There is no doubt that Nigeria is a blessed nation. With its huge land mass, abundant natural resources, human capacity, ethnic diversity and total absence of natural disasters which ravage other parts of the world, it was a nation destined for greatness. However, in many ways, these blessings have turned out to be her undoing by virtue of unbridled corruption which was institutionalized by years of military rule.
The inception of the fourth republic which ushered a new age of uninterrupted democratic governance is still yet to yield dividends. The political and economic situation has steadily progressed from bad to worse and even more so in recent times. The administration of President Goodluck Jonathan has exhibited an abject lack of vision, co-ordination and will to provide the “fresh breath of air” which was the mantra of his campaign. As a matter of fact, Nigerians are have had to come to terms with having the little breath left in them choked out by the vice-like grip of the monster called corruption which seems to have quadrupled in size in the last two years as a result of gluttonous feeding.
Thousands of lives have been lost due to the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government under President Jonathan in terms of security alone. The Boko Haram menace has spiraled out of control since the hilarious and intellectually bereft declaration by his excellency that the Boko Haram menace would be subdued in June of 2012. The rate of unemployment has assumed shocking proportions and has driven most of Nigeria’s teeming unemployed youths into a life of crime. In fact, we are now at a place where criminal militants are now rehabilitated at a cost that has never been invested in employment creation. What an irony!
The presidency has surrounded itself with laughable buffoons who do not know their left from their right and has tagged them an ‘economic team’. The far from comical blunders of the team as they plot the economic course of the nation from one mishap to another is a constant source of worry and they have succeeded in further plunging the fate of the masses into an abysmal existence. A sad reminder of how worthless credentials are in terms of theoretical practice.
One thing that has resonated with me as I have observed the “I-don’t-give-a-damn” attitude of the ruling elite is a shocking disconnect from the plight of the average Nigerian and the total absence of a moral will to do right. It would appear that the sharpened mouth of conscience of these men and women has been blunted by the insatiable greed to siphon Nigeria’s diminishing wealth. The masses have coped well under the prevailing circumstances but things came to a head in January when for the first time in a long while, Nigerians stood up from slavery and the squalor of cowardice to stand for their rights during the Occupy Nigeria protests. The protests apparently jolted the elite and a true revolution may have occurred, had several groups which purportedly represented the interest of the masses compromised and sold out. Months after shocking revelations of mind-blowing brigandage by the ‘cabal’ and civil servants, not one of those found culpable for has been brought to book.
Today, Nigeria is in the throes of a more vicious threat. Since July, floods have washed away scores of life, displaced thousands of others and destroyed properties worth millions of naira in the northern part of the country and is gradually spreading to the south. Buildings, roads and farm lands have been totally submerged. The cause of these floods has been blamed on the federal government for allowing the Camerounian authorities to release water from its Lagdo Dam without taking proper measures to save lives and property.
This once again bring to the fore how unprepared and utterly negligent to the plight of the average Nigerian the federal government is to tackle any form of mishap or natural disaster. Time and time again, the reactive rather than proactive approach to problem solving has led to loss of life and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), the agency saddled with the task of handling such seems to be grossly unprepared and heavily overwhelmed by the task ahead.
The Minister of Water Resources, Mrs. Sarah Ochekpe, has said contrary to reports in some quarters that the cause of the current flooding in some areas of the country is solely as a result of excessive rainfall and climate change. The disaster, she said, should be blamed on the inability of the previous governments to build the Dasin Hausa Dam, which is capable of saving 16 billion cubic metres of water. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, 26th of September, 2012, the minister said because of the configuration of the River Valley and the high water resources of the environment, it was proposed in the late 70s that two dams be constructed by Cameroun with Lagdo Dam and Dasin Hausa Dam by Nigeria.
Trading blames as to the inability of successive governments to build the Dasin Hausa Dam is an exercise in futility and the height of political rascality. The PDP has been at the federal seat since 1999 and each year, monies have been appropriated for the building of the Dasin Hausa Dam. Why has there been no result up to this day? There were several warnings about this flood. It did not come by surprise but yet, no active measures were taken or proper impact assessment and adequate measures to forestall or minimize the difficulties it would occasion were implemented. And where is our president at the moment? He is at the United Nations Summit in New York with an over-bloated entourage proffering solutions to the world’s many ills. Charity, they say, begins at home. What significant contribution our president can make towards world affairs when he can’t tend to his own backyard is a mystery.
We have been told that a post-flood mechanism is already in place to address the food shortage that is likely to follow. Of course, food shortages will follow seeing that over 5,000 farmlands have been washed away by the flood. Will keying into a programme to access rapid maturing of seedlings to enable fast growth of farm products mitigate the harsh effects of food shortages and the following hike in the price of food stuffs? Time will tell.
The essence of this article is a pre-2015 call to awakening. Yes, calls like this are a dime in a dozen but the hard fact is we cannot afford to be politically lethargic or frigid any longer. Our nation is on the brink of collapse and total anarchy. It is imperative to the survival of Nigeria that PDP and its founding fathers and big wigs face political extinction. It is one way or the other, either they go or Nigeria goes. We do not know which party is the political messiah of our nation Nigeria, but we know who our messiah is not. As 2015 creeps insufferably, we must prepare to phase out the current political elite who are accountable to the cabals rather than we, the electorate. The time is now!
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