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Understanding Nigeria...My Five Naira Ransom!

"How nice you are to a loaf of bread depends on our hungry you are"

I have just been part of an engaging discussion, the topic of which was, Nigeria, What is wrong, any hope and which way forward? While a sizable number only saw hopelessness and despair, a good number viewed everything with a sense of optimism.

However beyond the optimism, the fundamental issue and intriguing was how hungry were Nigerians for change. No one could really give an answer. We are a nation of huge potentials, but even those potentials seem to be eroding realization with each turn of event.

How do we measure our collective desire for change...The PDP through its National Chairman is spitting fire, yet the same man embraces characters like Orji Kalu in public glare? Same Nwodo that we all know that it's only a matter of time that he would step on the wrong toes and then his file would be pulled out.

Now my profession has become an essential commodity...four Journalists at N250Million simply translates to some 62Million plus for each Journalist. And I dare say that is an improvement on the value of Journalists in this nation. Approximately that's Senate President David Mark's monthly salary.

Sadly as I write this, its six days and still all we hear is 24hours ultimatum. Even the relocation of the IG and all the ensuing drama has not showed any significant change. Instead in neighboring Imo a retired female ASP was kidnapped and they are asking for N50million.

The Revenue people just shared 436.9billion across all tiers of government for June and an undisputed fact remains that no single arm of government can justify any meaningful project that has come as a result of these monies and in simple mathematics we have expended some N2.75 trillion in the first six months of the year even as the N4. 6 trillion budgeted for the year is still being restructured and tempered with almost every other week.

Strange nation, one that never ceases to amaze the onlooker, the PDP as a party has succeeded in elevating their internal problem of zoning to a national discuss and as we have nothing special or new to cheer or discuss we just enter the fray.

At a recent zoning conference in Kaduna...it was interesting to see the likes of Lar, Ishaya Bamaiyi, Dariye, Mantu, Aandoakaa, Akume, Labaran Maku and Jerry Gana, the crowd included Zwingina, Wayas and more of the same crooked faces, and what more do we need to get as a conviction that all these bunch are only playing the power game.

Do we need Octopus Paul to come out of retirement to tell us that Jonathan will contest...and for some of us the issue is beyond contesting, our grouse is what he has to offer? Is there hope in his candidacy or is it the usual 'circusing', infact in the first place why should he be trusted.

Those that think they deserve another chance or they are better candidates what have they to offer. In 2010, it's still poster politics and the politics of newspaper and television tigers, all noise and very little in substance and not one of them with a clear picture of how we can bring about the desired change.

Nigerians need progress in all spheres of its national life and all the riff-raffs that masquerade as leaders can hardly answer the questions of nationhood that face us as a people. Jonathan has hardly done anything to stem the tide of kidnapping and ransoming in the Southeast, nor has he any clear strategic plan at solving the alamajiri syndrome in the North...all these because as far as I am concerned the governors and local administrators are not any better.

Having spent over 2trillion Naira in half a year, how much does it take to give us 60,000 megawatts of electricity...how much would it take to equip 15 General hospitals in the country or what is required to revamp our educational system? We still do not have good roads either, no provision for agriculture, tourism, we simply cannot diversify.

Rather we are plagued with thieves everywhere, from NFF to FFF, in the villa, state government houses, local governments, council wards, everyone is stealing aimlessly, without fear and interestingly without favour, stealing without zoning.

Who really understands Nigeria, one hell of a nation, everything, indeed all things, most things will go and has gone...we invited Israelis to go to Abia to do house to house search for the kidnapped journalists...theses Israelis that are around at what and who's cost?

Who understands this nation, I am sure it's one of those jokes, Turai is running for a seat in Senate, understanding Nigeria, government still insists that it is okay to expend 6.6billion Naira on independence celebration, infact they have started spending it already.

A nation where its politicians earn an average six hundred thousand Naira from councilor to President, it is in pains to pay just N20, 000 as minimum wage to its workers. Although you may argue what work are the workers really doing? How do you understand this kind of country...?

How do we understand the Yakubus, Kaitas, Lulus and co...? It's pretty a task in near futility but we are trudging on. In life we see before eat, Nigerians eat without seeing.

All the 'Jegaed' noise...as if he is the solution. But truth is that he is far from the solution...nowhere near it. Because we are probably the problem...the elite that would not even come out on the day of election except for the television cameras, pen boys, the middle class, (that's the ones that still exist) won't come out so they don't get killed by the area boys and ballot box thieves, while INEC staff play with the figures on a 'pay as you want basis'.

Hear Jonathan...responding to a question at a Town Hall Meeting held in the Governor's Lodge in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State while on a two-day working visit.

Asked to give a definite time and date when Nigerians would start receiving regular power supply, the President said, "even if he were a native doctor, he would not attempt to give a specific date as requested.

His words: “It is not proper to make that promise again, when Nigeria will have a steady power supply. Even if I am a native doctor, I cannot venture into that. We cannot even say next year. If we will have a target, it will not give us what we want.

We can only have steady power supply when we achieve 40,000 mega watts. “We are taking it very seriously everyday to review the situation. By God's grace, we will continue to progress and cannot get worse than what we have now".

And he then said categorically “power problems in the country cannot be over by this time next year".

How do we understand Nigeria, I grow up knowing that anything China was sub-standard, now I live waiting for everything Chinese, from Chinese road, to Chinese phones, Chinese railway, Chinese refinery, Chinese satellite, we can as well get a Chinese to contest the Nigerian presidency next year.

I just scratched my back...this is far away from our many troubles everyday as a nation and as a people. This is my five naira ransom, we should stop behaving like the hungry man that ate in his dream at night hoping he would wake up filled.

Prince Charles Dickson
Editor, burningpot.com
Nigeria's 1st Online Newspaper
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