Monday, January 11, 2010

My take on some issues in Nigeria.

People who read my blogs would wonder why I have not posted anything in a while. With all that is happening in Nigeria, I’ve had only scathing and rude remarks to make so I have waited this while to simmer down a bit.

Let me start from the top.

We woke up one morning to find that our president was not in the country. No announcement, no warning; he had gone to Saudi Arabia for medical check-up. We thought it was one of his usual “medical checkups” so we let it go. Then it became 10 days, 20 days and now 49 days! It is all our fault things deteriorated to this level in the sense that on previous occasions when he went for his medical check-up, we did not demand that a medical report certifying him to be fit and proper should be issued. Even in some secondary schools, you are denied the privilege of attending or being a boarder if you are found to have ailments like asthma, ulcer, diabetes and the like.

Alas, I deviate.

We did not take his absence seriously until the “crotch bomber” incident took place on the 25th of December. I did not realize on time that the man in question was a Nigerian and by the time I did, I marvelled...but that is another story. All that rings in my head after the incidence is Dora Akunliyi saying that Abdul-M “sneaked” in Nigeria, his own country oh. The little respect I had for her evaporated. How can a Nigerian citizen, no matter who he is or what he has done SNEAK into his own country? Did she even think through her statement before she made it? Does she know the meaning of the word SNEAK? I understand she was under some sort of pressure when she set up the press conference after the incidence but did she have to speak in that manner? I wonder.

The Vice-President just “fell my hand” (as we would say in Pidgin English). The least he would have done would have been to address us as a nation, the best he would have done would have been to contact Joe Biden or have a meeting with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria. In my view, it would have been better to err than to do nothing and further rub pepper in our wounds.
Then it hit us in the face: we were black listed...and rightly so.
Before I get crucified for my statements, hear me out. Put yourselves in the shoes of the USA. In 2009, Nigeria had the Boko Haram Crises, Jos crises, Niger Delta Crises; bombing of the Atlas Cove jetty, corruption issues, bank reforms...need I go on? And to crown it all, a Nigerian citizen was caught red handed (or should I say down to his pants?) trying to commit suicide and murder in the American jurisdiction (we all know the details, except of course you live under a rug). To make matters worse, the president was MIA, AWOL etc and no official diplomatic measures were taken within 48 hours!!!

Do you not think they are entitled to protect their nation from unwarranted attacks? Everybody is entitled to their opinions no matter how flawed.
We need to stop lying to ourselves; all the Americans saw was a nation without direction ripe for terrorist invasion or at least had tendencies to be a fertile ground for breeding terrorism. So we were placed on a watch list like any right thinking sovereign country concerned about its safety would do. I firmly believe the crotch bomb scare was not the cause; it was just the last straw which broke the camel’s back.

If Yar’Adua has any regard for this country, why did he not pick up the phone and call Obama? If he was well enough to sign a bill, surely he was well enough to have spoken to the nation. Has the president not heard of Skype? or Google Wave? I could send him an invitation you know. Video calls on Skype are free and he could install it on his laptop and speak to us from his bed. After all, I remember Fidel Castro speaking to the Cubans in his pyjamas. He said, and I quote, “it would be a betrayal to my conscience to accept a responsibility requiring more mobility and dedication than I am physically able to offer”. Gosh, I cannot believe I am comparing Yar’Adua to FIDEL CASTRO! When did this happen?

The A.G is not even helping matters at all. What does he think he is saying? The president can rule from anywhere? I won’t repeat the other insane and obnoxious words he has uttered these past few months for fear of sounding like him.
Ojo Maduekwe is someone I would speak of in passing...he has failed miserably like the rest of them...running his mouth when he should sit and ponder.
The church seems nonexistent at the moment. This issue is not so important to warrant a speech from them? Or a lawsuit like some sensible thinking Nigerians have started? No. They are concerned with building bigger churches, being Arch-Bishops, presidents of Christian associations and the like...any other thing than issues that concern the sanity of our land.

The rest of those making noise about how we should pray endlessly for the speedy recovery of a president who has insulted our intelligence and spat in our faces should keep quiet already. I hope he recovers soon, but that does not mean I would not critique his shoddy arrangements. Seriously, those in government saying rubbish should keep quiet and not let us think less of them daily. Have they not heard the adage that says: ‘it is better to keep quiet and be thought a fool than to speak and erase all doubt’? (Hmmm, maybe that is what Goodluck Jonathan is doing).

But who am I angry the most at? The Nigerian people. I’m angry at our annoying silence as a people, our laziness being depicted in not standing up for ourselves (they spit in our faces and we say thank you); at our ‘siddon look’ attitude; at thinking that as long as we eat and are not killed, we are ok; at not holding our leaders responsible for their actions and inactions; at condoning the corruption in our society; at waiting on each other to change Nigeria; at allowing miscreants, fools and thieves to rule us, govern our states and rob us blind while we applaud them for constructing roads that would not last two weeks (okay, I am exaggerating), providing bore hole water that does not flow, ‘keke napap’ (tricycle) that is an insult to our sensibilities...I can go on. We applaud them for doing what they are mandated by the constitution to do.

The truth is that nothing, and I mean NOTHING, would change if we do not stand up together as a people, let our voices be heard and get rid of the cancer that is eating deep into our nation.

Forgive me if this article is not coherent; the issues plaguing our land are not coherent thus, I find my thoughts darting from one area to another.


Miriaku said...

I feel your passion. we will need this for the coming fight ahead of us because enough is enough. we must remind ourselves daily that Nigeria will only be great when we decide to make our voices count and speak up on the issues affecting us as a nation. we are ready to take the bull by the horn.

yinka said...

I am happy someone is getting to see mmy view about how more churches have become scamming centers than a place of value and honor.... the Marcoses of the Philippines were kicked out of office by the Arch-bishop of the Catholic Church and a fervent Catholic (Aquino)... today they are better of for the actions the church took.... There is a very great statement their current Arch-Bishop made recently when the current President said "GOD" told her to still stay in power....
" Daughter when u talk to God, thats prayer when "god" talks to you that Schizophrenia..." May GOD help us all......

Bayo Okeowo said...

very passionate and right on point. Naija... hmmm. One looks around and nothing seems to be working. Thankfully, hope remains because individuals are rising and if the life of Martin Luther is anything to go by, we will all agree that the decision of one man can change us all. Change is coming to Nigeria... we will not give in till we can not just smell it but till we see it towering high!