Nigeria is a country that is speedily galloping down the thorny road to her sad funeral; the hurry at which ground-shaking and blood-chilling occurrences happen here is astonishing. Incidentally, while our rulers, their stooges and benefactors tire us with moans of their love for Nigeria and reasons why the country must remain ONE, most Nigerians churn out reasons why things are not just working here. Hence, for a greater percentage of the citizenry, Nigeria is not working.
This country’s march towards chaos and horrendous poverty did not start today, it did not start with the ruling party (PDP), massive corruption and sinful looting of public funds did not start today either; the fact remains that the smoothness of the transition from a once promising country to a confused, violent, and corruption-celebrating nation took the connivance of many to materialise.
Let us start with Boko Haram which is having a murderous fiesta in the Northern part of Nigeria. Though the terrorist group claims to have religion (Islam) as its driving force, I strongly believe that the menace was self-inflicted. The leaders of that region created the monster that has rubbished the economy of that region, and now threatening the foundation of this country. Commentators on Boko Haram who have not lived in, or spent considerable time in the North might be engaging in a virtual analysis of the pitiful state of that part of Nigeria.
The North of Nigeria is the most backwards part of this country; it is the region with the lowest number of school enrolment, hence the highest number of illiterates. The Northern part of Nigeria which is largely populated with Muslims is the number one part of Nigeria where extreme poverty, harsh neglect, want, disease, sickness and destitution walks about regally. In contrast, it is the region with the highest number of past rulers of Nigeria, and persons that held (and are still holding) high positions in government. Summarily, most people that are accused of stealing Nigeria blind are from the North!
The key to the heart of Boko Haram lies in the pockets of past rulers of Northern origin who perpetrated ignorance, poverty and zero-development in their region. It was therefore a matter of time before the “Islamic students” (almajiris) exploded; millions of innocent children forced into the streets as beggars by both their parents and their society-a life that trained them as guns-for-hire and insured that they were mentally ill equipped to ask questions. Both past and present leaders of the North must come out publicly, show some shame and apologise for bringing Nigeria to this horrible state with their evil neglect of their region.
Looking down South, we find a different type of crisis stealthily gnawing at the very heart of our existence as human beings. Mediocrity of the worst order is being celebrated in the entire Southern Nigeria-a situation that has given rise to all manner of societal evils that ordinarily we read about in foreign fiction books. I reckon that a bizarre lust for lucre is the propelling force nudging the entire region into the land of ignominy. Crimes of all sort now stare us in the face daily and we appear to have accepted this situation as “one of those things”.
From the South East, South West and to the creeks of the South-South of Nigeria, the story is same: mind-numbing armed-robbery, kidnapping for ransom, killing for fetish reasons, child-abuse, communal clashes with nasty consequences, certificate forgery, celebration of charlatans and known dodgy characters, violence during elections and many more. It is now so bad that foreigners are now being kidnapped for ransom in Lagos during the day!
The lust for lucre. We seem to have eternally ditched the culture of asking the right questions-I still remember that as a kid in primary school, I never took anything that did not belong to me home, not because the lure was not there, but the fear of having to explain to my mom how it followed me home did the magic. In the South of Nigeria ( the South East seems to carry the gold cup here), there seems to be a stiff competition amongst both the youngsters and their older ones-grab whatever cash you can and bring it home for you will be celebrated. This madness and many more is daily stoking the fire that continues to wreck our region.
In all this chaos, pathetic drama and the ensuing inferno, you find the rulers of Nigeria and their gang having a ball and mouthing the deceptive mantra-THIS NATION MUST REMAIN ONE. Of course, one sees the occasional televised and highly scripted show of “we understand your plight” from one top shot in government, a show that ends up causing more pain to the already impoverished Nigerian.
And you begin to ask, are we really talking of the same Nigeria? In this present state of mind, it really gets rather too confusing-while our politicians in elective positions are practically carting away our patrimony as we the people groan and die needlessly; they turn around to chant that they love Nigeria. What exactly is their concept of love for this sick nation? Are they in love with the wretched picture of the starving Nigeria child whose tomorrow they have stolen, or just the love of their unlimited access to our resources? This love for country by our politicians needs more definition.
Why are we so blind to the fact that our rulers since the Second Republic have craftily designed an evil enterprise whose fuel-source is turning Nigerian masses against themselves by slipping in ethnic/religious sentiments periodically? Our rulers, past and present must come forward to explain to us why they choose to plunder our patrimony rather than work for the common good. The crisis all across Nigeria gives our rulers the get-out-of-jail card to continue to prosper while we die. Have you ever wondered why we have the same gang ruling Nigeria?
When was the last time a Nigerian Governor checked into a local hospital for his medical check-up? How many Governors, Senators, House of Reps members have their children in Nigerian schools? How many of our so-called leaders spend their vacation in Nigeria? Oh yes, the First Lady Dame Patience Jonathan did not travel to Germany for medical reasons-just checking on her sick mom and holidaying children.
Boko Haram is creation of the elites to keep us in this sordid state while they live large. The entire horror in the South of Nigeria is the handiwork of our leaders. The genesis lies in bad leadership, the type that has no conscience and steals our money. God will not come down to re-build Nigeria; the future of this country lies in our hands. Let us be vigilant, and say no to bad leadership and corruption-we are all losers. 2015 is around the corner-lets vote out bad leaders.