A brand management and marketing communication expert, Pastor Joko David Okupe, has lamented the apparent lack of vision among Nigerian politicians.
He regretted that most of the candidates being put up by political parties for the 2023 election have not outlined any workable vision for the country.
Okupe, who spoke to select journalists on the imperatives of national development and leadership selection process, said his organisation, Mindshift Advocacy for Development Initiative, is poised to galvanise Nigerians to a new way of thinking and reasoning.
Maintaining that it is only a new way of thinking and reasoning that could lift the country to a higher milestone of development, Okupe declared: “None of the candidates has informed the Nigerian people of their vision for the country before talking about what they will do.
“They lack the understanding that one cannot build a beautiful mansion without first envisioning how the mansion will look like; and this is a problem in our politics. Vision comes before construction.”
Looking back on Nigeria’s socio-political history, Okupe contended that since “this administration, just like the previous ones, has failed Nigerians, therefore, anyone who wants to be Nigeria’s next president in 2023 must be properly vetted and scrutinised, to ensure that we are not bringing in someone who does not have a vision.”
He remarked that although some of the candidates show a flash of brilliance, there is nothing concrete to hold onto as their vision for the country and its citizens.
His words: “There is no political party in Nigeria today you can say is a shining example of what a political party should be. So far, what I hear the candidates talk about is what they will do, infrastructures they will build. They are talking about doing things in education, health and all that.
“But, we know that those are activities; and activities are not vision. Activities rather stream from vision. Activities demonstrated as infrastructure may make peoples’ lives better, but they do not make people.”
On what could be done to refocus Nigeria leadership, Okupe noted that the country needs an upgrade and a reformulation of the state, the leadership class, and the citizens.
“The state is malfunctioning because of its hackneyed structure tilts towards centrality and unitary-federalism. That in itself is a self-destructive aberration in a multiethnic and multicultural state.
“The leaders are selfish and visionless, attracted only by the fancy of their kleptomaniac tendencies. They do not understand the very purpose of life, and hence, can hardly understand the essence of leadership. The followers are famished and lack the understanding of what liberal democracy is all about.
“In the most part, they (the led) lack enough knowledge to appreciate that they are actually the king, while the politicians are their servants. They mistake the concept of leadership in a political setting with the concept of kingship in a traditional setting; and this makes them subservient to the politicians who should be accountable to them.
“This contradiction makes democracy difficult to practice in Nigeria. Under this scenario the politicians weaponize poverty as an instrument of domination against the citizens,” he added.
The communication expert therefore, advocates for the mass enlightenment of the political class and the citizens, insisting that both the political class and the citizens are under bondage, and need to be enlightened so that they can be liberated to develop the country, without which Nigeria remains undeveloped forever.