The Fast Rotting Brand ‘Nigeria’ And Way Forward By Mubarak Onyibe-Akenzua

Cane rats popularly known as grass
cutters are strictly herbivores and
primarily nocturnal. The grass cutter
prefers eating stalks to eating
leaves, and after devouring the
stalks, it excretes right on the spot.
This rodent is practically a
nightmare to cassava farmers.
The emergence of Goodluck Ebele
Jonathan as the president of Nigeria
at first was interesting, just as some
religious zealots have attributed his
announced victory at the last poll to
the hand of God, without perceiving
it frantically as the hand of some
electoral Maradonas, or even the
pollex of the enduringNigerian
masses.
I still remember vividly, like
yesterday, how Nigerians trooped
out en masse to vote him, although
for me, it was my first time of voting
and I was anxious too. I saw
teeming youths were eager to make
a change
through their votes; obviously they
were tired of the seemingly
unending poverty, stagnant status
quo and suffocating corruption
prevalent in the land. We so much
gasped for the much professed
fresh air and hoped to ride on the
wing of a once shoeless boy whose
feet had like ours, toiled on the
degraded soil in the creek. He came
out by his own volition and the
collision of the powerbrokers.
Nigerians perceived a grass cutter in
him; a grass cutter that could cut
the stalk of unemployment, poverty,
insecurity, corruption, and
underdevelopment. A fearless grass
cutter that could cut the stalk of
insecurity nocturnally, arrest
underdevelopment diurnally and
bravely throw excreta at the faces of
the ruthless cabal that had caused
us so much pain, the cabals that
made our roads death traps, our
schools
worthless and our hospitals
unhealthy.
Since Nigeria started exporting
crude oil in commercial quantity,
she has made about 55 trillion
naira, yet her citizens live in penury.
Proceeds from the black gold have
been cornered by the few in
government and their cronies. The
blessing of the black gold has rather
become a curse to the Niger
Deltans, a visual impairment of the
people and degradation of their soil
consequent upon gas flaring and
oil spillage respectively.
They witnessed the slow poisoning
of the waters of their community
and the destruction of vegetation
and agricultural land by oil spills
which occur at oil companies’
greedy explorations. But since the
inception
of the oil industry in Nigeria, more
than forty years ago, there has been
no concerned and effective effort on
the part of the government, let
alone the oil operators, to control
environmental problems associated
with the industry.It is visible to the
blind and audible to the deaf that
Nigeria is besieged with plethora of
problems. According to the World
Health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria
ranks 191 out of 192 countries in
the world with un-safe roads bearing
162 deaths per 100,000
populations from road traffic
accidents.
Lagos/Ibadan expressway and
Benin/Ore road are familiar death
spots on Nigerian roads. Every day,
we cry blood as parents bury their
children and sisters; their brothers.
We shout to be heard, soon we
slump into complacency, and shrug
our shoulders to the admittance of
the mantra; ‘that live goes on’. But
not anymore for that boy whose
mother died because the light went
off during caesarean operation; not
anymore for that girl whose father
died in an automobile accident as a
result of the poor state of our roads;
not anymore for that woman with
eight children whose husband died
in a managed-to-fly faulty plane that
crashed; not anymore for those
three innocent children that a plane
crashing on their roof made them
orphan; not anymore for the family
of the Dana, Bellview, Sosoliso plane
crash victims; not anymore for those
families in Niger, Jos, Kano, Bornu,
Kaduna, whose relatives have been
slain by Boko Haram and
never anymore for you and me.
Nigeria has the second highest rate
of maternal death in the world
where one in every eight woman
dies because things are not in place
that should be in place. Don’t pray
that the next victim of maternal
death will not be your sister or your
wife, but act, for most of it is
avoidable. It pinches to watch our
sisters, wives and mothers slip into
death; they are our unsung heroes.
This government is only interested
in widening the gap between them
and us; we said all animals are
equal, but they said some are more
equal than the others. We made
them custodian of our
commonwealth but they starved us
of it, they steal with pride and with
impunity.
The amalgamation of 1914 appears
to be a mere amalgam of water and
oil, especially as succeeding rulers
make things work as if it is only the
turn of a region to marginalize the
others. Our legislature is a
consortium of overpaid epicurean
senators. Our rulers come up with
new probes every day, but at the
end, they only bark but they don’t
bite. What happened to the power
sector probe, the Siemens probe,
Malabu oil bloc scam? They have all
been buried in the cemetery at Aso
rock. Now, helpless Nigerians are
only waiting for the subsidy probe
to be laid in state.
The educational sector is bedeviled
by darkest at this very dawn of the
21st century by demons from the
forest of corruption,
mismanagement and
misappropriation of funds.The state
of insecurity and violence imprinting
on the psyche of Nigerians is a
portrayal of the government
security apparatus
incapability of guaranteeing the
safety and security of its citizenry.
Unarguably, the most secure place
in Nigeria is the Aso rock.Otherwise,
the life of every average Nigerians is
characterized by
fears of the known.
Ironically, Nigerians though are the
most religious people on earth, the
once happiest people on earth but
the most corrupt people – what a
contrast!
I ask myself, how do we salvage
Nigeria from Nigerians, how do we
help her, must we watch with a
tearful eyes as she is been raped to
death by her own? Leadership
involves a leader effortlessly
conveying his people with aship
from where they are to where they
ought to be, from
underdevelopment to development
and from retrogression to
progression. Nigeria still needs a
grass cutter that will be able to cut
the stalk
of concentration of power at the
central level and adopt the Swiss
model of government whereby
power is decentralized, and each
region is given autonomy.
I write this piece not as incitation for
us to do away with our brothers but
a call for us to embrace regional
system of government to fast track
development. This will enable the
people of each region to pull
themselves by their bootstraps from
where they are to where they ought
to be. The situation though has
deteriorated, but we can rise to it. A
living dog is better than a dead lion.
This task lies in our Nigerian Mikhail
Gorbachev, the president.
When we came out en masse to
elect him, weoffered him a
promissory note that he will be
accountable for in due time and
asked him to sail us to El Dorado –
now is the time!
He must live up to be the warrior
and cut this diseased cord called
Nigeria quickly

To promotes freedom of expression and right to contrary opinion, views expressed by Authors does not necesarily reflect the views of the blogger.

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