OPINION: Things are gradually falling apart in Nigeria – by Emmanuel Nwachukwu

Published:10 Oct, 2012

OPINION: Things are gradually falling apart in Nigeria – by Emmanuel Nwachukwu

Yet another sad news with the reported massacre of over 20 innocent students at the Federal Polytechnic Mubi in Adamawa State. These are indeed troubling times for Nigeria. We have not trod this path before. There is a palpable sense of anxiety, if not fear over where the country is heading. Terrorism, kidnappings, armed robbery, ritual killings and assassinations are now common place, with no signs of abating. Businesses in the north have almost ground to a halt because of the incessant bombings. Agitations by tribal groups to go it alone, that were once quiet mutterings are now getting louder and bolder. Cases of tribal and religious intolerance are on the increase as Nigerians are beginning for the first time to question openly the basis of our federalism. States are at loggerheads on the fairness of the current revenue sharing formula as the debate rages on how the nation’s wealth is shared. Cracks are appearing in the bond that once held us together as a nation. Things seem to be falling apart and the centre is struggling to hold. The president of the Senate, David Mark, captured the mood of the nation, in his summation of the dire state of the nation in his welcome address to his colleagues, from their summer recess. The message was honest, it was blunt, it was timely and needed to be said from the high echelons of power.

Paradoxically, the emergence of Boko Haram seems to have awakened northern leaders from their slumber. For decades, this elite group of individuals paid little attention to the developmental aspirations of their people. They were content for their people to forage for crumbs falling from their table, whilst they lived sumptuously from state revenue allocations and oil patronages. They learnt nothing from the selfless leadership of their forebears, such as Ahmadu Bello and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Apart from a few progressive governors in the South, the story is the same; the story of greed, graft and incompetence. Driving through Asaba, Delta State’s capital, it is hard to believe that this state gets more than four times the revenue allocation of Edo State where so much is happening in infrastructure development.

At the root of all our current challenges are corruption and incompetence of leadership. Although the President tells us he is doing his best to fight corruption, the evidence does not support this assertion. Although Nigeria is ranked as one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and the issue of corruption dominates our daily discourse, it is ironic that no politician or civil servant of any note is serving time for this crime. This is the question the President should be asking his Attorney-General and Minister for Justice. All across the length and breadth of the country, the cry is going out that we are tired of corruption, but the response from the nation’s Attorney-General, who should be at the forefront of this fight, is a deafening hush. Obviously, any serious fight against corruption must begin with his replacement. He is clearly not part of the solution. Sadly, most Nigerians believe that the President either lacks the metal or the will to make the far-reaching changes required to tackle corruption. Most agree that the fight against corruption in Nigeria effectively ended when Nuhu Ribadu left the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. Not many individuals in the world would have turned down a $15m bribe from an ex-State Governor as he allegedly did, for love of country. These are the kinds of individuals the President needs in his cabinet to lead the shakeup of the entire justice system and the fight against corruption.

The frustration Nigerians have with government is borne more out of the lack of progress in the security, social and economic well-being of citizens. There is a deficit of trust between the government and the governed. The people do not trust the government because they have not delivered in the past, nor punished those who have stolen from the public purse. In the same vein the government is nervous of all criticism, be it constructive, and sees critics as enemies of the President. We are constantly being told by ministers that Nigeria has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, recording GDP growth of around seven per cent per annum. This may be so on paper, but ask the man on the street what he thinks; ask him if he is better off this year than five years ago or indeed last year and the answer is most likely to be an emphatic No! The truth is that most Nigerians are not seeing that change in their economic well-being that is commensurate with a GDP growth of zero per cent let alone seven per cent; unless of course you are one of the oil marketers that shared half the country’s entire annual budget in subsidy claims, or one of the Directors-General and permanent secretaries in the public sector, or one of the retired generals and their cohorts who own the country. Sadly, for the majority of Nigerians, the talk of a GDP growth of seven per cent is simply hogwash.

Nigerians do not expect the President to be at the trenches doing the work himself but we expect him to appoint the right people to positions and hold them accountable when they fail. We expect him to start making an example of corrupt and failing ministers by publicly sacking them. The President did not need any other evidence to tell him, for instance, that his minister for sport was failing when he visited the National Stadium in Abuja, but instead of holding the minister to account for incompetence, he appointed yet another commission, led by Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to investigate the matter. This poor woman must feel the weight of government on her shoulders. She is called in everywhere and is fast becoming Jonathan’s abracadabra. Ironically, the President needs many more of her and the likes of the Agriculture Minister, Akinwumi Adesina, in the cabinet. One is convinced that a critical mass of the likes of these individuals in the cabinet will transform Nigeria in just one term of government.

It appears at last that we have a tough Inspector-General of Police who knows where he wants to take the Nigeria Police. We urge the President to implement without further delay the Parry Osayande report on the reorganisation of the Nigeria Police, including the abolition of the Police Commission. The President must not place the interest of powerful individuals, who obviously have a vested interest in the status quo, before the interest of the nation.

These are indeed challenging times for Nigeria. At periods like this a nation needs a strong leader that is plugged into the mood of the nation. A leader that will deliver on the root causes of our current discord – a leader that will deliver on the nation’s current challenges of corruption and lack of opportunity. The President to his credit has started delivering on power for the first time in our history. He has allowed democracy to flourish by allowing free elections. He has listened to protestations from Nigerians, not least the recent debate on the introduction of the N5,000 note. For these achievements he deserves our commendation. However, corruption continues to undermine every effort to move the country forward. Surely, if this is not addressed with the vigour and urgency it deserves, it will eventually consume all of us, and who knows, even the oppressors themselves may not be lucky to get out fast enough.

•Emmanuel Nwachukwu, an International Business Consultant based in London, UK, wrote in via Emmanuel@pssolutions-ltd.com

 

via Punch

  • http://blogs.rediff.com/abckosmotoligia9 natalia

    There are some attention-grabbing points in time on this article however I don’t know if I see all of them heart to heart. There is some validity however I will take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want more! Added to FeedBurner as well

  • http://Website Stellar Phoenix Review

    This post is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader interested. Between your wit and your pictures, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost..haha) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool! Stellar Phoenix Review

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Bayelsa Speaker Bows To Pressure, Swears In Opposition Lawmakers

At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson, on Thursday, bowed to pressure and swore in the three opposition lawmakers after about four months in limbo. The three lawmakers inaugurated at the hallowed chamber of the House are Watson Belemote of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, representing Brass Constituency 2; Gibson Munalayefa of the Labour Party for Ogbia Constituency 2 and Gabriel Ogbara of African Democratic Congress for Ogbia Constituency 3. At last, the Speaker, Bayelsa State...

NYSC To Deploy Doctors, Pharmacists, Nurses To IDP Camps Nationwide – DG

The National Youth Service Corps is to deploy medical doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other medical professionals to Internally Displaced Persons camps nationwide. The Director General of NYSC, Brig-Gen. Sule Kazaure, made this known on Thursday while flagging-off the NYSC intervention programme at Damare IDPs camp in Yola. Kazaure said the deployment of NYSC in the camps was part of the scheme’s contribution to government’s efforts in assisting the IDPs. “This programme, which is designed to bring succour to the inmates in this...

Abacha Loot: World Bank Asks For More Time

The World Bank Access to Information Committee has asked for more time to decide on a request by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Lagos, on how the recovered Abacha loot was spent.   Mr Olukayode Majekodunmi, the Deputy Director of SERAP, said in a statement on Thursday that the World bank had requested for additional time to respond to SERAP'S request.   The statement said SERAP received a letter dated April 27 form the World Bank requesting for additional time on...

Saraki Loses Again At CCT

The Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) sitting in Abuja has thrown out an application filed by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, asking the chairman of the tribunal, Danladi Umar, to disqualify himself from his ongoing 13-count corruption trial. According to Umar, Saraki’s application lacked merit. “The tribunal holds that the application of counsel to the accused lacks merit and is hereby dismissed in its entirety,” Mr. Umar held. More to follow…

AFRIMA Mourns Papa Wemba

The International Committee of the All Africa Music Awards, AFRIMA, in partnership with the African Union Commission, AU, mourns the death of Papa Wemba, real name Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba. The iconic musician from the Democratic Republic of Congo died in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, during the FEMUA urban music festival on Sunday April 24, 2016. He was 66. Papa Wemba was considered an African icon and world music star...

Five Killed, Over 13,000 Left Homeless By Floods In Eastern Tanzania

Tanzania authorities on Thursday said ongoing heavy rains and floods have killed five people and left over 13,000 others homeless in Tanzania's eastern region of Morogoro. It said that the killing of the five people by the raging floods brought to 13 the total numbers of people killed by the deluge in a space of one week. It added that eight others were killed in the east of Kilimanjaro, leaving hundreds of others homeless. The Morogoro regional commissioner, Kebwe Steven Kebwe, said...

Dokpesi’s Trial Stalled Over Absence Of Prosecution Counsel

The trial of Raymond Dokpesi, the chairman of DAAR Communications Plc, owners of Ray Power and AIT, was today stalled following the absence of the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs. It would be recalled that Dokpesi is standing trial at a Federal High Court in Abuja on a six-count charge of fraud after being accused of illegally receiving N2.1 billion from the office of the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki. The money was originally meant for purchase of...

Workers’ Day: FG Declares Monday Public Holiday

The Federal Government has declared Monday, May 2 as public holiday to commemorate the 2016 Workers’ Day Celebration. Retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, Minister of Interior, made the declaration in a statement signed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr Bassey Akpanyung on Thursday in Abuja. The minister congratulated Nigerian Workers for their resilience, hard work and commitment to the change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari despite current challenges. He enjoined them to continue to support the President in his desire to...

Tourism, Culture Will Soon Be Bedrock Of Nigeria’s Economy – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, Thursday, disclosed that Tourism and Culture which had been neglected in the past would soon be the bedrock of Nigeria’s economy. To this end, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed challenged the rural dwellers, who were blessed with rich country’s cultural heritages and tourist sites to live up to the responsibility of managing and protecting the sites for economic purposes. Buhari, who declared the 2016 National Summit on Culture and Tourism...

Cristiano Ronaldo Will Undergo Stem Cell Treatment To Be Fit For Manchester City In Second-Leg Champions League Clash

Cristiano Ronaldo will have stem cell treatment in a bid to rush the Real Madrid star back from a hamstring tear in time to face Manchester City on Wednesday. Real welcome City to the Santiago Bernabeu in their Champions League semi-final second leg next week with the score locked at 0-0. Having seen their star man miss the first leg on Tuesday, the Spanish giants are determined to race Ronaldo back in a bid to find the route...

India Launches 7th Navigational Satellite Into Orbit

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on Thursday put its seventh satellite India Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS)-1G into the orbit, officials said. ``April 28, 2016: PSLV-C33 successfully launches IRNSS-1G, a message displayed on the website of ISRO, reads. ``The satellite was put into orbit using indigenous polar satellite launch vehicle (PSLV) at around 12:50 p.m. (local time),’’ officials said. It said that the 1,425 kilogramme satellite was ejected by the launch vehicle around 20 minutes after takeoff. ``Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated...

DR Congo, Uganda Launch Demarcation Of Their Common Border

Democratic Republic of Congo (DR Congo) and Uganda on Thursday, launched a joint demarcation of their common border in the eastern part of DR Congo. Several leaders from both countries, accompanied by experts of the joint demarcation commission, were taking part in the bipartisan exercise whose objective was to end persistent conflicts between Uganda and DR Congo. Head of the DR Congo delegation Jean-Pierre Masala expressed the desire to see discussions held in good conditions because, according to him, a border...

Ambode Names Dolphin Park After Late Tunji Braithwaite

Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Wednesday named Dolphin Park after the late Dr Tunji Braithwaite, in recognition of his contributions to the political development of Nigeria. Ambode, who was represented by his deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, made this known at a special service of songs organised by the Braithwaite family in Lagos. He said that Braithwaite's struggle for the emancipation of Nigerians and his daily agitation for improved living condition for the masses was commendable. "The late Dr Braithwaite gave...

Ending Attacks On Communities By Herdsmen A National Priority – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja condemned the reported attacks by suspected herdsmen on some communities across the country. A statement issued in Abuja by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said the President particularly condemned Monday's attack on Ukpabi Nimbo in Enugu State The President assured all Nigerians of his administration's continued commitment to ensuring the safety of lives and property in all parts of the country. ``President Buhari unreservedly condemns the attack on...

Russia Delivers Humanitarian Aid To Syria

Col. Igor Borodin, a Representative of a Russian Humanitarian Centre in Syria, said Russia has sent 2.5 tons of humanitarian aid including 700 kg of bread to Homs province in Syria. He confirmed on Thursday in Moscow that the Russian military brought bread, canned fish, meat, sugar, flour and cereal to the village of Ein Al-Dananir. Borodin said the Russian military doctors are also providing medical treatment to villagers in need. The representative added that Russian negotiators have also been busy working...

Oby Ezekwesili Shares Beautiful Throwback Photos As She Celebrates Her Birthday

Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, shared these throwback photos of herself on her twitter handle to celebrate her 53rd birthday today. The photos were taken when she was in her mid-20s. She is seen above carrying her last son at his baptismal service.  Happy Birthday to her.

Saraki’s Aide Refuses Food From DSS

The family of the Senior Special Assistant to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki on Youth and Students Matters, Barr. Ikenga Ugochinyere, has said the Barrister has refused to eat in the last 3 days he has been in detention. According to them he has not accepted any food or drink from them. In a press conference organized by his brother yesterday, he disclosed that they have also not allowed them to give him food or water, a situation he said...

Nick Gordon Reveals Bobbi Kristina Suffered A Couple Of Miscarriages Before Her Death

Nick Gordon has revealed Bobbi Kristina Brown suffered a "couple of miscarriages" before her death. The 25-year-old star says he and the aspiring actress - who tragically died in July 2015, nearly six months after she was found unresponsive in a bathtub - were keen to start a family but "weren't planning on it yet". He said: "We had a couple of miscarriages. We would have loved to have a kid but we weren't planning on it yet...

Fuel Scarcity: Depot Owners Dump PPPRA’s Pricing Template

Depot owners appear to have jettisoned the pricing template of Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, PPPRA, thereby sabotaging efforts of Federal Government to end the lingering fuel crisis. Vanguard learned that depot owners, especially those used by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, for throughput arrangement, jettisoned the current PPPRA pricing template for petroleum products released on April 1, and, instead, have been using the pricing template for the first quarter of the year. For example, the present...

“Police Requested For Bribe To Rescue Ekiti Doctors”, Survivor Debunks Over Speeding

Dr. Ekundare Folu, Chairman of National Association of Government and General Medical and Dental Practitioners in Ekiti, has accused policemen of demanding N4,000 to move the corpses of the six doctors who died in a road accident. Ekiti State was thrown into mourning following the death of six doctors in a road accident which occurred on Sunday a few kilometres to Kaduna on their way to Sokoto for a free medical mission organised by the Nigerian Medical Association...

Family Dog Leads Firefighters To Trapped Children In Their Burning Home

Neighbours of an Orlando, Florida deputy saw flames and realized that her house was on fire at about 11pm on Monday, they quickly called 911 and rushed to help her, her husband, their two children. One of the neighbors, Mr Dover, was able to break through all the front windows of the home and rescue the Seminole County sheriff's deputy. Fortunately, Firefighters responded to the fire around 11:20 p.m. and were able to pull her husband from the home...