Saturday, August 12, 2017 12:11 pm
By Fola Ojo
Muhammadu Buhari’s reign has angered some and gladdened not a few. His burning goal when he came aboard as President was to purify a putrefying system colonised by callous wolves and rebellious ravens of corruption. Perpetrators of economic havocs in that discarded season now badly want us to blot out of memory our harrowing experiences when they ruled. “Don’t blame us; blame them”, they say. But tracks of iniquities they left behind are still visible; the scar remains discernible; the pain is still throbbing and cannot be forgotten. A putrid Presidency was on a romantic interlock with a looting legislature; and all aided by a jaded judiciary with its jackleg judges. Upon the tripod-stand of befuddlement was government run since 1999. Inch by inch, Nigeria slithered into further decay. May the country never return to that time of life!
The intended clean-up by Buhari’s men has also fallen short and flat on its face with thready pulse. The visionary is far away in London recuperating from an unknown illness. Sycophantic and unholy pilgrimages are now routed in visitation to the President’s apartment in London. Ninety four days today and counting, Sai Baba is sealed away from the people he presides over and Nigeria is mocked on the big screen of global media. No one is sure when Mr. President will return to his desk. And no one in government is dwelling into specifics about the state of his health. “He is coming soon”. That’s all we hear. The only place we are used to hearing that line is in church when Pastors refer to the coming of Jesus Christ. For thousands of years since the promised return, Jesus has not yet made it back. Now, the Nigerian government officials have seized that lyric from the pulpit and now use it to address the return of Buhari from London. Jesus can take His time coming; he is God. Buhari cannot; he is a paid elected official. Somebody tell our friends in government that the optics of what’s unfolding is bad for an administration claiming to be fighting corruption. May Buhari come back quick.
There is a growing anger and angst within the populace. While many nations of the world have woken up to devising sustaining economic options for the good of their people, Nigeria is just aroused out of the bed of unconcern she snoozed off on for years. And while Nigeria was busy splurging herself out of commonsense with a system that is cripplingly expensive, other countries are surging on to more peace and prosperity. The cash-at-hand cannot sustain our proposed expenditures. Large foreign loans and huge domestic debts have thus become the country’s pillars of succour to lean on as hunger and poverty continue to loom labouriously over the landscape. Oil is drying up. Now at midnight hours, we are scampering for an alternative to the crashing and downturned economy.
Paddled by gyps, the Nigerian legislature is an insane siphoning tool with all manner of scams and buncos. And Bukola Saraki, the Senate head-honcho recently said that he never saw anything wrong in collecting eternal pensions from two government assignments because the law is silent about it. People who have hauled their morals to the dogs are having a field day in the political terrain. This perniciously putrid band of invaders cannot purify a putrefying country. They are a cancerous part of the reason for the unending season of hunger and poverty in Nigeria. If hunger hangs on too long in a society, the hungry will one day begin to eat those who are full and satisfied. We are drawing close to that screenplay. Incontrovertibly, Nigeria is Africa’s numero uno. But before our eyes, the head is becoming a lagging tail.
What do we now do? Nigeria’s metastasised mess is not one solution-fits-all. In July 2016, Turks in their thousands trooped out to halt the hollow military coup attempt that could have ended the two-year controversial reign of 62-year-old Recep Tayyip Erdogan as President. With decisiveness and exuding doggedness of ordinary people, military tanks were demobilised, rampaging coup-plotter soldiers were collared and handed over to the police. Erdogan flew in with ease to Istanbul from vacation. Arrowheads of the flailed and flopped coup took to their heels. In a nanosecond, it was all over. What was the lesson learned? The people are the government! An assemblage of money-laundering men and women in power sucking life out of the system isn’t. When ordinary Nigerians begin to take a stand against what works not for their good, extraordinary things will begin to happen.
Some Nigerians stomp for the All Progressives Congress, some pound for the Peoples Democratic Party; some labour for Labour; and others in great entwinning accord with the Accord Party. Hugging this or that political party will not save Nigeria. Enlisting good men, great minds, determined hearts, and quickened feet that are willing, able, and available to walk an extra mile for the people’s welfare is what will redirect the nation’s ship away from the Euroclydon of distraction and possible destruction we now face.
If governments we elect will not purify the putrefied system, ordinary and well-meaning Nigerians must be willing to dare the drooling oligarchs and take their destiny in their own hands. Good things will never happen in Nigeria if men without scruples are left to live large on the duplicitous and double-dealing largesse sprouting endlessly from the lean and sick government treasury. Characters with batons of rulership today are those who were permitted by the people yesterday.
No one becomes a ruler if not permitted by the ruled. The ruled crown rulers who now tell the ruled where they can go, what they can do, what and when they can eat, who to marry, how far they can go, and how big they should grow in life and business. The extent to which the ruled can go in achieving their dreams is determined by rules put in place by rulers who have become unruly and respect no rules. And the ruled often forget that he has the divine endowment too to become a ruler. But he folds his hands; and keeps praying to God who shakes His head and mutters: “Ye fool”! Any society ruled by the unruly will soon become ruined. Must Nigerians always allow the unruly to rule?
Nigeria is in a deep hole because historically, round pegs have always been in square holes. A nation in a hole is not made whole until dug out. Readers, do you now see why you must get involved in government at whatever level and help dig the country out of her present sinkhole? Nigeria’s solution starts with men and women; young and old stepping up to set the country loose from the claws of chagrining ill-behaviours now ravaging her.
I am a journalist, a behavioral scientist; and a preacher. I have chosen my slot of contribution to the purification exercise. If there will be an upgrade in my assignment, we’ll voice it. The country needs men and women; young and old to wake up from their slumber and take the fight to grievous wolves who want to continue to be kings; and their accompanying hounding hyaenas who function as deputies and surrogates. Hunger and poverty drive a nation into coma and confusion. By the Grace of God, I have travelled the globe a bit; and I can boldly express that Nigerians have nowhere else to go if the country slumps into confusion and pandemonium. Very few countries around the world can tolerate us. Wake up; my people! It is unwise to sleep the sleep of death.
Credit: The Punch