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Saturday, 21 December 2013

Nobody Owns Nigeria By Ajibola Bakare


Going down memory lane, Nigeria since the inception of the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency, has never been as dramatic as this past few weeks save the fuel subsidy protest of early January of 2012. Just as we were almost getting used to strange, outrageous, and life threatening new year gifts from the Presidency, this year was a bit different and we hope January of 2014 wouldn't be different. Nigerians are expectant of more goodies than baddies.
Fellow Nigerians, the last trimester of this year has been months of different accusations and counter accusations, with the presidency at the centre stage. I will not linger much on the politics of the PDP, nPDP and the APC. It only shows that we should begin to look for alternatives to these peer groups. They have failed Nigeria and Nigerians. But one germane point is that this is the first time since Democracy in Nigeria that 5 state governors on the platform of the ruling party will defect to an opposition party: 5 governors. It is simply unprecedented and embarrassing.
Just as 2013 is beginning to close ranks, it is still one year that Nigerians and Africans won't forget in a hurry. It is a year when we've had times to rejoice and celebrate as well as a year when we've had several horrifying, horrible, sad and embarrassing moments. Worthy of celebration among the series of events that marked 2013 are the Africa Cup of Nations victory for the Super eagles and the U17 World Cup Victory for the Golden Eaglets to mention but a few. I'm not sure if qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil perfectly fits in this category but Kudos must however be given to those guys for a job well done.
We are likely not to forget in a hurry the tragedy that befell us as a nation when an associated airline carrying the corpse of an elder statesman crashed, leading to the untimely death of several promising Nigerians, including Mr. Deji Falae, one of the few young Nigerians in politics who up until his untimely death was a former commissioner in Ondo state. It was indeed a black day for us as Nigerians. Needless to say that we've had more killings in the north in 2013 than any other year courtesy of those who promised to make Nigeria ungovernable.
We were still mourning and in turmoil when suddenly the news broke out that the supervising ministry in charge of our aviation sector took delivery of two bullet proof cars estimated at over 255Million Naira. I'm aware it has been extensively analysed all over the conventional media as well as new media, so I need not dwell much on it. More so, I wouldn't want to make dead cases live again. I salute Nigerians a lot. We have a way of making corruption news trend for just a couple of weeks after which we keep silent on them. The fuel subsidy case, the Lawangate, Otehgate, just to mention a few are perfectly examples. Oduagate just made the list(sic). Some African nations didn't have this much gate before taking to the streets. Worthy of note is the fact that Governor Raji Fashola of Lagos state also took delivery of his 600million Naira bulletproof cars. He as a working governor deserves it more than a mere minister. Doesn't he?
One must appreciate the uprightness and sensitivity of Rt. Hon. Aminu Tambuwal, who made our president vulnerable to several insults in the last few weeks. He made a public mess of the purported zoning arrangement when he declared that zoning will only make us lose out on the best man for the job. He said zoning will lead to mediocrity which is an enemy to our democracy in Nigeria. Since no one dared to ask him whether Democracy has ever been practiced in Nigeria, why should I? Just when we were beginning to see the presidential material in him, he dropped another bombshell directed at the number one himself. He said "The president is encouraging corruption with his body language". Who isn’t?
About 50million dollars is still missing from Nigeria's treasury. Any Good Samaritan who comes across such should please return it to the CBN, NNPC, Ministry of Finance or the Presidency. An attractive reward awaits such person. We are not privy to how the money disappeared, but the CBN governor said the money wasn't remitted to the NNPC account. NNPC said it was. It doesn't matter whether it was or not, the responsibility is ours to help look for the money. It is a shame on us as a nation that two federal government controlled parastatals are at loggerheads over money belonging to Nigerians. Sincerely, President Goodluck Jonathan should just wake up if he's indeed sleeping. If Nigeria is a bit too complex for him to govern, he should simply do the needful. Leaders in other climes resign over the slightest allegation, but in Nigeria, leaders hold on tight to their portfolios even when the allegation is gruesome, barbaric and criminal. Their sycophantic aides will keep massaging their egoistic backs, telling them what they want to hear against what Nigerians are saying. I hope I didn't sound too harsh.
I'm not sure how to address him. Would Chief, Dr, Hon, Rt Hon, Professor, or just "Mr" be most appropriate to address that man who lived and died for the emancipation of his countrymen. The man who fought until death to ensure that apartheid doesn't thrive in his country. The man who fought for a better deal for his countrymen. He's Africa's most prominent man even in death, Nelson Mandela. Despite his legacies and giant strides, he refused a second term in office, unlike those who did next to nothing but still wanted a third term. Just as world leaders were paying their last respect to this noble man who lived a life worthy of emulation, somebody somewhere was busy writing a letter he should've written to himself while he was president(sic). A letter he wouldn't tolerate while he held sway as president.
Bloggers, writers, and other eminent Nigerians have done a critical analysis of the letter for and against the writer. While some were of the opinion that the letter came at the right time and aptly described the situation of things in Nigeria, some expressed their disappointment that the writer rightly captured his days and times as president in the letter and went further to describe the incumbent president as a son who is thriving to surpass the achievements of his father. But they reminded the son that no matter how much of new dresses he possess, he can't possibly have more rags than his father, the Ex-president.
Disappointingly, one of his sycophantic aides described President Jonathan as a man who can be likened to Late Nelson Mandela because the former had a 9 hours meeting with the leadership of Academic staff Union of Universities, ASUU. Again, no one bothered to remind him that Mandela never met with university teachers to have such discussions. Only universities in Nigeria proceed on industrial actions. However, kudos must be given to the presidency for ensuring that the strike didn't go beyond 6 months.
Conclusively, commuters and travelers can now heave a sigh of relief as work is obviously in progress on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Many Nigerians including myself have thought that President Goodluck Jonathan will overlook the very important road the way Ex President Olusegun Obasanjo did, but alas, we have a non-Yoruba president fixing the road linking about three Yoruba states that a Yoruba President couldn't fix. We really don't know who should be writing a letter, but we know who shouldn't.
Nobody owns Nigeria!
I wish Nigerians Merry Christmas and a corruption free 2014 in advance.
Ajibola Bakare
A Trained Biochemist, Political Academy (POLA) alumni, and a Young Nigerian who is determined to contribute his quota to a New Nigeria. He tweets as @hardgeeballer and wrote in via ajibola_bakare@ymail.com

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters

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