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Nigerians Running Out Of Patience?

By Ita Offiong
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If there is an attribute Nigerians have in abundant supply, it is undoubtedly the never ending patience. Their resilience in the face of glaring deprivation is legendary. We have seen in other climes how a mere power-outage for some hours could cause a serious stir, which may lead to some committing suicide. Here is a nation where citizens are as accustomed to darkness as owls. Nigerians are not even looking for 24 hours power supply, they only beg for just a few hours to pump water, cool some few drinks and do other sundry chores.

Life in Nigeria is like a university of some sort where Patience and Endurance are eternal courses, which neither intelligence nor enterprise would guarantee a pass. Carry-overs in these core courses are as perennial as the university itself. We are a nation that hopes against hope, suffering and smiling all at once, which has earned us membership in the league of the happiest people on earth.

No sooner than a child starts school than he would learn the tricks of survival. He needs to turn ugly realities into funny comedies, if he must live long.

So when President Mohamadu Buhari recently made a plea for Nigerians to be patient with his administration, many wondered if our leaders remember how long the people have been patient in this country. They had been promised housing, good health, electricity, water and employment before year 2000. About two decades down the line, all have remained a mirage and no hope in the near future. As the president rightly put it, it is only God that can give Nigerians such patience again.

They have watched helplessly how billions of dollars accrued from earnings derived from oil are rapaciously carted away, leaving those who were fortunate nay unfortunate to have been blessed with these resources languishing in sub-human living conditions. Citizens have also watched how hopes are flagrantly being dashed by the same people who promised same. The lip-service paid to the palliation of their plights and the affluence callously displayed by the same leaders at a time of recession and national austerity is both insensate and indurate.

To say that the sufferings of Nigerians started with the present government is of course being economical and hypocritical with facts. Only that they underrated the depth of the country’s bankruptcy before the emergence of PMB’s administration in 2015. There had been expectations of an immediate El Dorado but the stark reality now is the disillusionment of many. The global dwindling revenue from oil and the destruction of oil infrastructure by militants in the Niger-Delta notwithstanding, hopes for PMB to deliver on the electoral promises are still high. But the president has no option than to deploy all available human and material resources to urgently address the pains and penury that are not in short supply across the land; after all great leaders are always known in times of adversity such as this.

Always looking back to heap all the blames of the profligacy on the past administrations is only being pedestrian and pedantic, as Nigerians are in a hurry to break from that ugly past. They only need a flickering of hope and they will continue to endure. A situation where leaders lament and repine only engenders despondency and desperation. For instance the sum of money purported recovered from the alleged loots should be made public and channeled to fix key noticeable areas of national needs.

The obvious slack in taking key decisions that demand urgent attention is an albatross of this administration. For instance up till today, Nigerians are yet to be convinced that the president made an informed decision in spending good six months before constituting his executive. Many believe that the lacuna created by the president’s hesitation in naming his cabinet, contributed to this recession. Rumour mills are again rife with the news about the president’s intention to regig his cabinet; we only hope it will not take another endless waiting for this to happen. If he is convinced that that there is a necessity for it, then for God’s sake, delay is dangerous. I think this is imperative because the preponderance opinions on the national discourse suggest reshuffling or an outright cabinet’s resolution. What this government does not have is the luxury of time.

We want to see vitality in this government now that the president is back on his feet. Decisions should be expedited and executed promptly, so that more democratic dividends would be rendered in areas such as infrastructure and employment needs of the critical mass of the country’s population. In spite of the apparent setback, there is still hope that PMB will nonetheless deliver on his mandate in view of his untainted integrity and anti-corruption posture.

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Ita Offiong and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."