Social development in Africa, particular Nigeria has been operationally defined to meet the demand of the impulsive nature of the populace by the fortunate elite. Social development simply means evident and observable growth in the society. That is, development at different sphere of citizen’s social life – infrastructural, economic, political advancement and what have you. Social development is a process of improving the well-being of every individual in a society so they can reach their full potential because the success of any society can never be detached from the well-being of each and every citizen. The standard of living of any society is a measurement of its social development. Social development can only be explained in this context which is, investing in people. It requires the removal of barriers so that all citizens can journey toward their dreams with confidence and dignity. It is about refusing to accept that people who live in poverty will always be poor. It is about helping people so they can move forward on their path to self-sufficiency.
We keep talking about Nigeria prowess of both human and natural endowments, which has been turned to be a curse to average Nigerians. Poor leadership may have been identified as the root cause but citizens’ expectations from their elite can also be added to it. Our society of today has been monopolized or hijacked by the political gladiators just to subdue the commoners. Nigerians desire essential things of life like security, portable water, good electricity, viable economy, egalitarian society, qualitative education and many more but the powerful have made this demand a reach out of this world, this necessity is being substitute by temporary gesture. The elite have tried to hypnotize the people with frivolous things; they substitute real development by making citizen see development in another perspective.
Nigeria has 36 states with similar trend of development. Nigeria states have almost the same measure of development just because the umpires saddle with the responsibility of taking vital decisions to shape citizens life have subscribed to same philosophy and this so-called leaders have created their own customized concept of development. Let me start by shedding more light into what i mean by this customized concept of development. Virtual every state in Nigeria including federal government sponsors people for pilgrimage every year (or you think it has stopped?) and this gesture is always pointed to by government as an achievement, and I begin to wonder if this is actually part of the solution to the development crisis we suffer as a country? Definitely no! Let’s imagine a citizen struggling to feed two children with their mother being sent to Mecca or even Israel for holy pilgrimage, what significant effect will the title JP or even Alhaji or Alhaja have on their well-being? Another definition of their own social development is the upgrading of traditional rulers, which literally is not bad, but how will this affect a parent in a community that can’t afford qualitative education for his children even though we hardly see one this days. It is unfortunate that the political elite have impoverished the mental disposition of their people, so the people now see spade as an agricultural implement and not a weapon of war. Sometime last year a top political official had a wedding for his daughter and people who ordinary cannot afford three square meal were given free aso ebi just to make them look like they have a sense of belonging, but we all know it is another tactic to continue to enslave people’s consciousness, what a pity! The aso ebi crooners were prevented from entering the main venue of the wedding and unfortunately for them, they were left in the sun and inevitably dehydrated. However, the question I continue to ask myself is, when will my people free themselves from 21st century slavery? Only God knows.
Many scholars have discussed the imperative role of political elite in nation building, how crucial their action can be to the existence of the citizenry. It’s not a matter of exaggerating if they are described in this context as decision makers whose actions can shape the look of their society, in other words the development of a community depends on their antecedents. With the privileges the nature had bestowed upon the fortunate ruling class, what has been their history of achievement? Every day they advertise and defend the good things they have done which Nigerians cannot even feel, they want us to see peanut as a balanced diet, and they want people to equate development to stomach infrastructure or pilgrim inglorious slaves. It is unfortunate what they have made social amenities look like in the eyes of the public. Sometimes ago a sitting governor was distributing wheelbarrow to empower his people. Also, one of the north-central state road maintenance agencies was seen using sand to repair potholes on a major road. I have seen a governor commissioned just ordinary transformer, plank bridge, graded road without asphalt and many cameo project that ordinarily should not attract paparazzi. Political leaders in this country are definitely carefree with people’s welfare. Even the so called N-power has really changed nothing considering the unemployment syndrome that still persists in the country, this social package should not be counted at all as a major feat, millions of youths have lost their jobs in the last one year, so how many people will N-power rescue? The mathematical equation is not balanced at all.
To be realistic, our political elite have made us see something in nothing. It’s so funny when you see a senators paid SSCE fees as part of constituency project, they give out motorcycle, clipper, and many other negligible things and you will see people rolling on the floor in show of appreciation as if their future has been secured from penury, however I don’t blame my people because that’s what they’ve turned them to; gullible species. To best describe most of our political elite, they are people who like to be celebrated for curing headache when there is still Whitlow that needs to be cured. Insecurity persist in every part of the country but all they do is to console us with their antecedent with the bokoharam, masses keep complaining about hardship, but they give hope through a cosmetic news of GDP growth.
Actually, I’m writing this piece to sensitize and challenge Nigeria populace to activate and upgrade their sense of demand because they deserve more than what they are getting, let no politician behave to you he’s good during campaign only, their past record should be the prerequisite in voting them. Tell them not to give you tricycle alone but good road to ride it on, tell them not to pay for your SSCE alone, you deserve a qualitative education. Building of healthcare centre is not enough you need a better health care system; it’s your right. Don’t forget to demand for maximum security, it’s a must. Also, you must not be contented with ten hours power supply, you deserve twenty-four hours electricity. Increasing minimum wage maybe good but challenge them to tackle inflation with the right economic policies. They’re living a good life courtesy of your mandate, you also deserve such life, you must not forget that you are the capital to the luxury they all enjoy. However, for you to take charge and bring about the real change not the pirated one we have now, you need to get your Permanent Voters Card (PVC) if you are yet to do so. It is time to possess your owndom, you have the wherewithal to eject unwanted political species and put your true representative! God Bless Nigeria People.