The Enemies Of Nigeria

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For a while now, as an observer of the Nigerian process and the challenges of those in power (the leaders) at all levels, be it in the economic, social, political or whatever and the subjects (the followers), I have come to the option as a public affairs analyst to bring up an article or opinion as much to point out to the public, the possible problems and practically, the enemies of the people and indirectly, the enemies of the nation called Nigeria, if we indeed are to progress and move forward as we all want.

I have felt this is important because every day, we point accusing fingers to all of us, but we fail to accept that we all have roles and faults in the course of our National developments. I have come up with five (5) categories of people who I preach as the enemies of the people and the Nation as a whole. It is of no doubt outrightly that this is to my opinion and as such, I shouldn't be critically attacked when I make my opinions public, but at the same time, I also expect reactions and counter reactions if indeed we want the best of our national progress.

A lot of scholars have come with two major classes as the problems of this nation, the group which are rightly accepted as the Leaders and the Followers. In a broader sense, there are no groups whatsoever that could be of categorization outside of these groups, but taking an explicit look at the Nigeria setting and to be critical of the Nigerian problems and enemies, I have five groups as the enemies of this nation, and with good examples, I pray to be permitted to give examples of each occurrences, where these groups could have brought an end to the Nigerian system and also how far they have negatively affected our societal sustenance.

Much as I don't disagree with the fact that the leaders and the followers culminate into the woes befalling the nation, but I am of the opinion that the major enemies of the Nigerian Nation are the Priests, the Public/Private Office Administrators, the Press, the Politicians, the Public Courts of Law. These five classes of people if critically understudied could integrally or collectively aid in the sustenance of our democracy and ensure that we don't have a collapsed politically at the end.

I wouldn't want to bore my reader with rhetoric at the same time I would also want the public to agree with me on conviction that some agents of the state whom we pour attacks on aren't the major problems we have, such agents such as the Security who have now become so corrupt, the INEC who has failed us, the academic institutions among others, but the principal issue is that we have a systemic problem, the systemic problem I think could have culminated from the Priests and Clerics, the Politicians, the Press, the Public Courts of Law and the Public Office Administrators.

Let's take navigation into my perspective and I think you will agree with me that these 5 Ps are the problems and enemies of our nation and maybe this group could be of help in having a turn aside just to help our nation from her present woes. You would also accept with me that President Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President of this Nation Nigeria, had had course to identify these groups at different instances as the enemies this nation has to develop.

Firstly, my reasons for identifying the Priests as the first and major problems we are facing are this nation are not far-fetched. The priests in question are not only the catholic priests or Christian priests of the protestant churches or the new generational churches, the priests in references, entails the Clergies from the Islam, African Traditional Religions and the from the Christendom. I have take a cursory look at all those who have in one way or the other administered the Nation and also brought to disrepute the integrity of the nation, none, I mean not even one of them, is untraceable to one particular religion or the other and the saddest part of it is that these sets of people have spiritual godfathers.

I want to cite two different instances to support my opinionated view, I will love to cite the incidence of the Late President Umar Musa Yar'Adua (May his soul RIP), when the clerics had different views. I won't mince to say that if the Priests have spoken very close to the truth or have alarmed the nation as at when brought into the film of Yar'Adua's illness, Nigerians would have had cause to raise up their hands in prayers to support the course of the Late President. Segun Adeniyi gave an expose in his book 'Power Politics and Death” an account of the life and times of President Yar'Adua and in his view, very similar to the contradiction of the peoples' clerics, he gave an account of how the Islamic chiefs had a different observation of sight to that of the people and their Christian brothers.

“The chief imam of the Abuja National Mosque, Ustaz Musa Mohammed, told his congregation that Yar'Adua would resume duties soon, as 'he has improved remarkably.' In a lavishly publicized statement, the cleric gave a graphic description of the posture of the president while they were with him, including the fact that he was dressed in a jumper and trousers with a cap to match. Besides, the Islamic leader, who confirmed that he had met with the president alongside Dr. Datti Ibrahim Ahmed, president of the Supreme Council of Sharia in Nigeria, and one Sheik Musa Pantami, explained that they sought permission from the president's family for the audience and not that they were invited to see him. The fact that these visitors were Muslims and northerners was not missed, especially when the acting president was not allowed to see him.

According to the chief imam, they met the president sitting down with his wife while his ADC stood behind him. “Although we could not hear what he said, from where we sat, we could see his mouth saying amen together with us when we prayed for him. In fact, contrary to rumours that he was seriously ill, we saw that he had improved tremendously, and we believe he [will] be able to resume work any moment from now.”

Dr. Datti Ahmed gave his own version of events to the media, that:

“We met the president around 5:00 p.m. late in the afternoon. Contrary to what some people have been saying, the president is not in a situation where he is almost dead; he is only sick. He was sitting down on a dining chair when we came in and met him. He was not being supported by anybody but himself, he was sitting down calmly. He did not look like someone who is almost dead.

When we entered, we were not sure of what we were going to meet. So we entered and stood at a respectable distance and greeted him. He extended his hand to us and we shook it one by one. This is contrary to the view of those who keep saying he doesn't know where he is. After that, we prayed for his health. He joined us in the prayers, raising his hands the way we raised our own; his lips were moving. When we finished, we told him we only came to greet him. He shook hands with us.

We did not wait as such after that. However, we told him that we just wanted to see him to know the truth from the lies that they have been telling us that he is dead, no longer able to recognize anyone, and all the lies that you and I have heard before. Obviously, he has lost some weight, and he is a bit weak, but he was sitting down calmly. He shook our hands on arrival, and when we prayed with him for his quick recovery, he again shook hands with us.”

This is typical of Nigerian clerics, when the person in question couldn't even talk again as at that time and also required the services of speech experts from Northern African countries but all efforts in futility. Our religious leaders have negatively affected the system to the extent that they organize special prayers for our corrupt political office holders who were just been released from jail and prisons and electoral robbers. I remembered an incident in my home State, Ekiti State, when Engr. Segun Oni, an ousted Governor, who was legally sacked from occupying the seat of governance in a popular debacle of electoral robbery, he came back gloriously to his home church and a special service of thanksgiving was organized on his goodwill that he was appreciating God for the opportunity given to him. I tend to wonder that where lies our Spiritual fathers' morality? I stand to be corrected, there is no corrupt politician, even the fetish ones who don't have a spiritual father of whatsoever, why don't they tell them the truth and nothing but the truth! It is only absurd to my understanding that our spiritual priests would always tell even a failed politician that God said he has chosen them for Governor, President and political offices even when those persons cannot win a democratic elections within their family members. I have got the opportunity to meet a lot of politicians during interviews as a political journalist in Ekiti State, and most times when I ask about their conviction of victory, the next thing is “God Said I am Governor and the Governor was just counting days”, I even met one recently who said “God told him to contest and he doesn't even know how it would happen but the incumbent would leave”. This is what I still don't appreciate about our clerics.

The spiritual leaders culminate a larger percentage of our political dilemma. Let's ask them, how many times have they (priests) discuss discipline on the altar, how many times, have they directly informed their brethren of the feelings of the public? It is unfortunate that even imams and pastors today are busy chasing contracts and appointments in the political power towers. You need to see how political robbers and enemies of the Nation storm some prayer conferences and centres and the priests best message was to say “Let's pray for our Leaders” “Respect Constituted Authorities” “God is with You” among those usual rationalizing messages on the altar.

The second example I want to shed would affect some of my fanatical brothers who believed that religious issues should be best reserved to the church, forgetting that the society and the church are interwoven. The damage in the church destabilize the society and therefore is inimical to the development of the society. No wonder, Jesus Christ used canes in the temple! It is as regards the high tech discrimination in the church and the abuse of the doctrine as dictated by our Lord Jesus Christ in the talking care of your brothers and the poor. I think Jesus all through his life and time was concerned about the poor and the egalitarian society, no wonder he said a physician need not medicine and that he has come for the poor and the less privileged, but the Nigerian situation is extremely difficult. The catholic and missionary brought Christianity into Nigeria through education, affordable and qualitative ones for all. But today, the Universities of our Churches today is exploitative and not only that, a clear divergent from the principles of Jesus Christ. I am saying this because I know we will all give account of our activities when we get to God and at least I have pointed out what would not help in the proclamation of the Gospel as said by Jesus Christ. I glanced through the fees payable in some of our Christian Universities these days and I keep to wonder that, are these fees for the poor brethren, children of the poor or for some reserved wards. It is now capitalism and strategic outsourcing for funds in the house of God.

I will be specific here and I am doing this like I said, so that these people would have a rethink before it draws the wrath of God on the society.

BOWEN University is a Christian University owned by the popular Baptist Church, it charges N650, 000 as its tuition fees per session. That is outside the non-tuition fees anyway. Covenant University established by Winners Chapel of Bishop Oyedepo is second with a tuition of N432, 000 to N640, 000 as its tuition fees, BENSON IDAHOSA University charges N500, 000 as tuition fees per session, BABCOCK University established by the Seventh Day Adventist Church charges N500, 000 to N2million as tuition per session. In BABCOCK your meal and hostel defines your fee, as the pay is a factor of the room you accommodate, some have two and some three daily meal regime. REDEEMERS University owned by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) charges N500,000 to N650,000 AJAYI CROWTHER University established by the Supra Diocesan board of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) charges N500,000 to N550,000. MADONNA University is a catholic University and it charges N350, 000. Caleb University charges between N505, 000 to N555, 000. Joseph Ayodele Babalola University (JABU) established by the Christ Apostolic Church charges between N397, 000 to N436,000 as tuition fees, CRAWFORD University is owned by the Apostolic Faith Mission and the fees also range from N400,000 to N600,000 among others.

If I am not so certain of anything, I am sure that these universities were built with the offerings and sweats of the church members, who in the long run cannot even afford to send their wards to the place for study. This is a reflection of how the system has infiltrated the church as a result of the negligence of the church to bring sanity and sanctity to the society.

The second class that is an enemy of the Nigerian Nation is the Press. My colleagues from the fourth estate of the realm might not like this, because it is as if I want to bring our organization into the theatre of public criticism, but that isn't the issue here. The press has also culminated to the derailment of the society to the extent that we tend to be more strategic to opinions and articles that bring money into our pocket and the sense of independent minded journalism has gone into oblivion. When I was going up, I have always thought that I would be a journalist, that I am doing today, I have always believed that all the articles that draws me into writing were independent, not until I grew up to know that some of these lengthy words are paid for and there are lot of issues and articles that could develop the system that are better ignored either because there is no relationship between the author and the media outfit or it is against the interest of the paymaster. I cannot but appreciate some independent minded media outfits like the Oluyele Sowore's Saharareporters and some developing blogs this days who are ensuring that the voice of the people are heard. I learnt at the later stage of my life that some of the articles are sponsored and are products of media hype.

It would have been the joy of the Nation and to the development of the system if the press could stand to say the truth at all times, outside what is contained in the brown envelope. It would have been to the credit of the system if our leaders were well flogged on the pages of tabloids and on air if they have done wrong and not pitching tent with the enemies of the Nation because wealth smiles to some. It is only in this part of the world that the media league of editors are on the payroll of State Governors and corrupt public office holders and all news are edited to the finish before been published and as soon as the government fails to do their bidding, the media results to a battle to finish therefore bringing to the rubbles the effort of such governors and governments.

Information media independence is lacking and this is one of the major blog in the development of the Nigerian Nation. Am sorry, our media is not independent!

The third group that has culminated into the systemic failure rocking the Nation is the Courts of the Public Law. This group is made primarily of two subclasses, which are the Bar and the bench-The lawyers and the judges. We keep hearing and reading everyday that the law is an axe and that the only place where the people can have true justice is the court of law but unfortunately, the system has been collapsed that even the so-called lawyers would know the truth but on the point of technicality and “it's my work things” to disallow justice to be properly discharged. This is not even to the point that the bench also has problems and hardly do we have landmark judgments today that doesn't have political colorations and infiltrations. The Salami, Naron tribunal among others are instances that portends the public to still have doubts in the judiciary, irrespective of the fact that not all the benchers are corrupt and very few are saints. Don't quote me in the opposite please, am not saying that Justice Salami PCA was corrupt as alleged but it is a pointer that people don't give optimum respect to the judiciary anylonger. And not until the society restores the confidence in the judiciary or the judiciary makes the public see her independence, the systemic crisis will still deepen. Today, a lot of people and lawyers are strategic in the court that ears their cases. I have keenly observed that some lawyers are typical to some specific judges whenever matters of interlocutory injunctions arise. I would have loved to mention names here but I hope I would be forgiven for not mentionin them. It is only in this nation that our popular human rights activists will be handling cases for criminals and corrupt individuals on the name of abuse of fundamental human rights, when we know out rightly without any need to call Nostradamus, the man who sees the future, or a crystal ball to adjudicate the right from the wrong.

The enmity to the societal development caused by the Court is imminently catastrophic and all these are against the growth of the Nigerian State.

Another group that is a crisis to the nation is the Civil Servants and the Politicians. The public put all the faults on the politicians which I don't hold any brief for, but the major evil servants are the civil servants and public administrators of all cadres. They are the ones who teach the political class the rudiments of executive robbery. They are the ones who tells them that they should invite contractors and the letter headed paper to use, they are the ones who shares the percentage and full the due process directorates. The civil servants are the ones who leak sensitive documents for the public in attempts to ridicule the efforts of the public servants. I am passionate about the dangers and the evils that this class has done to the systemic collapse of this nation. The Political Class is also criminal because we all have million reasons to nail them. My own reasons before you speak of the million reasons are typically two. One-No Political Party Manifesto which the major cause of our political crisis and the second is Lack of Individual Roadmap. Very few political office holders today have an action plan before getting into political offices and worst still is that we cannot even clinically define the manifesto of our ruling political parties at all levels. Thank God for the newly constituted APC, how about the PDP and other fragmented political parties?

I have only felt I share this so that it doesn't affect my belly and that those concerned could change for better. Our civic and information departments should help in the rectifying of the system before these pointed classes collapse it completely.

Speaking for myself and the lovers of the better Nigerian System.

Thanks for taking your time to read the piece!
Adeolu OYEBODE
A Public Affairs Analyst writes from Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State Nigeria.

+234806-440-6846, [email protected]

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Articles by Adeolu Oyebode