It is not out of place to say that one can be viewed as a hero in some quarters and a villain by others at the same time, because that is the nature of human behaviour. Mine certainly cannot be different. This surely wasn’t the way I intend kick-starting the new year. So, if after reading this treatise, your judgement of me comes within the sphere of a villain, so be it; if otherwise, so be it. I don’t want to sound pessimist, but I guess and believe pessimism has become such a highly-prized commodity these days in Nigeria, that were you not one (a pessimist), then you seriously are lacking a dignified trait. Unfolding events have made it so. Upon reflection of events in the country, let me boldly declare that I am a pessimist. Earlier on, a co-author here listed out the ‘highs’ of why we, Nigerians should be grateful for an eventful 2014. Why not? It has always been our style to take whatever is thrown our way in a hollow gesture as Nigerians.
Given the virulent scourge which has stabbed into the marrow of the country, starting with the abduction of 214 innocent school-girls in Chibok, to the incessant boko-haramic engineered bombings in Northern Nigeria, to the massive stinking corruption in high places, down to the social unrest which has besieged the country, and to cap it all, coupled with the apparent mental paralysis of our government to head-on tackle such crises nor even show the slightest intent of abating them, what normal and level-headed human could see through such maze and still claim that indeed, “Nigeria has everything to be thankful for 2014.”? Hardly a day passed by without news of fresh slaughter of fellow innocent citizens in one part of the country or the other. The vice-like grip of corruption which has broken all barriers even in majority of our politicians souls has certainly repressed all reasonableness of being thankful. The nation’s credibility has been sacrificed on the altar of political self-interest. Is this what we should be “thankful” for? To our leaders credits, their stock portfolios are full of the callous reputation which governance in the country has come to be associated with. People who are morally vacant. We’ve been tossed and bossed around like worthless pieces of papers.
I clearly remembered the triumphal euphoria and glitz which greeted the present administration when it freshly entered power. The high hopes and expectations which went round the whole country. The unending sweet-talk of uninterrupted power supply for the whole country, tarred and paved roads throughout the federation… The oaths of turning Nigeria into paradise on earth; the ceaseless promises of heaven and earth for all Nigerians. Just three years down the lane today, and what really has changed? Nothing really. Except for the way corrupt politicians are publicly magnified; except for the way the legal system has taken on the garb of impunity; except for… Heretofore, the contrived thankfulness that we might pretend to express would instantly expire. It would do so in puffs of smoke, fusillades of bullets and the roadside heaping of innocent corpses. It would inevitably expire in the pangs of hunger which has sucked all living hope within us; in the gloominess of our downcast nation. It is bitter enough to hope against hope that things might slightly turn for the better, but it is worse enough if you have a government at the helm which more or less is thwarting your efforts at hoping.
President Jonathan’s administration has a first-class in crying out and feeling helpless in situations which require drastic and decisive measures. Issues that are critical to the very life of the country proved very difficult to solve. A Federal Government that possesses all the might to tackle miscreants no matter how organised they might be would yet continue to cry out in frustration as if it were a victim of some conspiracy. The perennial excuse has always been seeking cover under religious guise, but I am not unaware of the Biblical declaration in Psalms 11:8 which says, “…if the foundation be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” You don’t need to be an expert in building science to know that a strong foundation is the strength of the building. What would happen to the building that has a faulty, shaky foundation? Nigeria is clearly a case study. This is the worst type of oppression. The fissures and cracks in our National building has gone beyond repair. The ups recorded could be counted on the fingers of one hand yet leaving at least two of those digits unencumbered in the accounting.
Of certain, ceteris paribus, and God willing, 2015 would be another chance to showcase the lying talents of our numerous political office occupiers, when really their score sheets are not reflecting any iota of change nor improvement. For good measure, with our conscience, we should truly reflect upon past events in the country and then come up with a singular reason to be thankful for 2014. Outlined so, if indeed, you truly and whole-heartedly believe that “Nigeria has got everything to be thankful for 2014,” then go ahead and be “thankful”, as for me, I truthfully see no reason to be thankful for Nigeria. Thus, I ask again, what really has changed?