The purpose of this essay is to propose a list of things we Nigerians can do to avert frustration over our country's dismal economy and prevent unhappiness from spilling into long-term suffering and possible violence. No one is going to argue with the contention that Nigeria is now in an uncomfortable crisis situation. Buhari accuses his people of lacking discipline and orderliness. His people respond with accusations against Buhari for being militaristic in his governance and insensitive on one hand, and on the other hand, prejudiced against Southern states. Some accuse him of hoarding public funds while workers go hungry and unpaid for months.
The Buhari administration seems to be frustrated over the people's unwillingness to wait for change to slowly occur. Nigerians appear to be tired of waiting when rumors spread round about oil money in amount of billions of dollars floating around the globe. Nigerians appear to be crying out in pain, hunger, and frustration that Nigerian Government is interfering with their chances to feed their families. Someone once said that a hungry man is an an angry man. Some Nigerians feel the Buhari administration Is less interested in citizens' affairs than in maintaining the status quo in the attempt to uphold control and prevent anarchy defined as lawlessness, chaos, revolution, mayhem, or rebellion. Nigerians are too intelligent to let their nation disintegrate into another Biafra. A few suggestions follow.
De-emphasize control: Since Nigeria is now a democratic nation rather than under military rule, it makes sense to de-emphasize totalitarian approaches to solving issues that concern our people.
Emphasize development: Pour resources into infrastructure, building roads, bridges, bypasses, and other structures. Employ college graduates and skilled workers en masse to assist in building the nation, and offer a sense of being a part of the solution.
Find out what the complaints are all about: My people are complaining about no circulation of money while their government turns ears that are stone deaf. Things have to give, and there ought to be a meeting of the minds. Listening to Nigerians may be an option Buhari may consider doing in order to avert raw human frustration spilling into unnecessary killings and bloodshed.
Reduce the enmity between leadership and citizenry: Show that the Govt is in tune with Nigerians and concerned about the people's plight . Nigerians are crying out in pain, hunger, and frustration that Nigerian Government is less concerned with their needs but more concerned with maintaining order for politicians to continue looting. It appears there should be a balance between order and needs. You cannot maintain order in a vacuum.
Listen to the People sometimes to find out what they need. Some of their needs are legitimate and ought to be redressed as a matter of decency, particularly those that concern (I ) absence of good roads connecting cities and villages; (2) inadequate generation of electric power/ light most of the day and night; (3) impure water supply that causes dysentery and other gastrointestinal problems; (4) inadequate healthcare services for adults and children, leading to expensive medical treatments for a few ; and (5) high unemployment rates of the youth; (6) the public perception that politicians are there to enrich themselves at the expense of the people they represent.
Reduce the perception of Strong and Brutal Government . Nigerian Government ought to be concerned with social services. The ultimate aim of our government is to empower women and children and give men reason to be proud to be Nigerians; to rehabilitate infrastructure that would yield a semblance of democracy with all the positive feelings that go with it. We should get out of the posture that a government must kill, maim, and imprison at the drop of a hat.
We should try the egalitarian, noblesse oblige side of ruling that maintains a friendly, open, transparent social order. Buhari should tone down his readiness to pounce down on people suspected of being unruly and disobedient in order to maintain law and order. Democracy does not mean we can always be in one accord. Democratic behavior may include allowance for disagreements, strong opposition, or uprising. Disagreements and diversity can be strengthening rather than weakening if we have the right attitudes.
However, we ought to tolerant of others' views. We should not be always be ready to quell every protest with a drastic or sadistic response that involves a SAS (shoot at sight) order. An exception is where the insurgency relates to murder or the taking of innocent lives or destruction of property as the case may be with Boko haram, or other violent groups.
Delegate Power to the People at the lowest unit of government: Some of what our people need can be met at the local level. Encourage governors, chiefs, local councils and community heads to put heads together to solve some of the mundane problems, such as inadequate food poor sanitation, or impure water supply.
Develop high tolerance for demonstrations and disagreements. Nigeria is a democracy. Nigerians ought to be able to demonstrate short of violence. Nigerians ought to have the freedom to come together in peaceful assemblies with rights to petition their government to address certain pressing issues. Stop labeling every assembly or demonstration as treasonable felony. Stop seeing the gathering or two or more people as a plot to topple the government
Teach the Nigerian Constitution and grant freedom of expression and assembly. Translate the Nigerian Constitution into every Nigerian language and distribute copies to reach every household, adult and children over age 18. Nigerians ought to know what their Constitution says about their duties, obligations, and rights. Enforce the laws fairly and equitably. Non-violent law breakers should be required to do community service, assisting in building the communication, road, transportation network .