By Emmanuel Ajibulu
There is no doubt absolutely that Nigeria is wonderfully endowed by God with human and other resources despite the fact that we have leaders who are wolves in human flesh. It does no credit either to us or the entire black race if we fail in managing our resources for quick improvement in the quality of life of our people.
Instead of progress and development, which we are entitled to expect from those who governed us, we experienced in the last decade and a half, persistent deterioration in the quality of our governance, leading to instability and the weakening of all public institutions. The citizens developed distrust in government, and because promises made for the improvement of the conditions of the people were not kept, all statements by government were painfully met with cynicism.
Worst still, government officials became progressively indifferent to propriety of conduct and showed little commitment to promoting the general welfare of the people and the public good. Records empirically showed that government at all levels and all its agencies became thoroughly corrupt and reckless. The impact of official corruption is so rampant and has earned Nigeria a very bad image at home and abroad. Besides, it has distorted and retrogressed development. Pathetically so, the tragedy of 13 years of Nigerian democracy is even more vexing when looked through Nigeria’s earning for this duration.
But it is quite instructive to emphasise that the purpose of any meaningful government is the welfare and security of the people. In our clime, neither welfare nor security of the lives and property of our people seem to matter anymore. Our malady is not new. History holds records of nations who were bled to death by their rulers and tells how such leaders were ultimately dealt with when the oppressed could no longer bear the heavy weight of their oppressive and insensitive leadership. We pray it wouldn’t get worse before the country witness the much needed turning point in our national affairs.
However, there seems to be an illumination of hope for our nation, Nigeria, inspite of long years of leadership deficit which pervades the land in the last three and half decades of our democracy. It would be far worthwhile if one can ponder on these mind-arresting and captivating quotes which emanated from a man who shares the view of a purposeful change in or body politic; “… I have chosen a different path in politics; that of service to the greatest number of people over and above self…I have a dream that one day, due to diligence and hard work leading to effective and potent representation, my Federal Constituency shall be a reference point in development in Nigeria…” These are the positions of an astute and vibrant Nigerian federal lawmaker, Hon. Bimbo Daramola representing Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1, and thankfully he is living his words. Here is a man who has shown sheer commitment, resilience, focus and interest to foster paradigm shift and good governance at the hallowed chamber of the Federal House of Representatives in the interest of his constituents and Nigerians at large. In any given democracy which Nigeria is not an alien, the legislature performs three functions: lawmaking, appropriation and oversight of the executive, interestingly Hon Bimbo Daramola has meritoriously proven his worth in these directions. His foot print in the last one year at the 7th assembly has remained positive reference in leaps and bounds.
Facts also revealed that Hon. Bimbo Daramola recognized that one of the challenges that must be addressed urgently in the health sector was the provision of infrastructure. He may not be able to fix the entire country’s health sector, but he has started well in his constituency through provision of 32-bed hospital (waiting for commissioning), well equipped with state of the art facilities among other things. Apart from this, several youths from his constituency have benefited from his various empowerment programmes, ranging from scholarships (to brilliant but indigent students), free health services to the less privileged and the senior citizens, monetary support for the needy to start small and medium scale enterprises, provision of generating sets to support business owners in the event of power outage, provision of grinding machines, motorcycles, tricycles to mention but a few. All these and many more were achieved within 12 months of his stay in office.
At the parliament, Hon Bimbo Daramola is consistently noticed for moving motions over matters that concern the wellbeing and interests of the downtrodden in the society and for the sustenance of democracy and rule of law. Of note was the motion he moved against the deployment of 3,500 soldiers to Edo State ‘to keep peace’ during the gubernatorial election which held on Saturday, July 14. Honourable Bimbo Daramola vehemently and openly condemned the decision of the federal government to deploy soldiers to Edo State, according to him, the constitution made it clear that soldiers could only be deployed to states where there are crisis. Besides, out of his fearless and dogged stance as a parliamentarian he expressed displeasure over failure of President Jonathan to sign into laws some pending bills which are of urgent national importance that are yet to be assented to. He further enumerated some of the bills that were passed by the sixth National Assembly which were not assented to by President Jonathan; some of them are National Assembly service Bill 2011; Harmonised retirement age of professors of tertiary institution bill. Others according to him were Institute of Certified of Capital registrars Bill 2011; Nigerian council of food science and technology bill, 2011; Personal Income tax bill, 2011; Discrimination against persons living with HIV and AIDS bill; National Biosafety management agency bill; National Agricultural seed control bill and National tobacco bill, to mention but few.
Each of us as patriotic Nigerians recognizes the importance of leadership when we vote for our political leaders. We realize that it matters who is in office, so we participate in a contest, an election, to choose the best candidate. Investors recognize the importance of business leadership when they say that a good leader can make a success of a weak business plan, but that a poor leader can ruin even the best plan.
Perhaps the question ‘‘who is the patriotic Nigerian’’ should be honestly asked? Is it the poorly paid primary school teacher who treks to school daily in a bid to impart knowledge, or the hungry policeman who stand guard over the house of a politician and watches the display of opulence, or the little kid who hawks to get money to pay his school fees and is daily harassed by local government officials to pay for daily tickets, ‘ticket money” which local government politician share among themselves. Is it the medical doctor in a government hospital that has to work with dilapidated and archaic equipment while politicians go abroad to meet their colleagues for treatment. Is it the fisherman in the Niger delta who wakes up one morning only to realize that oil pollution has destroyed his only source of livelihood? Is it the government official that refuses to take bribe and is prematurely retired from service and is derided by society for having wasted his years in service when his mates who took bribes are millionaires and have been bestowed with several national honours and chieftaincy titles? I leave these to Nigerians to provide honest answers.
Good leaders and of course patriotic Nigerians are meant to be open-minded, they would not claim to have all the answers. They seek the thoughts and views of others and support those ideas that are better than their own. Genuine leaders realize that other people have convictions just as they do. They are willing to hear all sides before guiding the group to decide which way seem best. Without mincing words or display of semantics, Hon Bimbo Daramola belongs to this class of leadership, he is absolutely irrepressible. This is mainly due to his absolute faith in the Almighty God and also as a consequence of his very deep religious convictions right from the cradle. He is indeed a man of faith and he can certainly hold his own and perhaps even outshine some of the brightest and best in the world’s political stage today. The new Nigeria will certainly need such men and we, as Nigerians, should be proud of having such class and quality within our ranks in the scheme of things. God bless Nigeria.