As a people, Nigerians are very hardworking, industrious, resourceful, intelligent, and more so, very hopeful. Since independence in 1960 we have gone through all kinds of hardship, from a civil war to austerity measure, to SAP and have come out smoking. We have persevered even in the face of ethnic and religious killings, armed robbery, and lately kidnapping.
Most of the vices mentioned above came about through government actions or in-actions. Things have really gone bad since independence. At independence, we were blessed with resourceful leaders and we were very ready to excel. Our academia was well grounded, we had a disciplined citizenry. The resources were there to exploit. I saw a YouTube video of Abubakar Tafawa Belewa when he visited the US shortly after independence. I was amazed by his mastery of English language, his confidence and his intelligent speeches. You could see that palpable admiration and respect on the face of his hosts, the Americans. A good percentage of the industries and infrastructure we still enjoy today was made possible by such leaders.
I am talking about the time when hard work and honesty make a man. When graduates get employed in the last semester of their education. When Civil Service was very honorable. When it was very shameful to be called a thief. When leaders respected the people’s mandate. When the quality of education was high. Have you heard your grand father or grand mother speak English language? Are you amazed by the spoken English and the hand writing of those old folks who only had standard 6 education?
Those were the days then when integrity matters. In our very eyes today, public officers acquire huge estates when our children have no teachers or classrooms. Education is now a complete joke. They travel abroad for medical treatment while our hospitals are ill equipped. They rather buys us ambulances to convey our corpses and injured body to dysfunctional health facilities.
Pipe borne water is now history. For ages they have been talking about restoring electricity to no avail. Businesses have closed due to lack of power. However, it does not take them any thing to build a new VP’s lodge or buy new presidential air craft. Insecurity has taken over the land. Our law enforcement agents are not well equipped to take on the hoodlums. Their pay is even laughable. Youths roam the streets without employment thus increasing the number of armed robbers, kidnappers and political thugs. The recent application for driver position at Dangote Group is a good example of how bad it is.
At every possible occasion, the present government bombards us with lies and false statistics. Bogus claims of growth in GDP and fall in inflation are not reflected in the economy. Just yesterday, Patience Jonathan, the president’s wife left for Germany for medical treatment, the 2nd time in 4 months. Last year, after spending over one month in Germany, she came back and lied to us that she was never sick. The most annoying part is that Governors, Ministers, Traditional Rulers and law makers were all present for the show of shame. The Bayelsa state governor even left his flood ravaged state and traveled to Abuja. I wonder if he knows about a man called Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor and how he has been handling the flood situation in his state?
The point is that these present leaders (except very few) see us as fools. They tell us what they want and ask us to go to hell when they want. They strongly believe in divide and rule. They know that we are hungry and that a good number of us will give in when presented with money. That is why they will keep treating us the way they want. However, if we can be honorable, if we can think of our children and the generation yet unborn, then we can determine our destiny. The ballot is very powerful. All we need to do is to vote wisely in future.