Date Published: 10/01/09
GOOD PEOPLE, GREAT NATION, GOOD-FOR-NOTHING GOVERNMENT By Imohimi Uduigwome Airenevboise
Most Nigerians often say that they are sick and tired of Nigeria, while not a few admit that they are actually ashamed to be Nigerian. However the truth is that they are proud Nigerians who actually hate the Government for their gross ineptitude towards the affairs of our country Nigeria. Some actually describe the nation as a failed state but rather what we have is a failed government. There is a Chinese proverb that says “when a fish starts to rotten it starts from the head’ conversely what can one expect from a leadership that is politically and financially rotten?
Any sane and purposeful leader can make a desired change in one year but half way through his first tenure not only are Nigerians wondering what’s going on, their President Musa Yardua is also waiting for someone to tell him what the heck is going on! He is like a pilot who is wondering why his plane has no auto pilot button. According to Nicollo Machiavelli in his book ‘The Prince’ (If he reads, Yardua should please spend an hour or two to read the book. It will do him good.) he said (and rightly so) that the major task of any ruler is to pick good advisers and once he has achieved this, the job of ruling the nation creditably is half achieved. Here our president has surrounded himself with a bunch of misfits and minions who are incapable of generating any idea or proffer any solution to move the nation forward.
A minister who goes abroad to apologise to the human rights body for the perceived violation of the human rights of a fanatic who killed thousands of innocent Nigerians, yet turns a blind eye to the daily violation of the human rights of Nigerians is not fit to be a minister. He may lie that he is not aware but definitely he listens to the news and reads Nigerian dailies. What kind of advice can this man proffer? The same minister has continually tainted our image both at home and abroad with his conflicting statements, action and inaction as regards the fight against corruption.
This brings us to another minister who in her desperate bid to be a minister condescended to be the one that does damage control for those whose stock in trade is to do everything their own way irrespective of the fact that it makes our country look bad. She is so keen on rebranding hapless, homeless and hungry Nigerians that she forgot that those that need to imbibe the rebranding culture are her fellow ministers, special advisers and honourable members who slap security personnel for having the audacity to request that identity cards be displayed before entry into secured areas and politicians who display an extravagant lifestyle and treat other Nigerians as if it’s a crime to be poor and hungry!
Though to be honest, I am utterly confused as to the effective way to get people who do not have access to potable water, electricity, health care, good roads, education and human dignity rebranded while those who under the guise of been professional politicians loot the country silly and sneer at the rebranding campaign claiming that the Minister is only looking for an avenue to feather her nest. Pray do tell what kind of advice she can proffer to President Yardua?
Governors whose only achievement can be best accessed from the state owned media were rewarded with ministerial portfolios and now our education sector is bedeviled by strikes and inherent rot. While our industries spend boardroom time mulling over why they should remain in Nigeria instead of moving shop to Ghana. No points for guessing the quality of advice President Yardua will be receiving or has definitely received that resulted in the sorry state of our education and industrial sector.
A minister of Health who sees his colleagues and other top government scurrying abroad to get a cure for a headache or to have a tooth extracted will definitely be the butt of jokes whenever he finds himself in the midst of other medical colleagues. Perhaps he is doing his job and passing across the necessary pieces of advice to Yardua and the President simply refuses to take any action, then I guess the honourable way out is for the minister to resign from the cabinet or bypass the president and report to Turai Yardua who grapevine sources say has the clout to get things done and was reported (though not confirmed) to have appointed the Minister for Health.
Jokes apart do we have ministers who handle and advice on transportation, roads, environment and labour? Our transport sector is comatose, roads where available are decorated with potholes, gas flaring has destroyed our environment and health of citizens, and strikes are now contagious as workers now go on strike weekly.
The economy is swimming dangerously down a precipice, and our or rather Yardua’s economic advisers are obviously having such good time at Aso Rock that they fail to see why people are complaining about the economy! As far as they are concerned Nigerians are a bunch of whiners and if they can just but stop whining for a second they will discover that the seven point agenda is the “gbogbonise” (a herbal drug/mixture that is touted to cure any form of ailment) that is needed to revive our economy and put our nation on the path of rapid growth. So while we wait for the ‘gbogbonishe” seven point agenda to take effect and start work, can our economic egg heads whiling away at Abuja look for another remedy in case Yardua’s gbogbonise fails to produce the desired effect? I am not a pessimist but after two years and the economy (outside Aso Rock) not showing any sign of recovery, I think its time to start shopping for other remedies.
The chief image maker cum spin doctor was once a vibrant journalist with his caustic and incisive write ups on government action or inaction but now finds it more appropriate to leave more important issues behind and inform the nation that his benefactor has no intention to effect any change in his cabinet so the incompetent ministers should stop fretting! I fail to understand why he had to inform the nation that the President was not planning to drop any minister. Was it for the benefit of the ministers who were already scared or to the majority of Nigerians who do not care who is their minister as long as the person is there to work and not loot our treasury! Nigerians will be happier if president’s spokesman can answer the following questions; Why our President prefers to avoid Nigerian hospitals, why are roads are so bad, why the energy sector is still in shock, why the seven point ‘gbogbonise’ sorry, agenda, only exist during adverts in the media, why our ministers and their cohorts are ALWAYS smiling and laughing while majority of Nigerians are looking forlorn. What has happened to those who stole the foreign currency meant for the national soccer team and why are government officials involved in sports administration living above their income while the athletes go on their knees begging for their entitlements?
So many question and so few answers. However, as we mark our 49 th independence it’s obvious that our Nation lacks direction, lacks leaders at the helm of affairs, leaders who have vision and are not afraid to take decisions and if things do not change we will be a nation without a future. Despite this gloomy picture and the much touted low key celeberation, which in effect means” no parade in the morning but there will be a big party in the evening for politicians and friends. Other hungry Nigerians can watch us later on T.V having a good time at their expense-tax payers” we still love Nigeria and Nigeria will be great if only our Leaders will act like leaders and not like a combined team of armed robbers and terrorists out to destroy what they didn’t build.
By Imohimi Uduigwome Airenevboise