By Emeka Nwokocha
It is an indispensable fact that the President Muhammadu Buhari government has seriously been hounded by torrents of complaints and emasculating criticism from various quarters. The most antagonistic tirade ever hauled at the Duara born Nigerian president to be precise, had been spewed from the roaring and erupting crater of the opposition camp, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
Against the backdrop of simmering logjam in the Nigerian political milieu, I am no less worried about the angst and morbid sentiments that have been expressed over time. Suffice to say that we may not understand the calamity that was hauled at us by the past government headed by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
However, I am by no means blinded to the fact that the Nigerian economy is undeniably in shambles, a sad development occasioned by bad governance and institutionalised corruption pervading the public and private sectors of the nation’s economy over the years.
We cannot pretend to be unaware of proven facts and evidence of public funds stolen by our political leaders and stealthily stashed away in private bank accounts and foreign banks, an ignominious development that stare at us pointedly in the face every day.
I strongly chastise the league of Nigerians inventing the hate philosophy permeating the minds of ardent and non-repentant critics of President Muhammadu Buhari. Emboldened with aggression and concocted hate garnished with invective vocabulary, Buhari’s traducers have tenaciously hauled exasperating tantrums of weighty consequences at the APC government, even before it was installed on May 29, 2015.
In our enduring societal idiosyncracies, truth, when spoken, usually attracts bitter reactions from people with a divisive interest in the business of governance. It is pertinent to reiterate that President Buhari, may not have the magic wand or talismanic ingenuity to dramatically navigate Nigeria and her citizens out of the prevailing economic asphyxiation and political melee, despite the high expectations that had been built up by Nigerians over the years in the wake of perpetual lack and excruciating poverty in the land.
We must come to terms with the painful truth that before our eyes as patriots, sycophants or gullible citizens cum stakeholders in the Nigerian project, politicians holding sway in the past democratic government at both federal and state levels were neck deep in humiliating corruption even as they build castles of luxury all over the country and in foreign lands.
We all, in our state of ignoramus were either aiding, or abetting corruption and profligate spending in one form or the other. We surely saw the malfeasance of our past leaders boldly and evidently written all over the places as a symbol of quasi national monument without raising an eye brow. If I may candidly ask, do leaders of developed economies of Europe, America, Asia, and etcetera pilot their countries economic affairs with gross ineptitude? Every moment of the day we horridly jet out of our decrepit Nigerian society to seek good fun in foreign lands where their political leaders do not have two heads, but simply good brains that have patriotic zeal and love for their country.
We may score a cheap point by drumming aloud Buhari’s inability to automatically turn around our almost moribund refineries; we may gleefully trumpet to high heavens that the president, haven spent 14 months (as at July, 2016) at the helm of our political and economic affairs in Aso Rock, could not invent non existing industries to engage our teeming and frightening unemployed youths in productive work activities to eke a living. We may equally be smart but vindictive enough to mount mountains of blame on Buhari for failing to fix the epileptic power sector which has swallowed whooping billions of naira under the supervision of the past inept governments which had nothing tangible to show to Nigerians as a measure of improvement in the sector over the years. We truly may hastily call for the head of president Buhari for failing to fix the countless age long white elephant projects dotting the country like the East – West road after his one year reign as the chief executive of the country. Sadly this important road project has been politicised by past governments till present, thus resulting in the road not fully completed.
I distaste the drab in the reasoning of unpatriotic Nigerians supposedly brilliant brains who mortgage their intelligence and pander to unpopular and skewed ideological leaning when reacting to matters of national concern.
I am alarmed at the spate of corruption in our country in recent past whereby, virtually all sectors of the economy were neck deep in perpetuating corruption while the innocent citizens suffer untold hardship. Nigerians cannot feign ignorance of the economic quagmire that bedeviled the people with inhibitive tendencies over the years.
Before our prying eyes, we were terribly humiliated by sadistic developing scenarios as good number of state governments couldn’t pay salary of civil servants? Consequently, we did see the governors run to the federal government, cap in hand, begging for bailout funds from President Muhammadu Buhari whom they deemed fit to bear the brunt of their reckless, dubious, and disingenuous squandering of hard earned public money.
If truly the states had no money as the developing indices had made us believe, must the consequences be borne by the hapless citizens whose living condition had not been made better by their unscrupulous and irresponsive leaders over the years? As if the looting and squandering of the state’s treasury is not enough, Nigerian leaders continue with their stealing spree making the treasury suffer colossal depreciation, leaving law abiding citizens grope in the lurch. Most disturbing scenario is the stupendous display of wealth by our opportunistic political leaders in the open even as they swagger and luxuriate in the luxury of their ill-gotten wealth with damning impunity.
There is no musing about the fact that if we must make any meaning progress as a nation, then we must trace our fault lines and be ready to make amend by purging our country of these clouts of political rascals that have gruesomely held our progress down over the years.
A throwback into the past reminds us of a Pandora’s box of emotional torture when former minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy in the immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan led PDP government, Dr. Mrs. Okonjo Iweala, while speaking amid allegation of wastefulness by some state governments in the use of state funds, grimly revealed that revenue received by Delta, Lagos, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Katsina, Borno, Bayelsa, Oyo, Kaduna, and Cross-River states in 2013, dwarfed the budgets of most neighbouring countries like Benin Republic, Liberia, and Gambia. She called on Nigerians to ask their governors how they spend their states’ revenue. The tacit exposure of the huge revenue that accrues to the states by Dr. Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, is no doubt a food for thought for Nigerians.
As a people of indivisible entity, we must condemn every act of corruption in the land; we must work assiduously to frustrate every attempt by any person, organization, politician or leader from plunging our collective destiny into abyss; we must desist from promoting divisive policies that further derail the progressive course of our dear nation. In a nutshell, corruption is an ill wind that blows no body any good. Its attendant consequences are undeniably injurious to the collective well-being of the Nigerian citizens. We must join hands to energise the current fight against corruption and the ills bedeviling our dear country.
We must lament the development in our political dispensation over the years where the youths are sadly quarantined at the floodgate of political brainwashing masterminded by dubious politicians who never get tired of using them for dirty jobs – I mean politicians deploy the youths as political thugs and human hunters during elections. Rather than asserting themselves in genuine politics of modest ideology, the gullible Nigerian youths are often seen pandering to dishonourable internship at the cocoon of opportunistic political jobbers who voraciously ate up our tomorrow yesterday and plunder our unity today.
Regrettably, I feel the void in Nigerian political institution, the lacuna in societal reintegration, the reticence in the skewed mindset of the youths and most alarming, the shattering future of the citizens. In my mournful state of despair, I could feel the weight of frustration and saddened countenance in my face whenever I ruminate about the crass display of rascality of our political heir apparent. Where are the Nigerian martyrs?
A journalist and Mass Communication Scholar,
wrote from Warri.