by Abiodun Komolafe
All things considered, I think Nigeria has been punched into coma and only God can bring her back to life!
From the man who opted for a bag of rice in exchange for his son; to the pregnant woman who stole N300.00 to answer the call of a normal symptom of pregnancy, there is a rise in Nigeria’s socio-political temperature and no one really knows where Nigeria is headed. Warningly, inflation rate is on the high side and our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate is unsmiling either. From the cosmetic to the substantive, politicians have chopped our country into pieces with each of the parts selfishly kept to themselves even as the gladiators continue to fight in another person’s corner. Dollar gets worse with each passing day, which in turn deeply traumatizes the fortunes of our country.
Even as a Buharist whose fierce support for ‘Change’ has been unflinching, I believe it’s time government clipped the wings of this trajectory of sham and uncertainty that is capable of corrupting our national cohesion and national peace. The threatening trend of poverty-inspired suicide cases among Nigerians calls for concern and the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration must find resourceful means of destroying this deadly temple of want and turpitude before it springs into something else. In strict terms, Nigerians are tired of the ritual of wringing hands in lamentation. So, relevant authorities must devise creative means of putting value on intentions before a line damages an entire song.
2019 is around the corner and ahead of this politically-charged and highly volatile socio-economic environment lies a fiercely-loyal-but-highly-critical support base. As we are aware, one of the biggest challenges in running Nigeria’s socio-economic landscape is that of ensuring that best practices are employed in creating ventures for the economy to pick up. However, the irony of our policy somersault in this part of the world is that it sympathies with the criminals but penalizes the victims. Basically therefore, the fear of failure should encourage the Buhari to travel back to the past, look at the risks, weigh benefit options, then make decisions which show greater consistency, courage and determination in preventing ‘Change’ from being a threat to our survival.
Again, being in a recession is not a death knell. But, beyond economic jargons, actions taken to navigate through the temporary setback is what matters. United States of America, United Kingdom and Canada, have at one time or the other in their chequered history hit this bottom but they all came out of it, possibly bruised but unbowed. South Korea, incidentally, Asia’s fourth largest economy, is currently having her technical dose of it while South Africa, Africa’s touted largest economy, narrowly escaped it in the second quarter of this year. So, what Nigeria needs at a time like this is a bit of creative wake-up by introducing higher dimensions of consciousness into the complexities of governance.
With the benefit of hindsight, Buhari comes across a very different, special leader with a magnetic and personable charisma, divinely positioned to rescue Nigeria from the damaging and dangerous remnants of the past. But, in his efforts at righting past wrongs, he should always remember that rumblings of dissent or wrangling of misery among members of his party can gravitate into a catalyst for implosion. So, he will be doing internal democracy a great deal of good if, within the dictates of the law, he deals with situations that are incapable of promoting unity within its rank with a long spoon.
For a fact, Nigerians are never in doubt of Buhari’s ability to move the country up out of the fantasy of ancestral authority and the excitement of collective captivity that have become predatory threats to her survival into a hub of business and cultural opportunities. Along this line is the saga of unpaid salaries which is currently rocking no fewer than 27 states. Government needs to proactively solve this problem before the next General Election if the ruling party must retain the confidence of this integral part of the electorate. Also in need of renewed vigour in its prosecution than it is witnessing at the moment is the anticorruption war, lest political principalities, terrorists and businessmen shortsightedly exploit its manifest weakness as a bargaining tool for access to power in 2019.
Contrary to claims in some quarters, Nigeria’s large and diverse voting public is not always the classroom professor or the parasitic analyst but the poor folk out there who is even ready to die for a cause he believes in. So far, this class of Nigerians has been the president’s strongest pillar of support and most-treasured asset. The toxic truth is that things are currently not looking good for them and this is as a result of government’s rather biting policies. It is therefore in the president’s interest to roll out practical solutions that can help lighten their yokes and give them some sense of direction before things get out of hand. If he succeeds in doing this, then, Buhari will be chasing a place in the record books as the best president Nigeria ever had!
I’ve commented elsewhere that the way the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) is preparing for the battle of 2019 has not been all that encouraging and the party has to address this particular temptation, especially, now that ovation is still ascending. Elections in some parts of the country have shown that infrastructure development without an accompaniment of its human complement often carries along with it tremendous negative consequences and this may not be the best for a party that is seeking relevance in the consciousness of the people. In my considered view, a situation in which committed members are treated as permanent beggars precariously scrambling for crumbs under the table of some clique is not a strong point in the defence of progressive party politics. It is interesting to note that quite a large chunk of its patriots who committed financial and material resources towards its success in the last general election are still out in the open, with their innocence shattered and their expectations plummeted. Unfortunately, there has been no strong statement coming from the president or the National Chairman of the ruling party who by law is its operational head.
By the way, will Buhari seek a 2nd term in office? For now, the sky is cloudy and response can be confusing! Constitutionally, it is his right! Yet, it is his call! Well, while opinions may differ as to the propriety or otherwise of adventures in power, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Roosevelt, Lee Kuan Yew, Robert Mugabe, Nelson Mandela, Jerry Rawlings, Thabo Mbeki, Jacob Zuma, even, Goodluck Jonathan have provided varying shades of opinions on this topical issue. Though what these people earned or did not earn for themselves in terms of untainted esteem and unrubbished sympathy is left for historians to ponder, it is my sincere desire to dig deeper into this area of special interest in my subsequent interventions.
Reckless temperaments! Hateful instincts! Appearance of impropriety! Why are the people hungry and angry? Why are they poor and unfed? How come we have suddenly become a decadent and polluted society swimming, irresistibly, in a dysfunctional economy, culture of recklessness and pattern of hypocrisy? For God’s sake, why do people delight in profiting from others’ misery and why are the led preferably kept in perpetual poverty for them to continue slaving and serving the purpose as dictated by the master? On the other hand, how come the abolition of Navigation Act, which shipowners had once predicted would be the ruin of British Shipping, eventually turned out to be one of the greatest periods of expansion in the history of shipping in Britain?
May the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant us peace in Nigeria!
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
*KOMOLAFE writes in from Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State, Nigeria ([email protected])