Nigeria is indeed a metaphor; a place where both the rich and poor cry without ceasing. Endless tales of wanton destructions –communal crises, Boko Haram phenomenon, petrol tankers explosions with charred victims, floods, countless fatal roads accidents and air mishaps. Recently electrocutions from poorly maintained electric poles have been added to the travails of Nigerians. Despite all these, here we are saddled with a government that do little but talk too much.
Our country has joined the list of countries where life is very cheap. The truth is, lives are lost cheaply per seconds in Nigeria; while those of us alive are only waiting to be counted among the next victims or those that escape the next mishap. Paradoxically, our plights are man-made. In the last thirty years, our country have had the misfortune to be ruled by uninspiring and misguided rulers. People whose ascension to power is more by opportunism than any clear cut vision to serve. Rulers who superintended the affairs of this country like morons. Empty in visions, clueless on the ways forward; yet they sit over a country of great wealth and potentials. Refusing to a take a bow or allowing those who perhaps have alternatives ideas from contributing their quotas.
Those of us who believed Nigeria’s problems was because our leaders were not well educated can now bury our heads in shame. With a doctorate degree holder as president, all that we see is a country on the brink of collapse. A president is who fast losing grip with the myriad of problems confronting the country; and still the only one who believes he is not. Shame!
Our country is destroying its today and by so doing killing the future; we are now a people who place no value on the sanctity of human lives. Killing ourselves on flimsy issues like ethnicity and religion. Incapacitated by poverty, most Nigerians have long lost faith with the country. We are becoming a people who see our nationhood as a burden not a blessing. Even our political elites are only Nigerians when they are sharing our collective wealth. This, they easily discard when they leave office and return back to their ethnic zones; there, they drum the songs of war and disunity.
All is not well with Nigeria; why is it difficult for Mr. President to come terms with it? The fresh breathe he promised, is now suffocating. Corruption have taken over the land; while those indicted but with pretty faces are left off the hooks. Guess, many of us are still at lost if Aruma Oteh and Diezani Alison-Madueke’s pretty faces have made them above the law.
Most of our state governors are running their states aground. Today, majority claimed they are broke. Most of these governors cannot manage mere ‘pure’water sachet factory but had power dubiously thrown on them. Some even had the effrontery to demand that they be pensionable after leaving power. See why we have to cry for dear country?
Leadership is about leading by example; Mr. President have clearly not shown that. Our president seems to be docile in tackling the excesses of his subordinates. Even the so called fight against corruption by this present government is seen as a lip service by most Nigerians. Rather than put more effort in establishing new refineries, the president is bent on removing oil subsidy; and believes that they only way he can galvanise the economy. Is it ideas that are lacking? Or we are just a country of people with the misfortunes of rulers without conscience? If not, why can’t the president insist that those who are importing refine oil into the country, should start building their own refineries or have their importation licences revoke. At least the phenomenal and ill gotten wealth they’ve made from dubious subsidy payments over the years should be enough to build refineries across the country.
Beside why can’t NNPC singlehandedly carry out oil importation? What is the big deal in making orders for refine fuel from different refineries across the world? All NNPC needs to do is to post different officials to countries where they intend getting the refine fuel to keep close monitoring.
Our legislative chambers across the country are equally centres of corruption and fraudulent money exchanges. From dubious foreign workshops on capacity building, to senseless shopping sprees across Europe by their spouses in the name of matrimonial seminars.
Even bills and notices of national interest brought before the legislative chambers are always made for selfish reasons. About four ago, a shameless parliamentarian asked his colleagues through a bill he presented, to protect Nigerian corrupt past leaders from prosecution; he asked that they should be begged to come and reinvest their loots back in the country. Though the bill never saw the light, it was painful to have presented and discussed it. Sadly, they cannot probe an institution without being entangled in corruption mess themselves.
Past national leaders that cannot be credited with anything meaningful while in power are today courtesy of our sham national assembly be pamper for life. They are to enjoy choice houses, cars, huge monetary compensation and security for life; even though these heartless leaders have cornered enough resources from our national coffer to last their tenth generations.
Our country cannot continue on this too familiar destructive path; Nigerians of goodwill must come together to halt this. Our country is blessed and does not deserve the kind of leaders fate is throwing at it. Honestly, for the love of this beleaguered country called Nigeria, is time to shed tears.
By Olurotimi Adeola