Opinion: The year ahead for Nigeria

by Bayo Oluwasanmi

 

A new year brings an opportunity to look ahead. So, as 2017 dawns, Nigerians should cast a look at the journey ahead. To be sure, Nigerians have been squeezed by the economy. As the morality of our nation changed so too did the direction of our country. Based on misplaced priorities of the federal government and the National Assembly, and given the level and extent of corruption, it is easy to see how far our nation has devolved into an abyss of immorality. Our capture is nearly complete.

With a clueless and confused federal government, Nigerians have become a ping pong ball being battered from one end to another. The insensitivity and unresponsiveness of corrupt legislators amount to a seditious act against our people and a gross violation of what representative democracy is all about. With crises from all sectors competing for solutions and while chaos reigns supreme throughout the land, the legislators have gone AWOL. And with a crippled justice system that cannot enforce the rule of law, the conspiracy against our people is in full blossom.

Unless you’re a fool, you know there is trouble ahead. Our way of life is about to be buried. Already, it has been killed in an orchestrated collapse. We’re being forced into servitude. We’re being forced into poverty. We’re being lied to every day. Nigeria has become a sunless place, wracked by economic decay and under siege by a determined ruling class out to kill us. Our civic virtue has become a crumbling mortar – a proof of our lost prosperity to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless, to look after the weak, the handicapped, the disabled, the infirm, the hungry, and the rest of the most vulnerable among us, to end poverty and secure our nation and restore our image.

Every Nigerian with a sense can agree that 2016 was a vile, no-good year for our country. Sadly, there is every reason to believe that 2017 will treat us no better. In fact, with every wrong step taken and with misplaced and misappropriated priorities by Buhari administration, 2017 will be a waking nightmare from where there is no escape. The Buhari administration will continue to swing too far in the opposite direction of change: no standards, no structure, no agenda, no vision, safe self-embellishment.

In 2017, it will be a generous act to describe the economy with the adjective “recession.” More jobs will be lost and few new ones will be created. Cheap death on our roads will be on the increase. Preventable and treatable diseases will claim many lives. Hunger will be around longer. The quality of our education will go from toss to tank. The aviation sector will remain moribund. Expect the power companies to generate and distribute more darkness and with a price hike. Our politics will be conducted on a full scale of mutual self-destruction. Buhari stood for change and he won the election. The All Progressive Peoples Congress (APC) is in charge of the country – for better or for worse. Buhari and APC have all the rope they need. From our political past – old and recent – when given enough rope, our politicians will tie it around their necks and jump.

Expect no causality of war on corruption. Bukola Abiku Mesujamba Saraki will be treated more like a plaintiff than a defendant. His case will be adjourned for the umpteenth time. Lawmaking by the law breakers in the National Assembly will be at a standstill. President Buhari will be the most popular MIA (Missing In Action) in his administration. The action or inaction of Buhari will continue to disenfranchise and disempower our citizens. The Senators will use the hollow chamber more effectively and efficiently as a theatre of absurd comedy, shame, and sham. Their behaviour will know no intelligible boundaries or enforceable norms. They will continue to pursue their own economic interests and political ambitions at the expense of the collective interests of Nigerians.

Chaos will become the new normal both in the National Assembly and in the government itself. There will be more governmental dysfunction. Both the federal government and the legislators will distract and divert the focus of the people by mundane and inconsequential issues to buy time and complicate matters in order to prolong and sustain their corruption, looting, and wickedness. There will be ever-present potential for corruption. More public anger. More political disruption. In short, there will be nothing like change!

In the new year, it will be injurious and self-destruct not to call a spade a spade out of ignorance, fear, selfishness, or allegiance to the ruling elites. It’s a fact that the ruling class does not want oppressed Nigerians to know all the facts about how they – the organised thieves and looters – run our country. Information is power which is why the raiders do not want anyone to know what they do. Good reason why Nigerians are kept in the dark and will continue to be kept in the dark. For example, just few days ago, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) sent a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) asking the Bureau what happened to the promised investigation of Senate President Bukola Abiku Mesujamba Saraki, former Senate President David Mark and other big names named in the Panama Papers scandal.

Blame the lawless and corrupt Nigerian system. No research and writing books necessary. It will amount to wasting time. It’s also not difficult for us to identify the thieves and their corrupt associates among us who brought us to where we are today as a nation and make us defenceless from daylight raiders. Every Nigerian knows them and they know who they are. We’re simply too afraid of standing up to them or for our own petty selfish interests. We also know why they do what they do against the poor majority that lives in abject poverty. They know we’re too scared to confront them.

The problem is not only with the thieves and their accomplices. We’re part of the problem. Nigerians lack the courage, boldness, and determination to organise and round the thieves up and ship them to jail where they rightly belong. Nigerians just sit around wait for a divine intervention to get rid of the enemies of our republic. But if we’re to save our nation and people, no defence is strong enough when the evidence is overwhelming. How can we round up the gang of thieves? Of course, we can advocate on behalf of the people. We can write and expose the sufferings of our people. We have been doing that for ages and we still do. But eventually, we have to go after them all the way and spare no one associated with these destroyers and tyrants until captured, rooted and shipped off the face of the earth. In this new year, let’s go after them with vengeance. After all, revenge is sweet!

The twin fundamental basis for corruption – tyranny and lawlessness – will hasten the destruction of a hopeless, and lawless Nigeria. When we allow crooks and thieves, thugs and hooligans, imbeciles and buffoons, run the affairs of our country, then we’re inviting hopelessness, lawlessness, and destruction. We cannot expect any good to come out of the bottom of the pit. We must activate the will of the people that would melt them away like when snow comes in contact with hot water. They will have no other way but to surrender to the will and wishes of our people.

President Buhari should awake from his slumber of nearly two years. This year may as well be Buhari’s political death. Many see him as a political corpse by undertaking more dumb, foolish, irrational and outrageous acts in contrast to his change mantra. Now is the time for him to roll up his sleeves strap his boots – and get dirty!


Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Happy New Year!

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