As a people we must come to realise that we are on our own. We must come to see that except we re-distribute political power by empowering ourselves nothing will change.
Nigeria needs a shake up and that really must happen fast. I have come to the point where I totally believe this system deserves to crash. It is unsustainable and those at the helm just do not care what happens to those at the lowest rung of the pyramid as long as they are insulated from the several menaces that have caught up with this country.
I cannot begin to outline what the major challenges of this country are. Do we talk about the now familiar insecurity that has become the norm rather than the exception? Is it about the fact that an average resident in the north expects to be bombed at any time of the day or at best endure sporadic gun battles as though they were part of a 3d movie audience. Do I begin to talk about the biting poverty or the fact that the inflation rate has since taken a plunge since January’s fuel price increase? Considering the fact that income has not changed since then for most Nigerians, we are certain to know that the majority of Nigerians that were poor before January 2012 are as a matter of projection poorer now. It is simple to understand, money loses value during inflation. The National Bureau of Statistics stated in January that there were 112 million poor people in Nigeria. That figure was computed from the national economic indicators before January. By inference, many more have plunged into the poverty circle and those who were there are actually worse off now.
As a people we have since become used to bad news, bad governance, corruption and all the attendant ills. Never in the history of our country have we the opportunity to change things. More than ever before, we have access to information we never even dreamt of less than a decade ago. We can now organise ourselves across the divides and boundaries that once separated us and given the will, we can be the change Nigeria craves. As far as the conventional system of governance goes as we have it today, we are on our own.
Take the church bombings that have come to take centre stage every Sunday. You half expect a bomb to go off somewhere in the north – from Jos up to Borno – yet these things seem to catch our National Intelligence men unawares. If there is anyone that really cares about the menace of terrorism, kidnappings and general insecurity in Nigeria, that person is certainly not in government. If that person is in government, the individual must really be helpless; either that or whoever that is, does not care. No matter how you look at it, the solution to our major challenges has defied our government. If the government cannot provide the solution, it then falls on the people to sort things out.
As a people we must come to realise that we are on our own. We must come to see that except we re-distribute political power by empowering ourselves nothing will change. Throughout history, the masses have ridden on the crest of certain events to force change. Israel rode on the plaque that hit Egypt to ride their way to freedom, English workers were forced to change the order of their society in the 14th century after the Black Death plaque wiped off the majority of them and the people went mad. They demanded more rights and powers and got them. This eventually started a cascade of events that birth the industrial revolution and indeed the Western world as we know it today. History is replete with moments like this and Nigeria’s I believe started in January. We must not sleep on the wave of January’s powers and possibilities; the Nigerian awakening that began in January was an initial foreplay that got us all aroused. It appears our strength has since waned or is it a case of retreating? Whatever the case is, it is time to get ready to re-order the course of this nation. The time is now and Behind the Cloud will focus on this path hereon.
This is @omojuwa
Editor’s note: Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.