NIGERIA’S CENTENARY: CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF DARKNESS! Part 1.
The ignorance inherent in our political elites is once again manifesting itself in the planned celebration of our 100 years of existence as a Nation. It is a popular belief that the most tragic paradox of our time is to be found in the corridors of those perpetually living in failure and who thus, celebrate failure in a grand style. I think one of the problems with our political class is that they do not have the basic understanding of what it means to be referred to as a “failed state” or a “third world Nation”; otherwise they would have been preoccupied, figuring out lasting solutions to our decaying infrastructure, fight monumental corruption head-on and intensify the war on terrorism, which is currently the bane of our society, rather than shamelessly celebrating failure in the code name of centenary.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. is quoted to have said: “May I stress the need for courageous, intelligent and dedicated leadership… leaders of sound integrity. Leaders not interested in publicity but in love with justice. Leaders not in love with money but in love with humanity. Leaders who can subject their particular egos to the greatness of the cause”. Consequently, one will be compelled to state categorically here that none of our leaders falls in that picture and none of the registered or unregistered political parties in Nigeria represents what Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr. delineated herein.
Owing to the aforementioned, I beg to be brutally honest here that our leaders have sight but no vision. They clearly exhibit dullness in intellect and are deficient in achievement, hence their penchant to celebrate mediocrity. Leadership is not about titles, positions or owning private jets as we have seen in our structure. Leadership is about learning to know the people's needs, and you have to live with God to know how to solve them. In essence, one life influencing another. Unfortunately, our leaders have a desire to look for the exception instead of the desire to become exceptional.
The Nigerian project could be likened to a child who at fifty-four, still refuses to grow. He has no job, no wife, no child, and all he does is to trick or steal from his siblings to celebrate his birthday annually. Yet, he cannot take responsibility for his actions; rather, he would blame his failure on spiritual forces or his siblings. Based on that, his friends tagged him as NFA - “NO Future Ambition”. Such a child of course epitomizes failure. One does not need to be told that something is wrong with such a Big Child.
Where are we going in this country? Where does our path lead? We cannot continue to wander aimlessly with brainless leaders at the helm of affairs. Celebrating our 100 years of existence as a Nation at this critical regime of BOKO HARAM and the deplorable situation of our infrastructure is the commonest form of stupidity and the message that our celebration of mediocrity will send out to the civilized world is simply “misplaced priority”. It may interest everyone to learn that no one commands the genuine respect and attention of the world by being stupid. It is a shame to learn that for 100 years, we cannot boast of stable electricity or even 30,000 megawatts of energy which is even insufficient to serve a population of 167 million Nigerians; whereas Ghana with a population of almost 25 million people has 3,600 megawatts while South Africa with a population of 51.8 million people has 35,200 megawatts.
I am sure that many idiots in our political stratum would argue that South Africa was entirely built by the colonial masters. And so what? After all, Nigerian politicians are more skillful at stealing and looting our country's treasury but foolishly export their loots to their white counterparts for safe keeping. With these disclosures, one cannot help but agree that we have senseless, selfish and laid-back leaders who have no shame. In view of this naked gargantuan failure, do we go ahead to party the explosion of our population and fewer Universities commensurate with our population?
For 100 years, Nigeria has no good schools, no good hospitals and no good road network. It is a fact that 70 percent of University students in Ghana are from Nigeria and 85 percent of our leaders travel to Europe and America for medical checkup and treatment. The worst road in Europe and America today is better than the best road in Nigeria. Indeed, if there was a law compelling any public servant who wishes to go for medical treatment abroad should pay TEN MILLION NAIRA (N10m) into the account of the poor masses and under the supervision of the Federal Government to get approval for such, I am sure that this country would be making a whopping sum of at least 100 BILLION naira annually from 'Oversea Medical Treatment Approval Account. (OMTA - ACCOUNT). Again, if there was a law that states: any public servant or politician in public office who wishes to send their children abroad to obtain qualitative education at any given time MUST pay TWENTY MILLION
NAIRA (20m) into the account of the poor masses under the supervision of the Federal Government to get approval for such; I am sure that this country would be making a whopping sum of at least 200 BILLION naira annually from 'oversea Qualitative Education Approval Account. (OQEA - ACCOUNT).
I am not through with those brainless leaders yet. If there was a law that states: all public servants MUST pay 5% of the worth of their cars and private jets annually into the account of the poor masses under the supervision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to get approval for such; I am sure that this country would be making a whopping sum of at least 10 TRILLION naira annually from 'Exotic Cars/Private Jet approval Account. (ECPJ - ACCOUNT). It is important that we take from the super rich who want to enjoy their affluence to enrich the lives of the very poor as it is done in Singapore and with this system in place, Nigeria will have minimal security challenge.
But the One Million Dollar question remains: who is fooling who in this country and what are we actually celebrating? And using this broad measure, you will agree with me that this is a legitimate area of concern that must be looked into by our government if actually they are genuine and serving the interest of the poor. One does not need a prophet to tell Nigerians that it is only this type of laws that would put our leaders on their toes and get them to start doing the right thing at the right time and living uprightly rather than fooling around. If our leaders are not self-serving, I challenge them to as a matter of urgency to introduce these types of laws into our constitution and with special emphasis that such funds would be used to better the lives of the hapless in our society like the physically challenged and the orphans. This could be best achieved by way of setting up (SPECIAL CONTINGENCY FUND ACCOUNT FOR THE HAPLESS - SCFAH). A good critic
is one who criticizes and suggests a workable and implementable alternative and I think the laws I have proposed herein can help a great deal in that regard.
With these laws in place, Nigerians will have the best hospitals and the best schools in the world as our public servants will never ever want to pay such amount to get approval from government – because our leaders are egocentric, unrealistic, wicked and irrational; they are guilty of intransigence, cowardice and stupidity. But somehow, they have ended up with significant power over us and something needs to be done. Every single individual reading this article needs to quickly get active in correcting these problems.
What then are we celebrating? Are we celebrating an incoherent, inconsistent, irrational and half-baked Government who oftentimes promise to build bridges where there are no rivers? Are we celebrating a culture of impunity, a culture in which the powerful silence the powerless without consequences? Are we celebrating the fact that the more revenue our government makes, the more Nigerians become impoverished? Are we celebrating what I would rather call 'witchcraft politicking'? Are we actually celebrating the insurgence of terrorism and incessant kidnap of foreigners in our country? Or are we celebrating the looting syndrome and the monumental corruption that permeates our public office holders? Are we celebrating the numerous inconclusive cases by the EFCC? Are we celebrating the fact that Nigeria is the largest oil producing country in Africa, yet one of the poorest countries in the world?
Are we celebrating the fact that the United States President also realized that there is corruption in every sector of our government, yet President Jonathan is putting on a dark 'sunshade-at-night' hence he cannot see what President Barak Obama saw, but rather argued that corruption in Nigeria is blown out of proportion by the United State government? Are we celebrating the Osun state judiciary that sentenced Kelvin Ighodalo to 45 years imprisonment without any option of fine and no opportunity for the so-called plea-bargain for stealing the Osun state governor's mobile phone, whereas the owner of the phone cannot spend one night in jail even if he converts the entire state funds to his personal property? What a mockery of our nation's judiciary. The judge has only succeeded in discouraging petty thieves, but encourages massive fraud where legal jargons like plea bargain, option of fine, interlocutory injunction and perpetual injunction e.t.c
would be used to shield the offenders. Sincerely, I think the judge that sentenced that poor guy should be immediately arrested and sentenced to 90 years jail term without option of fine for ridiculing our nation's judiciary once again in a manner that mirrors professional misconduct.
It is a shame that our leaders or political class copies almost everything from America but brutally refused to copy that which makes America great and that is “The American Dream” which is essentially an idea that suggests that anyone in America can succeed through hard work and has the potential to lead a happy, successful life. In my own personal view, The American Dream is for one to have acceptance, be respected, find love, live in peace and not in pieces, have a home and family, and overall, to be rewarded for hard work and not given undue honour to those that acquired illicit wealth. That is The American Dream.
Luckily enough for Nigeria, Nollywood Industry has successfully created their own version of 'The Nigerian Dream', everyone in Nollywood believes in the dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement. It is not a dream of exotic cars and high wages nor a dream for private jet, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest figure of which they are essentially capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the unexpected circumstances of birth or position.
'The Nigerian Dream' is obviously modeled after the American Dream that have shaped America to be a great country today. Nollywood Industry has proved beyond reasonable doubt that 'The Nigerian Dream' is a dream of being able to grow to fullest development as man and woman, unhampered by the barriers which had slowly been erected in the older civilizations, unrepressed by social orders which had developed for the benefit of classes rather than for the simple human being of any and every class.
It is important that we get our precedence right and put away all form of foolish acquisition of instant wealth, artificial barriers that prevent others from benefiting from the precise dividends of democracy. Unfortunately, our leaders have a hard time doing that, but if they could at least key into the 'Nigerian Dream' as demonstrated by Nollywood Industry, I believe that Nigeria would be a better and safer place and the 'Oyinbos' worldwide will be visiting Nigeria for medical checkup.
It may interest my audience to learn that the harmful consequences of the aforementioned corruption and injustices done to the good people of Nigeria by our past and present leaders is what resulted to the emergence of Boko Haram, the kidnap of innocent people in Nigeria and other numerous social vices in the country today. If urgent steps are not taken to improve the lives of the common man on the street, I foresee more of these social vices sprouting from every nook and cranny of Nigeria which will mature into a more damaging and devastating situation. If preventive measures are not put in place, this will undoubtedly have an unpleasant side effect on our economy as it would result to loss of confidence in the local financial market, thereby developing into capital flight on the part of investors that will look for safer havens to transfer their investment. Otherwise, the Nigerian government should be prepared to give amnesty to several other future
faceless terrorists (FFT) because what is good for the goose …is equally good for the gander. Sincerely, I tried to figure out the basis for the celebration of our centenary and found no possible justification. Nothing, absolutely nothing that is morally wrong can be politically right.
*** To be continued.
Contributed by: Kexter E. A. Donald Jnr.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Email: [email protected]