Friday, 2 February 2018

WHERE ARE WE HEADED, AND AT WHAT PACE?

Who would have thought I’d be sitting down here today, just a little under three years after giving my unequivocal, albeit visceral, support to Buhari in his quest for the occupancy of Aso Rock, musing about the manifest ineffectualness of the very same Buhari. Nigerians hardly need reminding what issues afflict them – almost everything has gone wrong and going wrong. I’m still in a state of disbelief; actually, shocked to the marrow that I could have vouched for this President. I, along with many millions of Nigerians, had no foreboding of the impending disaster that has culminated into the shambles that is the Nigerian state today. It is gut-wrenching to now realize that we were boondoggled into voting this feckless government into power.
I’m sick and tired of the dated and absurd narrative that nobody could have made a great deal of difference in two years of being in office. Well, it’s almost three years now and most economic indices indicate retrogression rather than progression. There are more than three million more unemployed than when Buhari took office; the chaos in the financial market is unabating; the war on corruption has become a battle of wits; Fulani herdsmen have become the wrecking ball on societal cohesion. The only stability there is is in the business of corruption; corruption is still profitable and unpunishable. The judiciary remains the bedrock of corruption and the legislature is as fetid as ever.
Has Lai Mohammed any shame at all? Does he even have a heart? He goes about churning out mind-boggling numbers that are supposed to indicate progress being made in making things better for Nigerians. If infrastructural expenditure has gone up that much, why are there many millions more unemployed than when his mob took office? Why hasn’t there been much of a headway in the fight against corruption, which was the central plank of their campaign? Serious corruption at the very heart of the presidency goes unpunished and brushed over; the government is now a mishpocha of sorts. Why is crime against the person and property on the rise? Education and medical care facilities are deteriorating by the hour; still blandishments about Buhari’s achievements rain out of Aso Rock with reckless abandon. One could go on and on, but the crux of the matter is Nigerians were angry at the laissez faire way Jonathan’s PDP conducted the affairs of state, but now they are distressed to a point unimaginable even in 2015. It is trite to say we are at crisis point; the window of redemption is ever being so tightly shut, and the door of recovery is just that a little ajar.
Why has it all gone pear-shaped? The gamut of issues can be crystallized into one: frugality of ideas in the high echelons of power. The corridors of power are littered with venal apple-polishers whose sole interests are their pockets and political relevance. It is one thing to have a vision, it’s entirely another to envision a clear pathway to actualizing it. Words mean absolutely nothing when unaccompanied with meaningful action to achieve the desired beneficial outcomes. The business environment is dire, and hope for a resuscitation of the comatose confidence in the ability of government to correct the multitudinous ills afflicting the economy is virtually dead.
Where are we headed? As things stand, it goes without saying that we’re headed in the wrong direction as a nation, and those steering the ship of state are criminally oblivious to the fact. To boot, we’re headed in the wrong direction at a frighteningly fast pace! The impending political intrigues are like dark clouds in the horizon, and would most certainly muddle the already choppy waters that much more dangerously. I’ve often opined that we, Nigerians, are a docile lot; and we, by allowing those at the helm to get away with murder, are the architects of our nation’s misshapen economy and political misfortunes. The political space is condensed with despicable scofflaws and downright outlaws, and yet we allow them to get on with their destructive practices. It may be true that we can’t all be politicians to counter the corrosive effects of the arrant mismanagement of our affairs, but it is a truism that each, and every one of us, has the right, and the responsibility, to vet those we elect into office. Our vote is our voice. Many a Nigerian has vowed never to vote again, but I say this to them: if you abdicate your civic responsibility, you lose your voice and you give up your right to those making your lives a misery. It is a double-whammy!
The cliché that all politicians are the same, that they all belong to the thieving elite, is tiresome. If we could remove the herd mentality from our political psyche, we might begin to sanitize the polity and stem the rate of decay of our national being. It is now time for Nigerians of conscience, myself included, to put our heads above the parapet by purposefully entering the fray and stop limiting our involvement to just the ubiquitous righteous outrage on social media. Mere words and angry expressions of indignance get us nowhere; we must rise above the politics of ethnicity and religion. It is only then we might be able to break free of the shackles of want and poverty. The future of Nigeria is at stake, so is ours and that of yet unborn generations.
The rottenness in our society cannot be allowed to fester for much longer, otherwise a point of no return would be Nigeria’s destination.
While the churches are busy feathering their own nests at your expense, they have little or no interest in speaking out vociferously against the injustices being meted out to their congregations up and down the land. Their main calling is the business of tithing, offering and thanksgiving, not mindful of the lengths their flocks have to go to in order to stuff money into their ever-bulging pockets. Preaching prosperity amidst pervasive government-inflicted suffering is their stock-in-trade, and cavorting in their private jets and mansions is their bailiwick. Justice, compassion, mercy and eternal life have all been redacted from their bibles. God will surely avenge the weak and the helpless.
So, as we inch ever closer to the political campaign season and the next round of elections, we need to be discerning and begin to wrestle back our fortune, and our future, from the rampaging cabal, and make it clear to them that their time is fast approaching its end. Time to put our collective foot down. Mere words are unavailing. It is time for action. Time is of the utmost essence.
May the good Lord bless you all, and the Federal Republic of Nigeria.