OPINION: Only the ‘Big Thieves’ Will Survive in Nigeria –Gafar Titilope @titigafar
Imagine a country blessed with over 50 mineral resources, with over 152 million human population, called the giant of Africa, with over 70% of green vegetation, endowed with good climatic condition, with large coastal land and strategically located international seaports and with large population of diverse hard-core professionals of international repute, still crying poverty after 52 years of independence. Something serious must be wrong.
The leaders who ruled such country, who led such country to a colossal retrogression are supposed to be brought out in the broad day light and be flogged good strokes of cane and be banished from all the merriments of leadership, which all of them are enjoying today. But instead of this, they are being paid some huge amount of money monthly; they are being allocated 4 exotic brand-new cars annually and also being attached with some security officers to act as guard to them and their family members.
I imagined a so called country, whose larger population lack access to basic social amenities, whose larger population do not have access to good quality education, whose larger population feed less than two times daily, whose larger population sleep with one eye opened, whose larger population of youth are either unemployed or underemployed, whose larger population live in junk houses and under the bridges in the cities, whose larger population have no access to quality health services and facilities, whose larger population live on less than $1 daily, whose larger population are idle, unproductive and get involved in one crime or the other on daily basis.
Then what does such country have to show for independence after 51 years of democracy?
Today, we only read of Nigeria’s growth and development on pages of newspaper, without it adding #1:00 to the pocket of the larger population. Billions of naira is being spent on education, but we still see many schools around without lockers and chairs and even many of the schools are without roof. Billions of dollars are being spent on health, but the average man cannot buy a sachet of drug to cure their ailment. Hospitals now turn to morgues, where patients go and return no more. Billions of naira is being spent on road construction, but the roads are still the normal death traps they used to be, sending many family breadwinners to early grave and putting the lives of their family members in disarray. More and more armoured vehicles are bought for the police, but the robbers, assailant and kidnappers are still at prowl, robbing homes, banks and offices as if the police were dead. Policy and policies are being implemented but it never make Nigeria self reliant in food production, instead bags of rice are still being smuggled into the country from Cotonou. Bills and laws are being passed and enacted, but it never stopped the graduates from roaming up and down the street searching for jobs and survival. Corruption and embezzlement keep rising, EFCC and ICPC keep barking but we have not seen good number of people that have been bitten.
So should we be celebrating 51 years of democracy or colonization?
In Nigeria today, only the politicians, who I call “big thieves” can survive. They are the big thieves because, the person who steal #50,000:00 with a gun can easily be caught and be killed, but thieves who use pen to steal billions of naira are never caught nor convicted. Instead, they are celebrated and awarded with titles and honours in their town, mosques, and churches and even in the country’s ivory towers.
Only these big thieves can survive in this country, because they have got the money to seek medical attention in India, while the poor are left to rot away in the country’s so called hospitals.
Only the big thieves can survive in this country, because they have got the money to send their children to UK for good education in the top ranked universities, while the children of the poor are left to go to the bottom ranked universities in the world.
Only the big thieves can survive in this country, because they have got the money to buy bullet-proof cars, while the poor have no kobo to buy a good dog to protect their own house.
Only the big thieves can survive in this country, because they have got the money to buy a plot of land for #20 million in Lagos and Abuja, while the farmers cannot afford to buy an acre of land for #1 million.
Only the big thieves can survive in this country, because they have got the money to buy justice, the hope of the common man, while the poor does not have money to hire lawyer to speak for him even when his fundamental human right is being infringed.
Only the big thieves can survive in this country, because they have got the money to campaign, buy and win election, while the children of the poor are being hired as political thugs to help cause problem during such elections.
Only the big thieves can survive in this country, because they have got the money to enslave the poor man in their own country, giving them peanuts as salary after serving them for a whole month in their private companies.
Only the big thieves can survive in this country, because they have got the connection to help their children secure job in blue-chip companies, while the children of the poor, who graduated from the university are being given “keke NAPEP” branded the Nigerian colour all in the name of poverty alleviation.
So what is the hope of the poor man, in a “real” poor country, termed to be rich, given poor education, with poor health facilities, poor infrastructure, poor leadership, poor policy implementation, poor security of lives and property?….POVERTY, FRUSTRATION AND DEATH.
WHO SHALL SAVE THIS COUNTRY?
– Gafar Titilope
Follow on twitter: @titigafar