Status Quo: The Ways Things Were
Last week l lamented the crawling nature of Nigeria as an independent country at 55. It was a mixed reaction on the social media. Many Nigerians celebrated the day as if Nigeria is the most developed country in the world. I can understand that where there is life, there is hope.
One man was bitter about the nature of Nigerian prisons. He nearly wept openly in his video post that went spiral among some users of the social media. His lamentations are genuine as Nigerian prisons remain a place where the guilty and the innocent are blended under life threatening circumstances.
However for those who painted the picture of a Nigerian paradise, they must know that refraining from telling the true nature of things is part of the hindrance to national or state development.
A general picture that all is well will continue to make the rulers celebrate in their enclaves while the real life situation shows (for example) that more than about 500 people may die due to road accidents only in the next 24 hours.
We are told that N70 million was spent to celebrate a failed country-Nigeria. No problem! Jonathan the prodigal son was alleged to have spent several billions annually. He has since denied the allegations, quite swiftly too. So in the era of the APC mandate N70 million is a chicken change. As far as no one is giving a breakdown of how the N70m went down, it is still part of the organised crime perpetrated by the government of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, as security remains a critical issue in Nigeria, several innocent lives continued to be wiped away due to terrorism. In the days of Jonathan, a man we knew as weak and incompetent, the condemnation was rife and totally in place. In the days of Buhari, a lot of people have been quiet and pretentious.
Don’t be silly Nigerians! Even if we supported a change of government, it should never stop us from demanding that Buhari must be held accountable for all that happens under his watch. Why the sudden state of timidity? Who cares if Buhari thinks that the press is too inquisitive? Does he want a suppress our freedom of expression again? The resilience of the internet warriors will shock him into convulsion.
How can it be right to criticize Jonathan for deaths in the hands of Boko Haram while we now lack the balls to criticize Buhari who could not spare a few minutes to visit the hospitals where victims and corpses have been deposited? Buhari will soon be sending his kitchen servants to watch and analyse the capital market and make reports on the economy.
It will not be an easy task to adjust all the errors that have brought Nigeria to her knees, crawling after 55 years of independence. Certainly one way not to proceed is to continue feeding Nigerians with lies and propaganda.
The APC mandate and the Buhari government whilst trying to fix Nigeria must be seen to be honest, sincere and trustworthy. No government will be perfect, just as no individual exists without faults.
Again, the Buhari government needs to come out clean, sincere and move Nigeria ahead while accepting when it has done wrong and making amends to avoid repetition of same errors and the errors of the previous government. Nigeria cannot afford another government driven by lies and propaganda.
In New York this past week, it was a show of shame for the Buhari government. It goes a long way to show that Buhari has a very weak team in charge of his itinerary and logistics. A couple of meetings were missed or screwed up. And the government lied!
In these days where ignorance is a disease and not an excuse, it would have been wiser for Buhari to stay in Abuja and call in sick rather than flying to the view of the world to show incompetences, lack of decorum, and lack of knowledge about global affairs.
As l see it now, the change of government was necessary but the parade of ineptitude that l have seen in recent days are very avoidable. This is where Nigerians should be concerned about what we have always written about.
It is time to build a functional political structure so that the competence of the institutions and the know-how of a competent workforce can always see Nigeria through, even when the ruler or leader has some shortcomings. Right now the shortcomings of Buhari are massive and the more he is exposed the more the shame and lies his government will have to cover.
For the future Nigeria has a lot to prove. In the past graduates like Yar Adua did not last while Jonathan was a huge joke. But by consistently asking for what is right and rejecting what is bad and evil, one day, say in 2019, the upcoming generation of Nigerians can enthrone an all-rounder citizen to lead her affairs at the center. The idea that the regions should be autonomous and running should not be relegated. It will raise Nigerian from her knees and make her a giant again.
My persistent call for the arrest and trial of all corrupt people in Nigeria will not dwindle in the face of the Diezani trial that may commence in London. Nigerian rulers and sadly Nigerian insitutions are still entrapped in slave mentality.
Why does it have to take the audacity of the British to arrest a thief like Diezani? How much money did Nigeria lose to the British after the Ibori trial? How much of Nigeria’s stolen oil money will be left in the British treasury when Diezani’s trial is over?
Is the Nigerian judiciary going to wait for the British to arrest all Nigerian criminal politicians? Is Buhari waiting for the British and the Americans to arrest all the Halliburton criminals? They will arrest them or their children in due time because they can confiscate the monies stolen and pay a token to the Nigerian government. Who’s the loser here?
This is a sad situation, l mean the slave mentality of the Nigerian government is very shameful.
On the status quo of Nigeria, things have not changed at all. The ministerial list flying across Nigeria contains familiar names. There are names of governors for example who have not given due accounts of their stewardships in offices. Is this the list that took 3 months to compile? Seriously?
Why all the lies? Why all the deceits from Buhari? This list could have emerged 24 hours after the APC mandate came into effect.
A lot of people were expecting new names and fresh hands of people who can never be suspected of corruption or looting. Buhari took the familiar path-ministerial positions are the rewards for campaigns, sponsorships, godfatherism and loyalty to political parties.
As we see clearly now, there were no saints working behind the scenes afterall. It’s largely the same old corrupt bunch being recycled by Mr. Buhari and the APC.
When he came back on, Buhari made it sound as if it will be different. His handlers need to tell him that lies are bad and too many lies and not facing reality was the beginning of the downfall of the Jonathan government. Oh! that government has no iota of morality, it was looting on a free fall.
We have a status quo, a hard to change country. What is different (but yet to be proven) is that it may be slightly more difficult to steal like the days of Obasanjo and Jonathan where the goats and the animated yams interlocked.
There is no better time to strengthen the institutions of government than now. Nigeria cannot continue to rely on Britain and the US to arrest or prosecute her political and public office criminals.
That would look like a Tom And Jerry game: they let Nigerian criminal politicians transfer money to their domains, arrest them and confiscate the money. If the arrest and trials are done in Nigeria the conditions will change to the benefits of Nigeria.
If that happens, there will be less corruption and the future can be hopeful. This hope will depend largely on an independent and fortified judiciary amongst other institutions (like the police with a vigour) that will be bold to take this struggle against corruption to the desired level.
When the problem of corruption is faced head-on and minimized, other things including the diversification of the economy will fall in line. Then Buhari will take his eyes off the petroleum sector because there may be a more lucrative groundnut pyramid to give attention to, in a world where the campaign is less dependency on crude oil. Renewable energies are coming, please tell Buhari so. The price of oil may dwindle more.
Nigerians need social justice and a sane environment. Without them, the dreams we have of a better country and a place where freedom, peace and justice reign will remain a mirage.
Buhari and APC should leave the status quo, stop telling lies and let go of propaganda. For a second let them think of the Nigeria where they want their children and grandchildren to live and be happy.