10th May, 2012
Those who make peaceful change impossible, consciously or unconsciously did give a nod to a violent (Revolutionary) change.
When President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan rode on the ‘luck back’ with Nigerians playing the quintessential umpire to assume the highest political office of this country, Nigerians for once went to bed with their two eyes firmly closed in satisfaction. Unfortunately, Nigerians have never woken up from this slumber because they had taken a million steps backward to their chagrin. What with the avalanche of economic problems that had bedevilled us, still very much our permanent companions. Social amenities are still a mirage; crime and corruption have become a permanent mark on the psyche of our nation. Nigeria has never been this bad. Like many Nigerians out there, I wake up daily in despair and weep for my beloved country. When I reminiscence the Nigeria of the 70s and the early 80s , I pray never to wake up from this dream.
The former governor of Delta State, James Ibori’s chequered political career along with the powers that be necessitated a manhunt for him when the Nigerian courts failed to prosecute and convict him of an alleged financial sleaze. He fled from justice, ironically from a country where justice is anathema. Ibori has however been convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison by a judge, Anthony Pitts of Southwark Crown court for money laundering. Yes, it is possible in the UK because things work there unlike Nigeria of Mr. Jonathan and PDP. What a tragic commentary and mockery of Nigeria’s judicial system! The Nigerian learned lordships who orchestrated the discharge of Ibori of over 170 charges, I believe, by now, would have been starry-eyed, gnashing their teeth as history has tethered them to odium and opprobrium. But come to think of it, one would have expected that the zeal and ferociousness with which his Excellency and his security apparatus hunted Ibori from frying pan to fire, that he would have used same to pursue the oil subsidy multi-billion naira fraudsters and brought them to justice. No, it will never be. Nigerians are cowards ab initio. Those saddled with the responsibility to bring criminals to justice are in permanent inertia; critics would say a little but once they are bribed or frustrated, they give up. Even when critics dare to speak from their throat, the media as a medium would censor them for fear of their institution being muddled and their means of livelihood strangulated. Tell me who the fool in this country is not aware of the original owners of these oil firms that have their fingers soiled in the trillion naira oil subsidy saga. IBB, Obasanjo, Abacha, Abdulsalami, Al-Mustapha, former governors and senators- God knows and Nigerians know that these past leaders own all the big blue chip conglomerates in Nigeria, from oil to telecommunications. They use trusted stooges and protégés to run these companies. All the doctored financial historiographies of our nouveau billionaires have no foundation in truth and authenticity. But being the cowards and the reticent victims that we are, we swallow all the nauseating logical phlegm of media blitz on how these people started from humble backgrounds. Deception and untruth is now part of our value system. It cuts across family and government strata. For fear of the unknown, Nigerians have chosen to suffer inn silence while a few fortunate never-do-well are lording it over them. Why is everybody afraid of death? Where is the prospect of Heaven where everything works which our clergies preach every Sunday? What about Al jana where lots of virgins and wine await a faithful Moslem who dies and accesses the throne of Allah? These questions bring me to The Daily Sun, April 24 front page: Revolution‘ll Consume Buhari -FG. Who amongst the crop of officials in this present dispensation will escape a people’s revolution should it come today? Our leaders, past or present, dead or retired, none, I repeat none would survive the people’s revolt.
With due respect to his Excellency, President Jonathan, I challenge, should place his score card of achievements side by side that of Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari’s when he was a military ruler of Nigeria, am afraid, the greatest apologists of the present government would bury their heads in shame. Where are all the bank ‘executhieves’? They have all been set free by our courts. The only woman, Madam Cecilia Ibru who was unfortunately convicted, served her sentence in a hospital bed with all the trappings of queenly comfort on the Island of Lagos State. Former speaker of the Nigerian Federal House Of Assembly, Dimeji Bankole would revel with his youthful friends all weekends as a free man in Lagos and Abeokuta. Pity! Olabode George was apparently a scapegoat because he stepped on the toes of a ‘big man’. His case was typical of the Old Italian Mafioso vendetta. Should Nigeria maintain the status quo unabated, I dare to say that Bode deserves an apology and a national honour for debasing his exalted position by making himself available for prosecution and conviction without pressing the necessary Nigerian buttons.
Revolution is here. It must come. Believe it or not, Nigeria has long been overdue for total overhauling.
Take a look at this screaming headlines: Fuel subsidy report: House of Reps raises alarm over plot to kill it- Daily Sun, April 24. Gani Fawehinmi’s Park taken over by security men over threat of mass protest- Daily Sun, April 24. Panic measure. The National Assembly is in panic. The people are in panic. The government is in panic. Is the handwriting still in doubt? These are pangs of distress of an impending socio-political and economic Armageddon in Nigeria. It is never late. President Jonathan and his ‘legendary moral’ party, PDP should put on a new people’s garb and face squarely the multifaceted economic and moral problems bedevilling this great nation. Should they wittingly or unwittingly watch this country collapse into bloody brouhaha, posterity will not forgive them. Enough is enough. The quietude of Nigerians is not a condescension or acquiescence to ineptitude and impunity. Nigerians should, and must rise up to take their destiny into their hands. The Arab Spring and the attendant result is a credit to the holoi-polloi – not the military in the barracks or external sponsors. Should we remain docile and only complain within the confines of our bedrooms and beer parlours, the status-quo will remain because our leaders have the mechanism they have overtime carefully orchestrated to sustain it to the detriment of the masses. Visit our mortuaries and see unknown/unclaimed bodies of Nigerians who died out of societal neglect; visit the slums and see the made in Nigeria scum of the society. Nigerians are daily dying of starvation and frustration because of lack of employment and poverty in the midst of plenty. Nobody seems to care. The government is not bothered about the people’s plight as they die instalmentally. Who cares!
What fear! Who fears! Revolution, People’s revolt, Nigerian spring, Total reform or overhaul; these are mere epithets, Suffering Nigerians are only interested in a better Nigeria where their children would have a future with social security provided for all.
•Ehimare, CEO, Autocruiz Motors, writes in from Lagos.