President Muhammadu Buhari has complained, severally, that the Nigerian elites are not helping with shaping Nigeria to a better nation. He has accused them of looking the other way while the country was being stripped bare by looters. He also complained that Nigerian elites criticize his administration unfairly. Just a few days ago, during his exclusive interview with Arise TV, President Buhari complained that these elites have not bothered to call people tearing up the country to order.
While passing on his concluding message at the above-mentioned interview, Buhari said, “I don’t like the way the Nigerian elites is [sic] allowing ignorant people or careless people talking all over the place,” to register his displeasure at the turn of events in the country and how those that know what is happening decided to play deaf and dumb. From the way he said it, you will understand that the president has been reaching out to this group of persons but they seem to have abandoned or ignored his call. But then, one cannot help but wonder why the president believes the elites have so much power to ensure the harmony and growth of the country. Is he expecting too much from these persons? Or, do they actually wield so much power?
Many of us have heard so much about elites but we have not bothered finding out who they are. I have heard someone describing elites as the intelligent persons in a community because he believes that for you to belong to the elite club, you must be well educated and vastly knowledgeable. Well, he is not wrong, but he is not right either. This is simply because not all elites are “well educated” and not all highly educated persons are elites.
Every society has a small group of persons that are powerful, wealthy, intelligent, and influential. These people do not become powerful because they were democratically elected into power but because they either inherited power from birth or through hard work and wealth. It all depends on the culture of the society, anyway. But the elites are usually neutral in their political affiliations so that they are not affected by changes in political powers unless they participate directly in politics. The elites are actually the “owners of the land” because political leaders are careful not to offend them. Hence, for President Muhammadu Buhari to reach out to these people, expecting them to quell the fire created by misinformation in the nation, is not out of place.
You may ask yourself who the Nigerian elites are, considering that they are really quiet. Well, your guess is as good as mine. But what we should worry about is why they have not come out to get directly involved with putting Nigeria in order. Their silence is making it look like they won’t be bothered if Nigeria is burnt down. They give the impression that they have an alternative to Nigeria. And so, if Nigerians want to destroy the country, they should go ahead and do so.
The need for the Nigerian elites to rise up and address situations is becoming too urgent. They should remember that people trust and respect them more than they do their political leaders. They are in a better position to dig deeper into the insecurities in the country and call those directly involved to order. They can also help to groom and build up the youths, most of whom are misguided, confused, misinformed, and misused. They can equally help in calming nerves by shedding more lights into what is happening in the government. The elites truly have a lot of work to do to make this country an enviable one.
In as much as the elites have important roles to play towards ensuring proper direction and guidance of the masses, I still blame the political leaders for keeping people in the dark. The two interviews recently granted by the president and his Democracy Day speech revealed a lot about the activities of the government. Most of what the president said were unknown by many, which made it easier for mischief makers to twist narratives concerning this country and the present administration.
People also discovered that many stories floating about, concerning the president’s wellbeing and state of health, were not true. So, as the president blames the elites for turning deaf and blind to the wrongs in the society, he should reserve some of those blames for himself for failing to blow his trumpet. He should understand that no one can tell his stories better than himself. So, let him make it a point of duty to talk more. Nevertheless, the president should not be the only person to reveal and clarify the government’s decisions and actions. His media team, concerned MDAs, and, of course, the elites have lots of duties to do in this case as well.