Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Nigerians And The Future Ahead By Wasiu Raji
US national intelligence council (NIC) has predicted that come 2015 we would not know Nigeria as it is today. In other words, what was meant is that Nigeria will disintegrate. However, our leaders continue to assure us that this would not happen, and yet they continue doing their business as usual.
These so called looters sorry I mean to say leaders continue to steal our resources to stupor and are using their ill-gotten wealth to polarize us along religious and regional line for their selfish interest. Admittedly, this prediction is not unexpected, considering the corruption with impunity going on in the land which has now given birth to several indices of a failing state such as insecurity, kidnapping, election rigging, unemployment and ethnic and religious prejudice to mention but a few – These are some of the reasons why the cynic predicted our future in the first place.
Our leaders in all the existing political parties except some few ones are assuring us that this prediction will not come to past while their actions is to the contrary. Unfortunately Nigerians, I mean the masses, are not helping matters but rather they are aiding and abetting those whose action killing what we know today as Nigeria. What Nigerians know how to do best is to complain and complain, but as soon as there is any little opportunity for a particular person or group of people, they pretend to be oblivious of the decadence in country – all is well will now be their song. Rather than fixing the problems, Nigerians in position of trust and authority continue to mess things up beyond what they met in the first place. The sad aspect is that masses are ignorant of the fact that our future will only be guaranteed if everybody in the system do their bit well. It is only in Nigeria that people do not know what they want out of life and believing or thinking they know. We all know we are suffering and we are in captivity, yet we cowardly give into defeat and put our solace in the idiotic idea of “e go better” or “God dey”, when it is a known fact that “Heaven helps those who help themselves”. Else, how could one explain why youths in their 20s – 40s still stay with their parents, and cannot say what the future hold for them or determine what their future should be. How could one explain the brain drain going on in every sector of our economy with the government lackadaisical attitude – these are worrying!!!
In Nigeria the government is so insensitive to the peoples’ plight and yet the same people are so divided that they have become their own enemy and forget their common enemy – looters in various public positions – politicians and their civil servants accomplices. Our religious leaders are no better; they have not help matters, as they have gone into alliance with the so called looters to collapse the once glorious house called Nigeria. The new game in town for the religious leaders now is the competition in the race for whose private jet is the best or who has more private jets between them and the politicians? They have become part of the rotten system that only God knows who is worse out of the politicians and them. They are now partners in crime! There are some unwritten rules in Nigeria now that it takes little or no effort to decode, one of these is “Do anything you can to make money”, steal public fund and be rewarded with different chieftaincy titles and top it up with a national honour, engage in assassinations for money, kidnap and demand for ransom from the victims’ relatives, engage in money rituals and do all sort of vices, make your money and contest for a political office, and finally BELONG to the class of those with chieftaincy titles and national honours, no more merit in these honours as all you need to get one is to make money, and know the powers that be. Another unwritten rule is “The bigger your crime, the lesser your punishment”. This is the reason while those that stole billions are getting six months imprisonment if they get any punishment at all, and those that steal ordinary handset and laptop are getting many years of awaiting trial or imprisonment if they are not killed or lynched.
Sometimes, you hear Nigerians complaining of their leaders and at the end of the day, these same people will vote, rig, kill and do anything for the same set of leaders they were complaining about. Nigeria is the only country that pride herself as Giant and yet cannot provide affordable qualitative education, good roads and transportation, infrastructures, good healthcare, refinery for at least her citizens’ local fuel consumption, regular electricity supply, security and other basic needs for her citizens. She is the only country in the world where a leader and followers will be involved in the same accident and one is flown abroad for treatment and others are left in Nigeria mortuary that we called hospital as if their life is less valuable. Nigeria is a country whose majority of her citizens could not live on one dollar ($1) a day and the leaders are budgeting more than a Billion Naira for the feeding allowance of the presidency. She is the only country where more than a Trillion Naira is budgeted for security votes and we are less safe or not safe at all. Abnormalities has become the norms of the land, stealing is now with impunity, terrorism has become what we would be living with, kidnapping is no longer news, as it has become the survival means of the land for the teaming population of the unemployed youths.
The solutions to all these are simple, let me start by telling my fellow countrymen and women that we should put in mind that government and governance is not just a game of “We versus Them”, “Muslims versus Christians” or “North versus South” it is about our lives – I mean living good life where everyone plays by the same set of rules not one for the poor and another for the mighty. 2015 is around the corner; let us look at the records of the would-be office holders, what the performance of these people were in their previous positions and use it to determine who our votes will go for. The era of cheap blackmail should be over, let us look at the substantial facts in their campaign, not their rhetoric. Their contributions to our lives in their past positions should be of paramount importance to us in voting for them, our votes should be our power to negotiate for good governance not to negotiate for how much we can get from them before they get into the office. We should henceforth deny the “fools in power” the opportunity to call us “idiots at home” by not coming out to outline what they will do for us, by not coming out to debate with their opponents. Hence, we should not take the excuse that the problems of the country were not started by them or has been there before their ascendancy to power – They have no business in various government seats, if they cannot solve those problems attached to their various positions. Enough of the lavishing of tax payers’ money for their birthday when millions of Nigerians are hungry. Enough of their deceit!!! They tell us lies when they are seeking for our votes, and forget about us when they get there. It is after they left the office that they would be predicting revolution and seeing the rot in the system.
We should not base our votes on sentiments, we should not vote for someone because we are from the same region or religion with them. The funniest part is that if we vote for the wrong person, the person is not and will not be the victim of his bad governance, we would definitely be and we would pay for it, and mortgage the future of the generations yet unborn, while their kids will enjoy the best of the world by sending them abroad. This is one of the reasons we have to vote for the right person so that we all can benefit irrespective of our personal relationship with him, or our region or our religion.
We want someone that would lead by example, tell us what he own before getting to power, and tell us what he own after leaving. Someone that would send his children to Nigeria’s school, that would want his family including himself to be treated in Nigeria hospitals, someone that would repair our roads, create employment opportunities and security for all, someone who is a problem solver, who would create an enabling environment that would increase our Human Development Index (HDI), someone that would create a genuine database of Nigerians so that everyone is identified, someone who will make the rule of law their guiding principle. Someone that is not corrupt and will not give leeway to those found guilty of corruption. Someone who would ensure everybody irrespective or creed or class play by the same set of rules. We want someone who sees himself first as a Nigerian, not as a Hausa, Ibo or Yoruba or as a Muslim or Christian, someone who can separate his/her interest from the public engagement. Someone who understand our constitution, who knows what conflict of interest is, not someone who is ignorant of this. And finally, we should vote as if our lives depend on the votes, as a matter of fact it is, and ensure that our votes count by waiting until the all the votes are counted and announced. If we can do these, then better future is ahead of us all or else our future will not be different from what the cynic have predicted – chaos and confusions.
Wasiu Raji writes from Edmonton, Canada.
Follow me on twitter @ Rajwasolad