Hurray! Today is D-day. That important day in the lives of some of our politicians, especially the re-elected and newly elected ones who got the lucky wand to be elected into various political offices across the country. I am sure most of them have been having sleepless nights, praying fervently for this day to arrive, and here we are – the day of inauguration and the beginning of all eyes on them and time for all patriotic Nigerians to open their mouths and speak out, so that our lives won’t be wasted and as rightly observed by Martin Luther King Jr that “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”.
As for me I have decided not to sit don look again, I will keep talking and hope not to remain silent about all the things that matters in this rich country of ours and the mediocrity bedeviling us as we march towards another four years of hope, despair and uncertainty. I believe we should not keep silent as these men and women take over the affairs of running our resources, our laws and our lives.
Actually this is not the first time Nigerians are witnessing the inauguration of sets of politicians to lead them as elected members; it all dated back to the first republic, when we had visionary leaders like Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Tafawa Balewa, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Dr.Micheal Okpara, and the other patriotic Nigerians who laid the foundation of this great country and left behind great edifice and infrastructures we are all enjoying today, especially our present leaders who benefitted tremendously from this positive legacies, but unfortunately they are yet to match these great past leaders in terms of educational development that benefitted them and brought them to where they are today.
They are still lagging behind and swinging confusingly on infrastructural development despite all the resources at their disposal, something our past leaders lacked in abundance during their time, yet were able to give us safe good roads, efficient schools, textile industries, cotton industries and the other various industries that have long been abandoned and destroyed by the present generation of leaders and politicians.
Here in the north our past leaders in the first republic gave us the resilient but now diminishing New Nigerian Newspapers, the still standing Hamdala Hotel, the famous Ahmadu Bello University and Kaduna Polytechnic, the New Nigerian Development Company, Kainji Dam, the great groundnut pyramid among others. In the west we had the famous Cocoa House, Western Nigeria Broadcasting Corporation, University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University and the free education policy, including other effective programmes that touched the lives of the people. In the east we had the Enugu Coal Industry, University of Nigeria Nsukka, the long abandoned palm industries ,among others. Collectively our past leaders gave us an efficient railway system, they left behind a stable electricity supply across the country and importantly they gave us a sense of belonging and nationalist feelings.
They united us and brought us together, despite our tribal, cultural and religious differences. They made us believe so much in ourselves and our country, and gave us that dignity and boldness in most of us today.
But what is the story presently, after six different republics and uncountable set of leaders, both military and civilians. Perhaps the country never had visionless leaders like the outgoing sixth republic, that despite the huge resources, technology and manpower at their disposal, still failed the country and the people with their undemocratic behaviours, corruption, nepotisms and mediocrities.
They were without doubt the most costly set of representatives ever witnessed by this country, with their expensive sittings, insatiable taste for materialism, corruption, and unpatriotic attitudes and visionless policies. They had the longest uninterrupted years of democracy; yet don’t have a single bill that touched the lives of the ordinary Nigerians or any visible legacy they could be remembered for. Our present leaders actually brought us different problems and failed programmes like the infamous Poverty Alleviation Programme and its outdated comatose Keke NAPEP, the unrealistic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the confused National Directorate of Employment (NDE),the inefficient Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE),the slumbering Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDAN),and the ineffective National Orientation Agency (NOA), including the various countless numbers of agenda by both the states and federal governments.
Please we should try not to keep silent over the high rate of poverty, ethno-religious killings and massive looting of our resources by our present set of leaders, so that our lives won’t begin to end. We should talk about the various lies and promises daily spilled to us by these men and women who at the end of the day disappear silently with their loots, while the law closes its eyes to their misdeeds and perjury. We should try to comprehend and say it loudly that the ineptitude of our present leaders brought us all the present wahala, ranging from militancy, kidnappings, high rate of armed robbery, insecurity, ethno-religious crisis, bombings, ritualism, tribalism, nepotism, discrimination, corruption, poverty, educational backwardness and the highest rate of unemployment and low life span of an average Nigerian.
Let’s welcome the seventh republic and let’s pray they would be different from the outgoing one. Let’s hope and continue to nurse our faith in God and look forward to the promised day when the prices of kerosene and foodstuffs would drop drastically in our markets. That day when patriotic men and women in the various Houses of Assemblies would stand up to fight for price control of rents, transport fares, wages and salaries of the common man, free or affordable education and medical care. That day when those representing us will open their eyes to reality and behold with shame that we are lagging far behind in our social, economic and political lives, with our small neighbours fast overtaking us, despite their lean resources and manpower.
Let’s hope and pray that their senses and reasoning would make them comprehend that all is vanity and that naked they shall return to their Creator and answer to all their misdeeds. They shall,like it or not, leave behind their gigantic mansions, their big toy cars, their beautiful and pretty wives for others to marry and their over-pampered kids at the mercy of the society, and interestingly they shall be forgotten in this world in a couple of days or months, while their handiwork speaks for them.
Please let’s welcome the seventh republic and wish them a merry sweet ride in their cumbersome political journey and also remind them that their four elected years is a day short today as they take that oath that would raise or mire their profile in the eyes of Nigerians and the world in general, certain that many patriotic voices would not keep ‘silent’ about things that matter throughout their tenure.
This article was written against the 29th of May-2011
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Umhenbeta Blessed Benin, Nigeria February 22, 2012
I think the youths should be given the chance to serve since men are not living up to expectation. I believed in Nigeria youths not men.
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