Mr. Robert Marley must be flabbergasted in his grave. There is a place where you can fool all the people all the time by repeating the same jingles every four years and make them have the same expectations of a better life. It must be foolish expectations waiting for good to emerge from evil.
By Adeola Aderounmu
I have a friend who strongly believes that ordinary Nigerians who are waiting for Nigeria to improve politically and economically will grow old (or not) and die while waiting.
This friend of mine is one of the several millions of Nigerians who discuss about Nigeria almost every day. Some of us go the extra mile to put our thoughts and arguments into words. That is why we are able to blog regularly or opine our thoughts weekly.
Nigeria is approaching an election year and that makes the discussion about election the hottest for now.
The reasons why Nigeria will not improve politically have not been tackled because Nigeria remains a “geographical prize” presently chased by several crooks and political scavengers grouped mainly into two factions-APC and PDP.
In the past the prize has been chased and won under different dispensations. In politics it is the politicians and their army of sycophants who win the prize, steal the monies in the treasuries and disappear into thin air.
Under military rule, it is the soldiers who steal the monies in the treasuries and carried out counter coups to take turns in looting the treasuries.
Irrespective of the dispensations, the criminals have mostly gotten away with the proceeds of the treasuries, and to this day they continue to live large. Some died leaving billions of dollars of Nigerian money in foreign accounts/countries. There is no limit to stupidity in that sense.
An interesting dimension is the persistent of some people in the Nigerian political scene. It’s not all the crooks who disappear. It is amazing how long some of them have continued to carry out their nefarious activities while the people and the short arm of the law look away.
One of the most shocking aspects of the Nigerian life is the way the people condemn the rulers and the politicians despite the fact that they know that they were criminals before they were selected or bundled into important national and political positions.
In Nigeria the knowledge that a fellow has criminal cases or is incompetent are not deterrent factors to eventual elevation in public life or politics.
For the ones who became criminals while in office Nigerians have not find the way to boot them away or send them to prisons. Instead Nigerians develop a weird follow-follow Nigerian syndrome that is built on nepotism, blind faith and waiting for my turn to chop.
There are several examples that cut across the two major political parties, and beyond.
There are too many examples from the past and the present. The future seemed already awash with dubious characters waiting in line. The Nigerian society continues to thrive on systemic falsehood, alignment with bogus promises and foolish expectations.
This is a repetition. One criminal called James was sentenced in a Nigerian court. He later became a governor and what happened next is history. He raped the state and looted it blind. It took a London court to confirm to the foolish people of his state that they had a criminal ruling them!
This type of obvious stupidity-allowing criminals and extremely bad people to rule and dictate the policies- is spread across the length and breadth of Nigeria.
Nigerians know that occupiers of government houses across the land are not true to their promises and they rank them in order of their corruption tendencies instead of forcing the law to take its course.
There are millions of Nigeria who knew that a former governor in Bayelsa and his wife have been stealing directly and through couriers while ruling the state. They even know the criminal before that called Alams.
Yet when Obasanjo brought Jonathan to the national front to become one of the rulers of Nigeria, Nigerians accepted him. It is not as if Obasanjo is a saint but majority of Nigerians canonized him. It’s part of the foolishness, to raise one evil above the other instead of total condemnation of such in public offices.
Jonathan who never did anything tangible in Bayelsa continued to fool Nigerians 6 years on. His romance with all kinds of criminals-or their offspring attests to the nature of his true personality.
Mr. Robert Marley must be flabbergasted in his grave. There is a place where you can fool all the people all the time by repeating the same jingles every four years and make them have the same expectations of a better life. It must be foolish expectations expecting good to emerge from evil.
I remember watching the campaign trails of Jonathan versus Atiku during my visit to Lagos, Western Nigeria in 2010. I remember the walk down the streets in Iyana Ipaja, Festac Town and some parts of Amuwo Odofin. I can’t forget the disconnection between the people ruling and the people being ruled. It was two worlds apart.
The people who should be in prisons for crimes against Nigeria and Nigerians are always the ones on the campaign trails every 4 years. They are here again. Amazing!
The system is not right.
In 2014 Nigerians expected Jonathan to have solved their problems despite knowing his background as lazy, corrupt, feeble, and lacking courage. They know there is no way his wife would have been stealing so much money if he was not providing them from the Bayelsa state coffers. How much money has been stolen from the Nigerian treasury under Mr. Jonathan?
Since the return of civil rule and the virtual exit of the gangsters in uniform, several politicians and soldiers have been smiling to the bank and building businesses and empires by stealing public funds. Many of them have been receiving contract sums for work they never did. Nigeria’s most notorious ghost worker lives in Aso Rock.
In Lagos State it appears that everything is in the hands of Mr. Tinubu. Many have argued that this is necessary to provide a formidable opposition for the ruling party. Really?
So, Nigerians will get rid of crooks in Aso Rock by supporting crooks in the opposition parties. The people who treat symptoms rather than cure the disease won’t stop praying for miracles. This cycle is programmed to exist for as long as Nigeria exists.
I ponder. So Nigerians will for as long as they exist continue to choose between different forms of evil. So there will be no fresh start someday in Rivers, in Ekiti, in Adamawa, in Kogi, in Bayelsa, in Anambra and everywhere.
My friend does not claim to be a prophet but on this one, he is on point. If this is the mindset of a typical or an average Nigerian then the ordinary people will grow and die waiting for miracles in Nigeria. Their life time will be defined by complete hopelessness.
It is sad. Despite all the knowledge about what is wrong with Nigerian politics, Nigerians will follow-follow and repeat the same process in 2015.
Afterwards they will start to oppose and counter oppose and ask for a new fake change especially on the social networks.
Why can’t Nigerians soft pedal on elections and clean the system inside-out?
What are Nigerians going to do to stop politicians from stealing? What are they doing to stop the wastages at the federal execu-thieves level? What are they doing to stop the representa-thieves and legis-looters?
What are they doing to put a final stop to crimes in all the governors’ offices across the land? What are they going to do to ensure that elections become meaningful and that their votes really count?
How long do Nigerians intend to go before arriving at a point where Ghana-must go bags will not dictate the outcomes of (s)elections?
How do they intend to arrive at a point where the temporary condition of their stomachs is not a reference for thugs turned politicians?
How do they want to rebuild electoral principles/manifestos around education, health, jobs, social welfare, social justice and the protection of life and property? How?
I remember writing an article arguing that the 2011 elections should now hold until a political solution is adopted. I knew fully well that Nigerians were heading to the polls to select fraudsters. In 2015, the same process of selecting fraudsters will take place. The cycle of idiocy will be nourished.
The urgency of seeking political solutions has never been more critical than now when many things have already fallen apart in different regions. The worst hit is the N-Eastern axis under the control of local and foreign terrorists.
Nigerians should be tired of their rulers.
They need to elect leaders amongst them who will lead them in organizing and creating regional societies that will suit their goals and pursuits. This has been a mission impossible, and it is even sadder.
In 2018 slash 2019, people will be shouting, we told you not to vote for Jonathan-he is a liar. We warned you about Buhari-he is a dictator. We told you Atiku stole from the custom department.
We told you we want to control our resources. We told you the government was Boko Haram. We told you the oppositions were behind Boko Haram. We don’t have electricity. My children can’t go to school. Schools are for the rich. I have no job and no social security. There is serious problem of insecurity. The roads are bad. And so on.
My friend will still be right then because the system is just not working for the ordinary people. It was established out of oppression and oppression of the ordinary people will sustain it.
Nations or countries that prosper were mostly built on honesty, trust, patriotism, solidarity, probity, accountability, sincere promises, wise expectations and the pursuits of the common-good of all.
All the above virtues are missing in Nigeria. There will never be progress where there is no trust.
Majority of the citizens of any nation must cultivate these virtues. It must be forced down their throats through proper education or enlightenment campaigns.
In addition to integrity, functional institutions and a return to a system of government that works, these virtues are the hope of a brighter day for all the nations/regions entangled in non-functional unitary Nigeria.