Fela died in 1997. But his analysis and characterization of Follow Follow Nigerians remain pertinent. These are citizens who cast their votes for discredited politicians and routinely return them to power.

The same citizens will never support the new breed of non-billionaire leaders with the potential to wheel Nigeria out of the political and economic intensive care unit. And even in the face of old breed leaders subverting the country with corruption, nepotism and inept leadership, the same citizens opt to remain docile. They swallow their hopelessness with spiritual equanimity.

But, it’s also true that Nigeria still has men and women of vision who are imbued with the fortitude, tenacity and assertiveness to redeem their country from the “Vagabonds in Power”, as Fela labelled Nigeria’s leaders of his era.

The political messages in Fela’s songs and lyrics are constant reminders about Nigeria’s corrupt and lacklustre leadership. He was unequivocal that Nigerians could not realistically outsource the solution to their problems to the heavens. This, while they’re haplessly “Shufering and Shmiling” in some expectation of divine intervention to free them from their predicament and misery.

Nigeria, as Fela saw his country, should not be governed by political Zombie leaders forever. That was why he recommended that it was up to her citizens to rise and “do something about this nonsense.”

Uche Onyebadi, Chair of the Journalism Department, Texas Christian University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Sign up to the Quartz Africa Weekly Brief here for news and analysis on African business, tech and innovation in your inbox

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.