As Nigeria prepares for the 2023 general elections, a Human Right Lawyer, Mr. Dele Farotimi, yesterday, called on Nigerians to hold their rulers accountable and demand answers to issues plaguing the nation from them.
Farotimi, who was a guest on The Morning Show on Arise News Channel, made the call while speaking on the backdrop of series of meetings that some sitting governors, politicians and other Nigerian leaders had in London last week.
He expressed concern that leaders are riding roughshod on their followers who have not been able to connect the cause and effects of the issues at hand in order to hold their rulers accountable.
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He said: “I believe we are the only oil producing country in the world that is going through the current economic hardship we are experiencing in Nigeria, and this is not by accident.
“The people themselves have not managed to connect the issue to the point where they now begin to demand answers. Sri Lankans don’t have two heads, but they understand the issue. They are connected to the issues plaguing them and they have sought to find solutions to their problems by holding their rulers accountable.
“The elections are coming, but if the Nigerian people will take the time to look at what ails them, and objectively look to those who may resolve their problems, then perhaps these issues will become a little less disconnected.
“But as long as the Nigerian people continue to wait for those afflicting them to be the ones to resolve their problems, we will continue on this long journey to nowhere.”
Farotimi regretted that our leaders have destroyed practically everything that used to be good about Nigeria by having their doctors and children’s schools abroad, adding that they have turned the country practically unbearable and unlivable.
“Some of them see their dentists abroad, so there shouldn’t be any surprise in having them junket outside Nigeria every time seeking solutions to Nigerian problems,” he said.
The lawyer expressed concern about the prolonged ASSU strike, challenges in the aviation sector and other issues plaguing the country and said that it has never really mattered to those who claim to be our leaders.
He noted that the time has come for Nigerians to look beyond the words and focus on the actions of their leaders.
Farotimi said: “The actions of those who purport to rule Nigeria does not suggest at any point that their interests coincide with those of the people they claim to rule or to lead. It is always about their unenlightened selfish interests.
“All you need to do at any point is look at those things that Nigerians considered important such as security, food security, affordability of food and all those things that makes life tolerable and livable.
“They have become completely absent in the Nigerian space, but this does not appear to occupy the attention of our rulers. What you find is that they are busy junketing all over the place, consulting, and horse trading simply because of power, not necessarily because of any altruistic reasons.”
He asked why politicians would go abroad just to resolve a problem that is local.
“And these consultations, who are they consulting? They’re consulting themselves. They are not consulting the Nigerian people. So if you are not consulting the Nigerian people and you are looking to resolve Nigerian problems, I wonder exactly, who you are consulting.
“So, first of all, trip these lies away and focus on the truth. These junkets have nothing to do with the Nigerian people. It is essentially about their own unenlightened selfish interest, and they can dress it in any gap that they care to.
“It is up to us not to buy these lies and to focus on the evidence of our own senses, which should suggest to us by now that our interests simply do not matter,” Farotimi said.