I haven't written a political piece since I last worked as a trainee political reporter at ThisDay, Nigeria in the late 90's. The current events in Nigeria has compelled me to embrace writing once again. Since our present attempt at democracy (some will argue over the sincerity of the process), a lot has happened in Nigeria that has kept me wondering where we may all end up being led to, by the people in power. I have deliberately referred to them as "people in power" instead of leaders because sadly, they have till date not displayed any characteristics of leadership. We are merely being served a mediocre "face me, I face you" style distasteful and unpleasant governance.
This piece is not a personal attack on the persons of Chief Obasanjo or President Yar'dua, it is a rejection of the path they have steered the country on, the path to total chaos, hopelessness, self destruction and ultimate extinction. I am aware the nation's path down this road did not start with the current democratic dispensation, considering the destructive rule and nature of Babangida (God help him) and his years. But common, is ten years not enough for a sincere and visionary leader to engage the reverse gear and move the nation on a better road? What is so difficult about doing the absolute necessary and right and urgent? Why did these two persons allow corruption thrive to an all time high in their watch? Why are kidnappers and killers freely on our streets? Why has the social infrastructure in the nation just gone dead? Whatever happened to our roads, electricity, medicare, police, armed forces and sadly education? Don't we deserve better? Maybe these two persons are just intellectually challenged, inept and obviously incapable of providing effective leadership. Most Nigerians like myself still do not understand why we are where we are. Is there a curse on the nation like some preachers have insinuated in their teachings? I recall a sermon by the late pastor Eskor, who said the problems in Nigeria may have started after this same Obasanjo hosted the "Voodoofest" dubbed Festac 77 in Lagos and allowed the jujus that were transported from other African nations to remain in Nigeria thereafter. Anyway, I shall elaborate more on this theory in another piece.
My greatest concern today is the rise in sectarian violence, senseless conflicts and killings that have engulfed the nation since the enthronement of democracy. These preventable conflicts include the Zangon-Kataf crisis of the early nineties, the senseless and explosive Warri crisis in 1998, the Aguleri and Umuleri conflict which exploded in 1999, the Ife and Modakeke conflict which also escalated in 1997, the several Hausa/Igbo confrontations in Kaduna and environs, the Jos crisis, the current Niger-Delta crisis and Boko Haram religious crisis in the Borno area amongst many others. Why did the governments of Obasanjo and Yardua let these crisis escalate in the first place? Anyone see why I question their abilities to lead? I saw two videos posted on youtube recently, which showed summary executions of unarmed persons by the Nigerian armed forces in their quest to enforce order, watching these murders on tape shook the senses out of me. How did we degenerate to these lows? What happened to rules of engagement and professional conduct in the armed forces? The cancer afflicting the nation has obviously eaten into them too. Just read the president ordered another fruitless probe into one of the executions. It is clear that we are in state of total anarchy no thanks to Obasanjo and Yardua, the men who have refused to move the Nigerian state to a path of prosperity for reasons best known to them.I often ask myself sometimes, how and when we will steer the country on the right path again, the path to rejuvenation, reawakening and rebirth, and curiously I keep finding the answers somewhere hidden in history. I believe we deserve proactive, smart, effective and strong leadership in this country. If we install the ideal and right president, our fortunes will come round again. How we choose to do this, is entirely up to us to decide individually and or collectively.
We must act now.