Wednesday 25th January, 2017
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Rekindling hope in the milieu of hopelessness

Rekindling hope in the milieu of hopelessness

The paradox of Nigeria is that it is a materially rich country whose millions of citizens live below the bread­line. The vast wealth of the coun­try circulates in the hands of cor­rupt political bourgeoisie, retired military officers, and business ty­coons, who have link with peo­ple in the corridors of power. So we operate a capitalist system that is without a human face. The gap between the haves and the have-not is wide. And it is still bour­geoning.
Sadly, our country is trapped in the mud of economic backward­ness and technological hiatus in spite of its humongous human population, vast land mass, many waters, and equable weather con­ditions. Nigeria is called the giant of Africa, but it’s a giant with feet of clay. That’s why Kwame Nkru­mah, a socialist philosopher and former President of Ghana, called Nigeria a big for nothing country. It is a common knowledge that Nigeria has failed to realize its po­tentialities owing to our past inept and corrupt political leaderships and dictatorial military juntas.
In the last presidential election, Nigerians who were disillusioned and disaffected with the bumbling political leadership of Dr. Good­luck Jonathan cast their lot with Rtd. General Muhammadu Buha­ri. Our electing him the president of Nigeria was informed by our knowledge and awareness that he has great aversion to corruption.
While on the stump, he prom­ised to fix Nigeria’s multifarious and hydra-headed problems like corruption, economic problem, infrastructural rot, Boko Haram insurgency, and others.
But he seems to be over­whelmed by the complexity and enormity of our national prob­lems. A politician jostling for a high political office ought to have a programme of actions ready, which he would implement if he comes into power. In Britain and America, their newly elected lead­ers named members of their cabi­nets soon after being elected into offices. But that’s not the case with Buhari. A discombobulated man, his search for people that would fill his cabinet could be likened to looking for a needle in a hay­stack. It took him eon period to form his cabinet. And members of his cabinet are just like square pegs in round holes.
But President Buhari appears to be an ethnic chauvinist and reli­gious bigot, who sets store by par­ty loyalty, ethnicity, and religion. That is why his war against graft is biased in favour of members of the ruling APC party. Some politi­cians who held high political posts in the past PDP-led political ad­ministration are standing trials for corruption while some APC big guns , who are accused of per­petrating corrupt deeds, have not being arraigned. The fight against graft is gaining traction, however. And stupendous sums of money had been recovered from corrupt politicians. But is the recovered money injected into our wob­bling and comatose economy to revive it?
It’s an indisputable fact that Bu­hari’s economic policies, actions, and inactions are some of the rea­sons why Nigeria’s economy has relapsed into recession. As Nige­rian’s economy sinks deeper and deeper into recession, he has con­tinued to heap blames on the im­mediate past civilian adminis­tration for our economic woes. Bashing Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has become his pastime. Trying times like we are in today’s Nige­ria ought to bring out the leader­ship qualities inherent in Presi­dent Muhammadu Buhari.
More so, Nigerians are known and reputed for their long-suffer­ing, forbearance, and love of life while encountering excruciat­ing economic hardship and oth­er tribulations. But today the story has changed. They are embracing the hara-kiri option. Our daily na­tional newspapers are always filled with grisly tales and gory pictures of people who committed suicide because they couldn’t cope with the vicissitudes of life.
Are Nigerians not seized with feelings of hopelessness and dis­illusionment now? Can anybody glimpse a light at the end of the tunnel? President Buhari should cease whining about the finan­cial recklessness and imprudence of Dr. Jonathan’s administration and execute policies that can pull Nigeria out of this economic re­cession and quagmire. He should redeem his image by engaging in deeds that should rekindle hope in our hearts.
Okoye writes from Uruowulu-Obosi, Anambra State.
 

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