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United Kingdom of Nigeria

The uncanny parallels that merge the two countries of Nigeria and Great Britain are truly mind-boggling. The historical coming together of both entities about three centuries ago has somehow resulted in a weird morphing of the most unlikely national psyches.

The uncanny parallels that merge the two countries of Nigeria and Great Britain are truly mind-boggling. The historical coming together of both entities about three centuries ago has somehow resulted in a weird morphing of the most unlikely national psyches.

Ask the average Brit on why their country deserves her first name, and you are bound to be taken back to the classroom and schooled on the fine details of Empire 101. Somewhere along the way, you will also be peppered with grandiose tales of Churchill, the unique sacrifice of the Royal Family and depending on their political persuasion; some Thatcher sound bites could also be dropped.

Next, invite the average Nigerian to the same podium, and they will "educate" you on the size, the ethnic diversity, the religious balance and the fact the country is Africa's largest economy. Of course, if you gave them more minutes on stage, they may stretch the truth and tell you how Nigerians were the people "responsible" for the anti-colonial spark that lit the continent in the 1960's and led it into the light of independence.

When all the chitty-chatter is done, none of what either group tells you will represent something for the future. They will unearth some magnificent details from history and some questionable ones from the present but in the end, they will begin to sound like that hapless job candidate. The one with the spanking CV, who mysteriously, cannot articulate how they will take your company forward...

They exude confidence and swagger, crafted on the back of past events, but lack the essential killer traits to stand tall amongst their current-day peers. It's the ultimate price paid when there is an acute lack of leadership.

Consequently, the majority of people in both countries are incredibly optimistic people, with a consummate sense of humour, which they wear like an indispensable cloak. They have to. Anything else will be a one-way ticket to Depression.

Let us take a look at recent events in Great Britain and Nigeria, as they once again share an election year.

On the African side of the Atlantic, you have a huge chunk of the population who vehemently hold on to the view only one particular individual can take the country forward. Just to garnish the mess further, not only is this person in the advanced stage of his life, he has actually had a bite of the top job a few decades ago. And yet they tell us it is "Change".

But then you realise the maturity of the farce, when the incumbent's supporters tell us their man will perform feats in four years, which he wasn't able to do in six. They call that "transformation" apparently.

Meanwhile, on the other side, you have a Prime Minister with probably the worst record of personal judgement in history. From Coulson, to Harrison, to Cruddas, to Fink, to Clarkson, to that Euro veto and so on and so forth. What makes Mr Cameron's case alarming is the fact he was always forewarned with copious evidence, which he consistently ignored. I often wonder what job our PM would have been doing today, if he hadn't gone to Oxford.

Even with all that in mind, it appears Mr Cameron is still the only candidate that "looks" like a Prime Minister. That seems to be the conclusion from the media, driven by the polls. But what else would one expect, when the other candidates are Messrs Clegg and Miliband, et al.

Mr Clegg - who my five year old once told me was David Cameron's brother - appears to share his "brother's" lack of judgement, if not his DNA. It is a crying shame; he will eventually take his party down with him to the unknown depths of the political graveyard, with the tuition fees albatross, hanging from their collective neck.

Mr Miliband is probably the only PM Wannabe I truly feel sorry for. His intellect is not in doubt and his wellmeaningness is indubitable, but when you cannot inspire people to take you seriously as a contender, how the hell are you going to arouse them to the polling stations to vote for you?

And so a few days from now, Nigerians should hopefully be going to the polls, although, there is no guarantee it wouldn't end in an April Fools debacle. Judging by the government's record, I doubt anyone out there, is holding their breath. As a female friend of mine joked; anyone who makes a false promise for Valentine's Day cannot be trusted.

Pan the camera back to these shores and although we have a few more weeks to go before voting, the drama is no less. First of all, it took a lot of high drama to get all recognised partly leaders into the televised debates and now, we have a Prime Minister who has never won an outright majority in an election, sounding off about his lofty plans to hand over the reins of his political party.

The resulting lack of quality leadership in both scenarios, means over 100 million people are about to go out and participate in redundant electoral exercises. But then I guess that's what happens when electorates do not engage genuinely in the political process and are buoyed on media guidance, rather than personal conviction. Invariably, the people will vote to keep the status quo and the politicians will massage voter egos, by saying things like; the people have spoken!

Consequently, like the thousands out there who happen to share a common love, heritage of and roots in both countries, I am staring out of my window and wondering when real purpose will return. Living in hope that some heroes will rise and save us, as we perfectly perch in the middle of what constantly reminds me of Ernest Hemingway's great quote:

"Life is like a sh*t sandwich the more bread you have the less sh*t you have to eat...."

Well, to all the power-brokers from Abuja to Westminster... more bread please.

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