With Great Power Comes Great Responsibilities…. Except Maybe In Nigeria

Written By Hassan Nurudeen

Anyone who has seen Spiderman ( I mean the Toby McGuire Spiderman) will remember that one thing that drove him through the trilogy was probably his uncle’s last conversation with him. The statement was ‘With great power comes great responsibilities.’ Even though Ben didn’t know Peter had gotten a new found power, he told him that still…. and Peter used all his power to make sure that the people of Queens and, by extension, New York city would always be safe with him around because his powers had made them his responsibilities. 

Now that was a fictional character. In real life, the statement still works in whatever we do as humans. The more power we get, the more responsibilities that come with it, and it is no wonder some people reject some positions because they feel they cannot handle the responsibilities that come with them. 

In the case of Nigeria however, the opposite seems to be the case. A few months ago, Vice President Osibanjo was giving a speech and in his speech, he challenged youths to be problem solvers for Nigeria, especially during this pandemic. Ordinarily, the statement wasn’t a harmful one except for the fact that it was coming from the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The same man that was on the same ticket as President Mohammadu Buhari, who was voted in to solve Nigeria’s problem now pushing the responsibilities to the younger generation. 

As that was not enough, a few weeks later, I woke up to the news that Osibanjo again was saying that government agencies should stop extorting Nigerians and Nigerian businesses. I thought to myself, “If only Vice President Osibanjo were in power, he probably would have done something about this unnecessary taxes and extortion shaaa…… oh wait! He is the vice president of the country. 

So why was he pontificating like he is not part of this government that is extorting the people and businesses of Nigeria? Why is he acting as he belongs to the opposition party? 

This is because the administration of President Buhari has learned the act and art of deflecting responsibilities while enjoying all the perks and glitz that come with power. They have decided that blaming others for the woes of Nigeria, which their policies have brought about, will be the best. When asked what they are doing about things, they reply that ‘Change starts with us’ whereas the power to initiate the change and accelerate it lies with them but its too much hard work, so they would rather leave us to it. 

When the present administration took over power in 2015, they spent the whole year to actively blaming the administration before them (they still do today, only that Nigerians are not even buying that anymore). As commodities got expensive and the country moved into recession, they intensified their vilification of the administration before them while doing nothing about the matters at hand. 

Today, Nigeria is the poverty capital of the world; SARs officers are killing our youths in the southern part of the country; asides from Boko Haram that the country is fighting, bandits are

springing up in states across the federation, especially in the northern parts, Southern Kaduna is experiencing a massacre, there is inflation in the country, our purchasing power has probably reduced by half in the few years they are in power, there is widespread corruption in every sector of the societal fabric from the Nigerian army to the Niger-Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to the National Commission for Disease Control (NCDC) to the Civil Service and virtually every ministry. Yet this administration has blamed everybody from the People’s Democratic Party, to Libyan Mercenaries to even Nigerians for the woes and incompetence of the Buhari administration. 

The reason for all these isn’t far-fetched, we are somehow being socialized to separate power from responsibilities by this administration. They want to fly the best planes, but when you ask them to come and account for it, it becomes a problem; they fly around the world for medical tourism and have refused to pay Nigerian doctors what they are worth, rather they will use the Hippocrates oath to gaslight these doctors into working for months unending without pay. When we say they should reform the Police for killing our young ones, they look away and now most people have to run to Segalink whenever they come in contact with the police. This is to show you that Segalink, who is a private citizen, does more than a government official who is paid to carry out reforms. 

NGOs and Civil Society Organisations are probably another set of people the government has deflected their responsibilities to. The various Internally Displaced People (IDPs) camps across the country are still functioning well, mainly because of the NGOs involved. 

All in all, we need to start asking the government to do the work it was voted in to do. If President Muhammadu Buhari cannot solve the Nigerian problem, then he should resign and go home, If Vice President Osibanjo has to challenge young Nigerians that are already dealing with life to come and solve the Nigerian problem, then he probably should not be the Vice President of Nigeria, he should leave the post, so others that can think and solve those problems come into power if an entire administration with all the power believes that ‘Change starts with me’ and not those in government, then I think they should all be sacked. 

Why? Because they have been handed power and authority and what comes with the power is the ability to solve the people’s problems. The day they were sworn in, the people and the people’s problem became their responsibilities and if they are asking the people that handed over power to them to solve their problems, they might as well return the power to the people so the people can find a better fit. 

If Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, can understand that ‘With great powers comes great responsibilities’, then why should it be difficult for the Vice President of Nigeria, who is a Professor of Law, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and the former Attorney General of Lagos state to grasp?

This article is an Excerpt from the report ” A Nigeria For The Many And Not The Few”

About the Author

Nurudeen is a program officer with YouthHubAfrica. His hope to work with other Nigerians to avoid history that has kept Nigeria in the darkness. 

He tweets via @thehassanian

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