A Cynical Pessimist Response To Inaugural Ball
It would have been most convenient to blame my keyboard for the insertion of ballroom instead of speech as a substitute in a response on the presidential inaugural presentation, yet it is perhaps the confusion I am having over the two central themes of the presidential swearing season, because of the fact that two activities were performed by the president as part of the taking the oath of office, which also got equal prominence by the organizers of the presidential function, in fact I am even bold to say that the inaugural ball convenience even outshined the constitutional function of assuming office of the commander-in-chief, because of the conspiracy of incompetence exhibited by the contextual content of the assumption of office speech, that never contained anything new as admitted by the president himself nor was able to inspire a nation seeking for hope of deliverance, from its leader that it has just renewed and conferred another mandate upon to lead it to the grace land. Thus arose my comparative confusing encounter with the proclivity of an inaugural ballroom feted session, that eclipsed the actual official activity of the mandatory address of the president of the republic, the inference though being that the waltzing session was at least choreographed to a brilliant effect, by the organizational mastery and sheer entertainment genius of Ben Bruce Murray, the question being why adopt the presidential system of government and discard its necessary wasteful condiments.
Presidential swearing seasons are periods to enable a just elected leader to converse with the citizens of his country, by laying out programs that he wishes to execute and accomplish during the corresponding period of his stay in office, the speech also seeks to inspire a sense of patriotism, communalism, nationalism and a equitable base for cooperation between citizens and the state, thus a presumption by speech maker that his actions should speaks more his words presupposes the non-necessity of the exercise itself, as actions are a factual statement of past deeds while promises are bonds of future expectation. Because, while the past actions of a leader are determinant of his electability yet it is the premise of future promises that inspires his election, thus the individual making the speech should generate an atmosphere that gracefully ennoble the citizens, to the feeling of a new dawn that proactively attempts to solve their basic social problems, that would most certainly include the lack necessary infrastructures such as electricity, roads, hospital, water, housing and other basic necessities for having a fulfilled existence, which must be the provision of employment opportunities, a reasonable sense of security and a considerable measure of justice, through the availing of necessary norm of rule of law to all manner of people.
Indeed it would be most dishonest to create the impression even by an incurable cynic, that the inaugural speech did not try to portray a certain sort of message, however what the president sought to convey in terms of the humbleness of his background, heritage and upbringing, is that if the son of an Otueke Fisherman could be the president of Nigeria, any ordinary guy could also be the leader of this nation, the import being any other person have the chance to be governing our country, the simplistic context of the portrayal is that now leadership in Nigeria is for ordinary people, while these is a wonderful idea, it is also a dangerous concept, because the act governing a complicated nation certainly lie outside the mental competence of an ordinary man nor does it exist within the bounds of organizational sophistry of an ordinary Joe. Actually the eve of 2008 presidential elections in the United States of America that heralded the ascension to power of President Barack Obama, also authored a similar scenario and debate on who really represents and constitutes an average citizen, in terms basic characterization of the personality content of a typical American through the nexus of one Joe the Plumber. Though, fortunately for them the debate was not a search for an average person to confer leadership upon, rather it was merely an exercise in finding who best represent the necessary requirement needs of an American citizen.
If there is ever an issue that commands universal agreement on Nigeria, it is the simple fact that general elections and in particular the results of the presidential polls, have left a chasm of polarizing nature on the psychology of an average Nigerian, not simple because of the fact of the dispute that the collation process elicited. But rather, because of the fundamental rift it created between different regions of the country, not necessarily because of the authenticity of the results but rather the sense triumph of one region over its co-contesting peer, thus it was expected that the carnal context of the presidential inaugural speech, would make strenuous effort to address the challenge of unity facing the republic, unfortunately the speech fell miserable short of these noble expectation, as all the president did was to command the citizens to leave the attitudinal mode of cynicism and pessimism, without ever providing a tangent and cogent incentive to leaving such a position, in fact the speech never sought to convince, cajole and inspire a segment of the Nigerian citizens sulking from a sense of defeat, from an opponent on the high horse of controlling authority over them, surely it is of primal self interest of every leadership to always galvanize the citizens to its framework of reasoning.
The irony of the Nigerian situation is that while the presidency failed the inauguration aspect dealing with official function of speech making, it performed excellently on the non essential function of the presidential feting session, as we were marveled by the intricate function of a presidential dance even though the promised presidential kiss on stage was not honored. However, the history of presidential inaugural ball was uniquely an American concept, in a country like the United States of America celebrating the crass and wasteful opulence of its society, which perhaps could be attributed to the current challenges of financial deficit afflicting its economy, indeed even the rich countries of Europe do not celebrate such an imported tradition, because of the simple fact that it is simple out of place in an environment adhering to dictates of accountable governance, it is in these kind of atmosphere that the chief usher of night in the person of Mr. Ben Bruce Murray, trumpeted the fact that the inaugural balls are so many as the night was expected to be long and glamorous.