President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan’s promise of fresh air has left a lot to be desired. Many of those who voted for the President in the last election defied the rot that characterized the party to vote for the individual whom they thought was our “Daniel brought to judgment”. Even though we cannot honestly rule out tribalism and religious sentiments before, during and after the election, the promise of fresh air was overwhelming and very consummating. Nigerians, great and small, rich and poor, corrupt and incorrupt wanted to breathe a sigh of relief. Then, the bombs started rolling in, but Sir, still the electorates believed in you. Then we all woke up to hear those scary statements, “I am not a David…I am not a General……I am not a Lion…” then, reality dawned on us. Funniest thing, everybody in Nigeria knows that David was not included in your list of names, at least when you hit us with the Azikiwe stuff, we all took it without question”. We also expected that you will fulfill your promise to tackle corruption with all your goodluckian might, after all that was the promise you gave us but unfortunately, Mr. President came out to tell us that there is a cabal, greater than the might and the force of the Presidency and therefore fuel subsidy must go. I was disappointed that the President could not even set up a panel of inquiry to fish out the looters and recommend them for prosecution. It had to take the intervention of the National Assembly to investigate and publish their names. Then as a matter of time, the issue will be swept under the carpet.
In my recent encounters, I have come to realize that the problem that plagues Nigeria is a systemic problem. This problem is just one problem, ONE BIG PROBLEM. Firstly, I want to use this opportunity to address the issue of the Nigerian Revolutionist and the stand of the Government then I will come back to the real problem.
I have come to realize that some of the public don’t actually know what they want. They are in the business of protest because they feel it is what’s in vogue now or they are disgruntled because they have been marginalized from the corridors of power. They refer to the Arab Spring with a shallow understanding of the technicalities and details of the Arab Spring. I would like to compare to their actions to a sharp rush of adrenaline. How many of these people have weighed the possible outcomes of a revolution? How many of them see the possibility of this revolution further compounding the problems of the common man? How do you plan for iya wasila (a villager who sells bitter leaves) to feed her eight kids when there is no order? Or how do you plan for Kayode who works in a bank? (Remember Kayode has an invalid mother with three siblings in the university and he is the bread winner for the family). How many of them have given thought to funding a revolution? Or are you intending to kneel in front of Mr. Obama after three days for CHOP MONEY? Then after all is done, they will come in to rebuild Nigeria for us at our own expense. In the political front, let us for the basis of this argument assume that the President is ousted, can we have another consensus candidate who will occupy the Rocky Villa with the politics of tribalism and religious sentiments that we play? This is the truth IN MY OWN OPINION about a revolution in Nigeria. After the said revolution, Nigeria will cease to exist as a country. It is sad but unfortunately I see no other logical opinion. I’m not saying we don’t need a revolution, what I’m saying is that if we are going to do it, let’s do it right. Let’s look beyond the immediate and imagine the aftermath before we act. Remember, it is not about now alone, for every action we take, we owe posterity an explanation.
I must confess I have never seen such a clueless, directionless and cowardly government before in my short lifetime. Everything about this administration sucks. The only thing our government has taken a stand for since its inauguration is FUEL SUBSIDY. Our education is in shambles, our hospitals, a slaughter house, even our football is at its lowest ebbs. Our way of life reminds me of the Holy Book which says “…..there was no King in Israel and everyone did that which is right in his own eyes.” Bombs and bombings is no longer an amazement, Banks across different states shut down for security reasons, exam malpractice is now a norm; I even heard that the last jamb answers was online before the exams. Yet President GEJ did not see any of these things to attend to but the only benefit of the masses from the government. Fine, I have come to accept that Nigerian economy will crash soonest if something is not done but the truth is that President GEJ has no moral standing to ask us to trust him. If the President was sensitive to the plight of Musa, the Okada rider, Emeka, my barber or Eyumchichi that brings yam from Benue to Lagos, he would have set a gradual rolling plan which would ultimately end by totally removing the subsidy. He would have ensured that the refineries were working to sustain local consumption, he would have ensured that our roads were not death traps. Mr. President sir, let me remind you that it is only fools that run on grounds that angels fear to thread. As your predecessors have warned you, removal of fuel subsidy might be just a little more than you can handle. At this juncture, I would humbly recommend sir that you pause, assess your position and re-strategize because if care is not taken you may be the last President Nigeria might have. In a nutshell, all I am asking is that you should earn our trust, don’t expect us to hand it to you on a platter of gold. Sir, if you can only fix the power problem Nigeria has, Emeka, Innocent and other Nigerians will be willing to give you a try. You see Sir, everything revolves round power. Every Nigerian in this present dispensation now depend on oil just only because there is no power.
The Problem: The problem is not the leadership as widely acclaimed neither is it corruption, the problem is what I would like to refer to as LOSS OF VALUE SYSTEM. Value what? Yes, value system.
The loss of our value system is the reason why a student would prefer to cheat in exam rather than read to pass, it is also the reason why a lecturer would accept bribe in order to admit students into the university. The loss of our value system is why our President would send an emissary to receive a convicted looter, it is also the reason why an election rigger would go to the church after being kicked out of office not to ask God for pardon but to thank God. Thank God my foot! The loss of value system is why a leader would amass billions in his account while his followers languish in poverty. It is also the reason why my bank will force me to pay for an ATM card when I don’t need one (why would they force their services on me?). It is the reason why government workers would not be behind their desk until 10.00 am. It is the reason you respect that rich man with ill-gotten wealth while you ignore the honest poor worker. It is the reason why you have to bribe your way at the VIO office or Road Safety office to get either road worthiness or drivers license. It is the reason why we put tribalism and religious sentiments above merit. The list is endless PHCN, Police, Customs………..
In honest truth, I don’t have a solution to this problem but think about generations to come, if we are to make Nigeria a better place, all efforts must be geared towards setting and enforcing a value system, Nigerians, both as an individual as a nation should appreciate honesty and hard work.
Long live Nigeria
Laniran P. Tolulope can be reached on
08181119417, firstname.lastname@example.org or follow on twitter @mal_lt