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Think of the alternative before making the choice of who leads

by Business News Report

Economists usually begin their thoughts with choices, scale of preference and alternatives forgone. Individuals, households, firms and nations make choices. The choice that each of these entities makes depends on how informed the one making the choice is on available alternates and the opportunity cost of the choice made. The opportunity cost is the alternative forgone for the purpose of making the choice. There are economic choices as well as political choices.
Nigeria is facing an election year and the electorate will be called upon to make a choice of who will lead the nation in the next four years. Parties are hoodwinking Nigerians to believe in them and choose their favoured candidates. Issues are being raised on those in leadership position now and those that were there before and are staging a comeback. The point at focus is that Nigeria leaders are corrupt and the nation is under-developed. Many think that how to get rid of corruption from the nation’s body politics is the major issue at stake. Some have talked about transformation which is actually what Nigeria needs.
What kind of transformation does Nigeria need, physical infrastructure transformation or mental transformation of the citizenry? Thus far, Nigerians have focused on physical transformation based on infrastructural development. No matter the level of infrastructural development, if there is no change in the way of life of the people, the way they see things and the way they relate to things, whatever transformation goes on will just be another of those things. The current attitude toward anything public sector, will have to change before Nigeria can make progress. Crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism, insurgency etc., are deep rooted issues that Nigeria is grappling with. Are they acts of corruption? Vandalising electricity installation is certainly not an act of corruption but the inability of those in power to implement and enforce existing laws.
So long as Nigerians continue to see those in government as rogues, public property is nobody’s and the idea of sharing and not baking, and the privileged few continue to break laws and get away with it, Nigeria will continue to be a giant in waiting.
In their attempt to make Nigeria great, leaders must focus on Maslow’s theory which was fully expressed in his 1954 book, Motivation and Personality. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs remains a very popular framework in sociology research, management training and secondary and higher psychology instruction. The first thing that preoccupied the mind of the average Nigerian is his physiological needs; the physical requirements for his human survival. If these requirements are not met, as it is today, the mind of such individual cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first. Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from the elements.

In making a choice for the 2015 general elections, Nigerians must find out which Nigerian political party has the programme to bring this to their doorsteps. It is not about the person, his religion or which geopolitical region he comes from but what is the candidate offering the nation and the alternative to be forgone if I vote for him.
If you are relatively satisfied with physiological needs, safety needs take precedence and dominate behaviour. In Nigeria today, the absence of physical safety – due to the insurgency in the North- East and suicide bombing, armed robbery, kidnappings many Nigerians are experiencing traumatic stress disorder or Tran’s generational trauma. Similarly for what sometime now the absence of economic safety – due to economic crisis and lack of work opportunities safety needs manifest themselves in ways such as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority. What many Nigerian need now in terms of safety and security needs include: personal security, financial security, health and well-being, safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts. The question to ask is in the nest few years which of those declaring for political offices are disposed to offering Nigerians these basic needs?
After the physiological and safety needs above are fulfilled, the third level of human needs that Nigerians need urgently is interpersonal relationship among the different ethnic groups in the country and the feelings of belongingness. Deficiencies in this due to political neglect, shunning and ostracism have impacted the ability of majority of Nigerians to form and maintain emotionally significant relationships in general with some sections of the nation.
Nigerians need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their social groups in their own country. Humans need to love and be loved. All humans have a need to feel respected; this includes the need to have self-esteem and self-respect. Esteem presents the typical human desire to be accepted and valued by others. Low self-esteem or an inferiority complex may result from imbalances. People with low self-esteem often need respect from others; they may feel the need to seek fame or glory. However, fame or glory will not help the person to build their self-esteem until they accept who they are internally.
Are all sections of the Nigeria project valued equally? The idea that only some sections of the country have the privilege to become President or Governor has caused a lot of alienation in the society. Can Nigeria continue to tow this line for much longer? Every Nigerian needs food, shelter, clothing, recognition and self esteem. In Nigeria’s political dispensation, if there is a party that faithfully come out with a programme that will ensure that every Nigerian has access to decent food, can ensure that public schools work and children have good education, individual workers can, with their employment letter, be guaranteed of access to amenities through a very well developed credit system, have access to decent housing through a functional mortgage system, and guaranteed of a good living on retirement, corruption will be a thing of the past. Nigerians must think, weigh the cost and benefit of whatever choice they are about to make.


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