leadership.
Donald Trump disbanded a technical team set up by Barack Obama to handle a probable pandemic. He downplayed the threat of the virus in the beginning, and said it will soon be over. He was in denial and denied every statement he made previously. He was in disagreement with Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Birx. He wanted people to take hydroxychloroquine without clinical trials. He kept on pushing it even against medical advice. He told the citizenry that they had nothing to lose any way. However, a paper released when I was writing this post revealed that there were more deaths with patients who took hydroxychloroquine.
Donald Trump wanted to have a grand opening of the nation for Easter celebrations; he was playing to the gallery for gullible evangelical Christians. Church folks are very gullible all over the world, like most religious folks.
He eventually did not get his apocalyptic desire granted. He recently called for protesters to liberate themselves from the lockdown in some states controlled by Democrats, and his supporters came out into the streets to protest, ignoring social distancing regulations; several of them were without facemasks. When he needed another distraction, he suspended funding to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Can you imagine that in the midst of a global pandemic? China quickly took over the role of the USA in the funding of the WHO.
Today, he made an executive order suspending immigration to the U.S. in order to protect American jobs. Who is travelling now in this pandemic? Which jobs are you protecting with this level of unemployment in the US. The unemployment rate jumped above 4% in March, the highest it has been since August 2017. How many immigrants come to the US annually? And what jobs do they come for? How many Americans are ready to take the jobs that immigrants do?
Trump turned each COVID-19 briefing to a re-election campaign. The daily press briefings were very comical and rude to journalists, who dared ask questions that didn’t stroke his ego. Trump was comical. Some news networks had to stop airing his daily briefings live to prevent misinformation and to fact-check it.
Barack Obama once said, “The office does not define a man, but the man defines the office“.
God saved Boris Johnson from the grips of the touch-and-follow virus. He took things for granted initially; he was shaking hands with people in hospitals with coronavirus patients. He missed several Cabinet Office Briefing Rooms (Cobra) meetings where strategic decisions are taken. He failed to act swiftly and effectively. He nearly paid with his life. Remember, he was the bicycle riding mayor of London. Remember his drama during the London Olympics.
The next decade requires articulate and proactive leaders, not idiots, showmen, or comedians, who think their positions are stages for theatrical events.
The president of Brazil has been at loggerheads with the opposition over his management of the coronavirus pandemic. He was last seen on CNN addressing a large rally while coughing without a facemask; he was even calling for military intervention. That’s just crazy. By the time the global oil market collapse adds to his careless management of the coronavirus pandemic, Brazil will be in grave danger.
Most times, I’m not too disturbed by the cry of the masses on some certain issues because like I said in a previous post, leadership failure and underdevelopment, most times, is a result of collective dispensational values of the citizenry. I just saw some supporters of Donald Trump very excited some few months back, when he was downplaying the threat of the coronavirus. My son said that, most probably, some of them would be among the more than 45,000 dead in the US by now.
In Iran, there was the picture of a politician coughing and sneezing, addressing a large gathering. A few days later, the death toll in Iran spiked dramatically; parliament was suspended and prayers suspended. Several lives were lost. We cannot afford religious bigots in leadership positions anymore.
In Nigeria, coronavirus has revealed the level of underdevelopment in our health sector and the level of poverty among our people. The federal government and several state governors were very slow to act; several of them just did a copy-and-paste management approach, without thinking of the consequences. Many of them sent confusing signals. There were situations where orders were given to open churches for Easter celebrations, and were rescinded within a few hours. Some governors hardly gave press briefings daily. They reacted very sluggishly to the cries of the people. As at today we have hardly heard from our president or vice president in this war situation. There is no proactive discussion on the post-COVID-19 era. If care is not taken, the idea of throwing money at every problem will fail us.
Nigerian politicians have surrounded themselves with hungry comical praise singers who can volunteer to defend the devil before God. Even the devil will be shocked that he had such disciples that can lie more than himself.
The issues ahead are not about north or south, Muslim or Christian. The issues are about life and death. Let’s pray that the death rate in Kano State and some northern states from COVID-19 do not turn out to be a national disaster. When decisive actions were to be taken, some fellows were playing the regional and political cards.
Time is an impartial judge.
The problem is that Nigerians hardly learn. For peanuts, they will still sell their futures and those of their grandchildren. The challenges ahead cannot be solved with bags of rice and beans or 20,000 Naira distributed in some states.
God Help Nigeria.
You can read the next lesson here: The Tragedy Of Life And Living.