Photocracy–Governance By Photographs In Nigeria

Posted: February 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

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By Prince Charles Dickson

Ronald Reagan once said “Government is like a baby, an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other end”. And I add a big head that thinks it knows it all and then treat us all like the anus that brings nothing but…forgetting that a closed anus is recipe for disaster.

Photocracy–It is a style of government in which people who should be leading and governing are engaged in all manner of phototricks, some say ‘photo-shoped’, like Tinubu in that democratic convention in United States, Suntai and we know the rest, Chime too and some three wise men. 

In ‘photocracy’, it is not restricted to governance by photographs, it includes by telephone calls, by cabal, by cabinet and governance from anywhere. You can add leadership by total disappearance too or by lies, like Dame…hospital can turn vacation. 

In Nigerian-styled way of doing things, photocracy is also a situation when you see pictures of tarred road, hospitals, sports complex, schools and more on the pages of newspapers, online media, and on tv stations, yet nothing of such exists.

In photocracy, our leaders see beautiful photos of those places they visit abroad, yet their blurred memory cannot replicate such. 

Join me, as we take an admonition on a little aspect of this solely Nigerian phenomenon. 

It is 2013, and 2012 is far gone and for many 2009 seems like ages already; I call it the ‘photocratic’ year with its drama. It was the year of the cabal, those who ruled from Saudi, the Turai era, the enough is enough rallies, and early morning of the Save Nigeria Group…

Then I stated I felt sorry for Nigeria but truth is that, it is a waste of empathy…because despite all the best of efforts, we have made out a custom of taking few light steps forward and several giant leaps backwards. It’s still the same today.

Then, late Yar’Adua was gone for over two months before BBC came with that 59seconds drama, with love from Jeddeh. 

Infact a friend swore then it was the work of a master ventriloquist. I recall then in the light of the problems besieging the nation, the president that BBC spoke to, left all the important issues facing the nation, he was silent on muttalab, left the saga behind his budget signing and was addressing a ‘no-longer super eagles’ wishing them luck and sadly they lost.

It was in the middle of protests to force him to hand over power to his deputy, and his voice surfaced in far away United Kingdom telling super eagles to go ahead.

We forget so soon, learn slowly…then we were told by the then reigning Mr. Fix It (Aondoakaa) that the man can govern from anywhere, Labaran Maku said same of Jonathan early last year too…

An entire National Assembly, Ministers, Governors, kitchen and toilet cabinets and no one then could tell Nigerians the truth…infact 99.99 percent of that group did not even know the truth, so how do you give what you do not have?

Reason continues to clash with interest and we are tied with the rope of those that do not believe in the constitution, those whose rule of law is greed, primitive accumulation of wealth and reckless display of such, a group that has elevated madness to a habit and stupidity a culture.

No one takes into cognizance how much we keep loosing as a nation to this governance system called ‘photocracy’–a government by photo, telephony and disappearance laced with all sorts of ‘phototricks’.

To keep sanity and balance, a level of self-denial is needed as one watch Taraba leaders visit Suntai, make telephone calls, and snap photos. A government delegation that visited simply muted, except for some Suswam song from Benue.  

To understand photocracy you need to recall a certain Mallam Tanimu Yakubu lied to an entire nation that then President late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua called key government officials, including then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan, on phone and spoke for five minutes each. 

Same way Chime of Enugu is calling a few and posing for a few on camera…and each week, someone tells us, he is coming back next week and in ten days.

Some mulls just jet in and out to everywhere and anywhere and tell us they just came in from one investment tour or visit. We talk of health tourism; nobody has told us how much the absence of key government officials is costing Nigerians. Who pays the travels, estacode, medical bills, girlfriend/concubine allowances and the cost of all the lies?

On numerous occasions I have stated that government people have the fundamental human right to be sick, they are human, but the fact remains that their health cannot be placed above the well being of hundreds of thousands and millions in cases.

Let me be naive, who is and why are we afraid to do the right thing, why are we always looking for other countries approval, and acceptance, why are we a timid people, why are we never doing the right thing.

What in this whole episode called Nigeria is political correctness? Every issue that is raised in respect to moving our nation forward is narrowed down to north-south, Christian-Muslim, however when our leaders steal, it has no coloration. My take is that the leaders of the country are only united in looting the state treasury. And then we fight across our naive idiosyncrasies, while they watch us.

It’s our failure at home that has made U.S, Europe, parts of Asia and Africa so relevant to us. We have to send our children there because the universities at home have failed. We have to look for jobs there because there are none at home. Some people even feel inferior to them and will rather live abroad at all cost- in their minds, by doing so, they’ve become superior human beings. All photo-tricks…

A great nation with wonderful people, some of the best brains in various spheres of life, yet governed by a few bunch of criminals, a nation where election posters appear from a skyless night and yet to be circulated currency vamoose. We keep keeping on and hoping against hope, only time will tell. 

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