Nigeria Remains A Scalar Quantity at 49
By Adeola Aderounmu
There is almost nothing to celebrate nationally as Nigeria clocks 49 on 1st of October 2009. As a nation Nigeria has failed her citizenry. There was abundance when we took over the reign of governance from the British in 1960. It didn’t take long before greed, selfishness and lack of political will took the better of Nigerians. After the civil war, the politics of hate and the evil desire to acquire questionable wealth became aggravated. Gradually we led ourselves away from abundance and we chose austerity in its place.
We grounded all our agricultural exports and a few people who captured the country from time to time lavished away the gains of our oil exports. Rather than refining locally, we opted for exportation of our crude oil and importation of the finished products. That is a think-tank for the race-intelligence debate. In the process we created the “oil mafia” who alongside with the cabal continued to enslave the rest of us until this day.
In 1993 we abandoned hope and chose fear. In 1999 we opted for the evil of the past rather that sought fresh minds and new concepts. In 2007 we didn’t ask: where are our votes? In 2009 we confined ourselves to the doldrums and we confirmed our place as a laughing stock among the comity of nations. While the rest of the world is moving ahead we are content with the Pre-Industrial Age existence that has been foisted on us by a few greedy and corrupt men and women now led by a very incapable person called Yar Adua.
Since 1960 till date Nigeria continues to exist as a scalar quantity. We have size but definitely no direction. Nigerians apparently do not want to acknowledge that there has been a vacuum in governance since 2007. Even before then it was possible to see the rising similarities between Nigeria and Somalia. Somalia has not been governed for over a decade. In my personal opinion there is no president in Nigeria and that vacuum must be filled as soon as possible before we begin to address the options that could help change things for the better.
Nevertheless we must continue to remind ourselves of the appropriate things that we need to do to get this failing country back on track. The biggest stumbling block to our collective progress is the manner of our politics. Politics in Nigeria is seen as the biggest income earner and the shortest legitimate cut out of a life of poverty and despair. Invariably these mentalities have brought all kinds of people into politics and public life. Commonly, corrupt and very bad people are in charge of Nigerian politics. It is extremely hard to find a genuine public office holder in Nigeria.
It is also difficult to define a starting point for the way forward for Nigeria. This is because it has taken 49 years to destroy almost every aspects of our national life. The final onslaught is now on education and sports. Everything has fallen apart completely! Which of our problems can be the enviable starting block for the much needed national revamping?
What is going to work for Nigeria? Do we still have any hope? Is it possible for Nigerians to experience the bliss of the 1960s say 40 years from now? Let us forget about the 419 vision 2020. It is a calculated attempt by fraudulent minds to loot and steal. Nothing good can ever emerge from the present order of things in Nigeria! Not with the rogues in power.
I wrote about 2 years ago that to continue to wish that Nigeria will be a better place in the absence of conventional norms is complete fantasy. That there cannot be an escape from our entrapment if we do not have normal democracy; one in which the power rest absolutely on the people. One in which the people can decide what they want and how they want it-a democracy of participation instead of siddon-look.
Nigeria needs a democracy that will empower the people to struggle and win against oppression and dictatorship. Until such a time that real leaders will emerge in Nigeria through the ballots that have been declared free and fair, campaigns like the fight against corruption and the useless ongoing rebranding managed by corrupt people as we have it in present day Nigeria are simply hopeless adventures.
Though many of them got to the National Assembly through fraudulent means, the present crops of lawmakers in Nigeria have a chance to write their names in gold. They should ensure that they promulgate the electoral reforms that will ensure that the forthcoming elections are better than the 1993 elections. The process should start today with proper voters’ registration exercise. The goal should be a non-violent culmination where all votes are counted with minimal setbacks or hiccups in 2011 and beyond.
Nigeria needs men and women with sound minds who can institute and defend the pillars of democracy and the correct rule of law. I am sorry that Yar Adua is seriously ill and that he needs regular medical attention. But I am not sorry that he is living in denial and that he didn’t even use the 8 years he had as a governor to alleviate his medical travails. Even the 2 years he had spent as an illegal president have come to represent the worst 2 years by any Nigerian ruler. I am still very angry that he is pulling down more than 140m people. How hopeless can it get for Nigerians?
Indeed Nigeria is a very complex country in dire need of strong institutions and sound minds because the likes of Yar Adua and his present gang are enemies of progress. A mind as feeble as Umaru’s, pursuing a 7-point deadly agenda is the last thing that a failing nation like Nigeria requires at this crucial moment of our history. It is unthinkable we will endure another 2 years with a stolen cum failed presidency. It is disheartening that 2 years from now we may have reached an irredeemable status.
Nigeria is now 49 years. Where do we go from here? We want credible elections. We want accountable leaders. We want to restore our glory in education and sports. We want to bring food back to our tables. We want good roads. We want constant electric supply. We want employment opportunities to improve. We want to have petroleum products at our gas stations. We want water to drink. We want the value of our currency to rise. We want to have good health care system. We want insurance and security for our lives and property. In short we want a proper standard of living that will take us away from being the dwarf of Africa.
A new and fresh round of elections that will bring hope in place of fear and accountability in place of corruption remains the single most important step forward for Nigeria. It is arguable that if we don’t conduct a successful election in Nigeria, then we will not be able to do other things in the right way especially the true fight against corruption.
It is high time we put the right foot forward. The task of building this nation and making it ready for our children and children’s children must start now. A new national re-orientation that will bring out the best in us as individuals and as a nation is essential. Dignity in labour and the elevation of merit above nepotism will be essential ingredients.