State of Our Nation and a Clarion Call
If there is any country that can claim to be very blessed, Nigeria qualifies. No one can dispute the fact that we have a lot to thank God for – natural resources in abundance, great agricultural lands, intelligent citizens, nice climate, etc. But it seems most of these things are more of a curse to us than blessings considering the suffering and total hopelessness exhibited by most of the populace.
Some people tend to think that our problems are ethnic in nature but we all know that each ethnic tribe has fifth columnists who seem to have made up their mind to plunder the Nigerian state to non-existent. It is a very emotional side of me writing this post early on a Monday morning. Events have proven that if we are not careful – the house which has already fallen will totally be annihilated!
When former President Olusegun Obasanjo forced a relatively unknown governor (Outside his Katsina State and environs) on 140 Million people in 2007 to become our President; some of us knew we were heading for the same dance of shame. A lot of people were happy that an incorruptible governor was coming into power but I bet we now know that Nigerians need more than that. A president who comes into office through a flawed electoral process can never rule us with the conscience required of such a leader. It is also a fact that his election came with a price – he dined with the Iboris of this world so how can we prove his innocence?
Let’s look at his performance in more than 26 months in power. Electricity which is the major problem we thought his government was going to solve is worse now. The panels he constituted to probe past power projects are all dead and the noise is no more resounding. Now, his 7 points agenda are more like a puppet show than a reality. We all have doubts that they will ever come true and can you blame a pessimistic Nigerian or a Naija woman/man? Nopes.
Form everything I have seen of this man; he is more stubborn than OBJ and he has proved it because he is tending towards being worse than military heads of state when it comes to human feelings. It is on record that President Umar Musa Yar Adua has not offered the government and people of Lagos State a condolence message after the Atlas Cove Jetty disaster. Something makes me think he shares the thoughts of Jomo Gbomo when he said that the attack was on a Federal Government property and not aimed at Lagos State.
Now to think that the same President wrote a letter to the Lagos State government ordering them to revert back to the 20 local government format says much of the kind of leader or let’s say Boss he is. That was very untimely and it is times like these when he makes such decisions that I question if Mr. Segun Adeniyi is truly his aide or just one of his play things in Aso Rock. When Yar Adua appointed Adeniyi, we were so happy that to some extent; the level of decisions taken at the top would have some sanity but we have been proved wrong on all sides. I remember the cerebral column on the back page of This Day every Thursday that ensured some of us scrambling for a copy of the newspaper. I remember a man we missed when he decided to join government but I also remember we were happy that we are missing him to perform better at a more advanced stage but I guess that was a wish. Don’t get me wrong, we all know Yar Adua might not even listen to people like Adeniyi but then his continuous stay negates the personality we know if his advise is being ignored. I choose to believe that Adeniyi is not happy with most of the decisions or am I wrong?
Just a few days ago, the governors of the Niger Delta region openly dared Yar Adua about the amnesty deal and the quack decision of the FG on PTI Effurun Warri / Kaduna school. One begins to wonder how the mind of our President works? How can he pretend to be committed to the Niger Delta peace process and in the same breath make such blatant decisions? It beats me. Remember also that he calls our bluff at all times. He doesn’t see anything wrong in having his Ministers of finance, Finance Advisers and the CBN all coming from one part of the country.
This is not a Yar Adua bashing exercise. It is actually a bashing exercise for all political post holders who are destroying our nation. The shameless brats who I can liken to the proverbial bastard – the one who uses the left hand to describe his father’s house. I also liken them to murderers, yeah because the blood of those who die on our coffin roads, bad hospitals and even in some cases – poverty will cry on their head.
I think we should be tired of their acts by now when we see a few silver linings like Fashola and the other few fiscally responsible state governors.
Right now, the global economic meltdown is biting deep into our country. Jobs are being lost. None are created. Each successive NYSC set is like an addition of more jobless youths into the polity. The banks that used to be the biggest employers have cut down on their recruitment processes. Telecommunication was seen as an untouchable sector but that has been proved wrong. Oil companies were never big employers of labour and it will get worse now that the Niger Delta agitation is on a higher pedestal with operation Moses (God save us from the plagues). Oil production is down to about a quarter of our capacity and it is all looking very bad.
I am one very optimistic Nigerian but I guess today is a day for telling the truth and preparing our minds for what is to come. I cannot see an end to our travails with the bunch of comic acts who call themselves leaders. Leadership is not a small word that can be used by the jokers we have in power from the ministries to LG to States and federal governments. Though the cloud looks thick but I know that all hope is not lost. It will just need some commitments and hard work from us all.
We have a vibrant generation that can turn things around. The era of sidon look has finished. The countries we used to run to a la United Kingdom, USA, etc are managing their resources now and are giving the good jobs to home boys regardless of the foreigners capabilities and qualifications. Ask our young people who just finished MBAs in top business schools around the world. It used to be a gate for automatic entrance into the wonderful 6-figure dollar salary but now the story has majorly changed as the stimulus package granted to the organizations that used to recruit such talents mandated they recruit Omo-Oniles. So, home will be the best to come back to. Now, can we all afford to leave things the way they are? Where our roads are death traps, health care non-existent? Unemployment rife, strikes everywhere, generator wars? I guess no. We deserve a better Nigeria.
I know you hate politics but love a good life. So, I am imploring that for the first time since you turned 18 – realize you are key to evolving the Nigeria of your dream. I cringe when I think that we might have the same set of politicians coming back in 2011. I am afraid when I think that this looting will continue for decades. And I will blame the young brainy Nigerian who sees no faults in the way things are just because of his/her comfortable salary which is rubbished by the environment he/she passes through everyday and even ‘cos that job is no longer safe.
I am young and I am proudly Nigerian. My parents understand that my age has nothing to do with my sensibility. I can sway them and their friends if I have the right words. I know that the 18-40 age bracket has a lot to do in the next elections starting from when the voters register opens. We need a class action to get things going. There is a group of young people already talking about registering a new political party with sound ideologies. I have committed myself to finish a research I started on how the Republican, Democratic, Labor and Conservative parties evolved which shows them as ideological bodies unlike our own baba-suwe likened parties in Nigeria and most of Africa. If you think you can join me in this research so we can help the party that is going to be registered to have a firm footing and not turn into a joke – mail me : firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am going to beg you all. We have a part to play in the national rebirth. I want my kids to comfortably live and enjoy in their country. I want to see my people enjoy a good life. I am tired of the nonsense and I know you are. But can we turn this anger into a productive edge? That is the question raging in my head. If we call you to action, would you answer? Can you stop being pessimistic and see that WE CAN for a moment? If yes, we will know when you answer the clarion call.