Nigeria, a nation blessed with rich human and natural resources. Almost over four decades of independence is still wallowing in unemployment, insecurity, poverty, epileptic power supply, ghastly education system, dearth health system etc.
The alarming rate of societal misdemeanor perpetrated by the youths today is nothing to write home about. Yahoo-yahoo, racketeering, militancy, and kidnapping have become the order of the day. One tend to ask the question, is it that the leaders of tomorrow are fast becoming too lazy and impatience? Or are they trying to secure a better future in a society with the rudderless ship of seven point agenda, and a deaf and dumb captain.
A country with the education system held hostage by striking workers at a time when the honorable minister of education is still recuperating from the hangover of 120 million naira wedding anniversary.
ASUU are on strike over the failure to sign the agreement reached with the federal government since 2001.The demands include: university autonomy, improved package, 26% budget allocation to education, 65years retirement age, all geared at curbing the hydra headed monster of brain drain and reposition our education system to a standard level. This strike is over a month and all we get from this insensitive and belligerent government is scathing comments and propaganda with no action. The Nigerian students have been sitting at home, some have resorted to crime, but do you expect any action from this people when their children are receiving first class education abroad with tax payer’s money. I strongly support the cry by Education Right Campaign for a bill to be passed that makes it compulsory and obligatory for children of political office holders to attend Nigerian schools. Of course, if they think they are patriotic enough why can’t they patronize Nigerian schools?
A nation governed by a deaf and dumb president whose sole agenda is northernisation of Nigeria. Where is the principle of federal character? When major office stakeholders are from one part of the country, minister of finance, national planning, petroleum, FCT, NNPC boss, EFCC boss, CBN governor, etc. A very good and non sentimental question is whether they are the best for these positions, but a thorough appraisal of the ministries and agencies will not only provide the answer but may also sow the seed of secession.
As expected, none of these ministries received pass mark after quarterly review by the law makers. The finance minister trailing the footsteps of his master, managed to accrue $3.6 billion foreign debt in just two years. I wonder what will be going on in the mind of our dear Ngozi Okonjo Iweala when all her effort has been laid to dust in just two years. The minister of justice, a renowned and successful senior advocate of Nigeria [SAN], has turned Halliburton case to a family affair with their snail like speed. Over five months we are yet ascertain the culprits, may be the sacred cows are involved.
Minister of information, angel of rebranding, rebranding a nation without rebranded leaders. I hope she was briefed about the faith of Heart of Africa’s Project, which stared former president Obasanjo as guest artist. A woman of integrity who has the guts to bite the fingers that fed her, with her scathing comments against the university dons which she was part of and if not for their patriotism I wonder if she will be where she is with her deceitful smile full of propagandas. Please Ma, what we need is reorientation and reevaluation rather than rebranding.
The health system is in a sorry state, but does it affect them with frivolous allowance for medical check-up abroad. The president is up to Saudi Arabia and the poor citizens are left to expire in empty hospitals. The roads are now death traps. Travelling through Benin-Ore road is like journey to hell. I wonder if the minister of transport will shed blood this time around?
Furthermore, in Nigeria problems are addressed with exploitative ignorance rather than with constructive reasoning and intellectual justice. For how long will amnesty sustain the social injustice ravaging the Niger Delta where the major resource of our country is derived? Fifty billion naira for insurgents, what of the amicable ones? Are we encouraging peace or violence? Have this government provided basic amenities like good roads, good water supply, constant electricity, qualitative education, job opportunities not just for the deltans but Nigerians at large and people still grumble?
Electoral fraud and irregularities has become the bane of Nigeria’s democracy. Over ten of the gubernatorial election has been nullified based on electoral malpractices and the umpire still has the guts to parade himself with the mantra of free and fair election. Political hooligans rather being reprimanded and stigmatized as a deterrent and lesson to the youths are being rewarded with party chieftain also as a lesson to the leaders of tomorrow. A society where a victim of nullified election based on electoral fraud is still eligible to contest for re-run.
Hard work has become the subject of mockery. Why won’t the youths turn to militancy, racketeering, yahoo- yahoo, armed robbery, when you wake up every day and all you see is a gloomy and murky tomorrow? We are subjected to temporary hypertension over what tomorrow bringeth. Monkey dey work baboon dey chop has become their anthem. Our efforts and the sweat of our fathers are being carted away to foot the luxurious bill of the selected few.
Finally, this is a clarion call to the youths, the trustees of tomorrow’s posterity. We have been pushed to the wall and its time we jumped the fence. It’s time to wake up and demand our right from this brutal government. Nigerian students, we have been forced on compulsory holiday and all we get from this people are lies and propaganda. This is what I called brutality of the highest order. Of course, their children are schooling abroad and in their private universities because they can afford it with tax payers money. Our colleagues are fast turning miscreants; their generation is wasted, will we allow our generation to waste? It is left to you and me: we have to secure our future. We should not allow this people mortgage the prosperity of tomorrow’s posterity. I believe there is always light at the end of every tunnel. Let us act now or suffer silently to our graves.
Chinedu Ugwu is a student in the University of Ibadan, Nigeria.