Events in the past couple of years have not given Nigerians cause to cheer. From continued slide in the nation’s economy to cascading unemployment, to worsening insecurity, to rising cases of kidnap for ransom, to general expression of despair and bad governance, it’s tales of woe everywhere.And the emergence of the dreaded corona virus, which has knocked off several of the nation’s politocal egg heads, intellectuals and captains of industry, coupled with the shutting of the gates of the nation’s institutions of learning, especially higher institutions for nearly one year, it appears Nigeria is at its worst ebb in history.A look around does not show any sign of relief. From issues of terrible road infrastructure across the country, to loopsided construction of railway lines, leaving off the Eastern corridor completely, and without any plan to connect the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to the South East and North East with rail line, the refusal to open up the South-Eastern seaports to business, loopsided and often secret employment in the public and civil service, nepotic-oriented top executive appointments, including the Service Chiefs that have refused to recognise the dynamics in the country, it all appears, we are not heading towards any reversal of our downward developmental trend.All around, the Nigerian youth appear despondent. They appear and arguably so, to exist without any hope of decent participation in the governance structures or of attaining leadership position.
Withing the polity, the youths appear to be lost. What if their grand fathers and mothers have refused to leave the political space for them to manage, especially by over-monitising politics and procuring brigandge, making such the signature tune of the political parties. And with the law enforcement agencies not providing hope, with their nepotic appointments and promotions, their nepot8c-induced approach to performing their duties, the country is worse off with insecurity writ large all over the country.With the country importing practically everything, even fuel which we rank among the global net producer of crude. It is so disheartening that for decades, none of our leaders even felt the desire to change the approach to petroleum products importation.
With tons of raw cocoa exported every year, our leaders still believe it is best to import beverages, etc than liberalise procedures for local manufacture, encourage nationals and foreigners to set up industries and get our growing army of unemployed youths off the streets. Within the past 20 years, over 500 companies have closed shops. And there is no hope in sight that anything is being done to either revive those or set up similar industries.
We lost tyre manufacturing industries, auto assembly plants, cotton industries, pharmaceutical companies, rubber processing companies, etc. Enugu and Jos, once bubbling due to coal and iron ore companies, have since lost those companies that once made the cities count among the nation’s industrial hub. Port Harcourt, which had harboured some of the leading Nigeria’s shipping companies and harbours, is now a shadow of its glory with no hope in sight. Our educational institutions, once the best across the globe, is now a shadow.
With incessant industrial action pervading academic activities like colossus, what we churn out are graduates, who can barely express themselves freely in English language. At the moment, innovation and research which are the hallmark of universities and research institutes, have taken a flight in the country.What we can boast of so much is political brigandage, in the form of manipulations across board right from party primary to national elections.
Everything about our politics is jaundiced. Even university professors and vice chancellors hired by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to build up the credibility of our elections, have unfortunately disappointed and brought shame to our electoral process. At the moment, it appears there is no hope in that direction.With regard to i ternational relations, Nigeria has also not fared better. one remembers with nostalgia, the international waves made by the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), which at the moment appears to be a comatose institution.
In terms of leading West Africa, nay Africa along the path in international relations, Nigeria was unmistacably the numerous uno, big brother country. But right now, even nationals of countries we spent both men and material resources to secure their independence, now pooh-pooh our dear country and make a mockery of our nationals. And that is to say that even if we chose to live in denial as has bee the case, we can’t over up the pregnancy internationally. On the global corruption perception index, we have recently lost all the gains of past assessments. Although our national leadership attribute our abysmal global rating to external negative influence, what Nigerians encounter along our roads and at our public institutions clearly shows that we must apply the reverse gear from where we are at the moment, face the reality and drop all forms of pretentions that all is well.We at The AUTHORITY have been scandalised that rather than adopt modern animal husbandry approach which emphasises ranching, we prefer to retain the nomadic approach which neither produces more beef, milk, nor produces more young animals.
The only benefit of nomadism is strife, kidnapping, invasion of communities by pastoralists and attendant internecine crises. What we have gained by all these can only be retardation in national economic indicators and life expectancy, and those have been obvious.With the several Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps and reported unfettered access of aliens and terrorists to the country under the pretext of being pastoralists, which anachronistic practice brought only pain to the country, we need not question further why we should not halt such for modern agricultural practice which anchors on ranching. It will be in our collective interest to completely reverse from where we are, accept the realities and put measures in place for improvement.
If we continue to promote religion and tribe above clear cut operationally sound considerations during appointments and promotions, we can only continue in the reverse gear, which will further retard than promote the well being of our country and citizenry. No amount of denial or subterfuge can take away the facts.
If our leaders continue to insist that what is obvious are fallacy or politically motivated, then they need to counter such so-called subterfuge with evidence and fact that are noticeable to all and subdry.
If our graduates, especially in most pasts of the country continue to wallow under unemployment, it is enough to put paid to all the lies and propaganda from government agencies.
It is important to let the political leaders understand that they cannot fool all the people all the time. Public reaction during the #ENDSars protests should be enough proof that the young Nigerians, though dubbed as lazy, are keeping record and would react appropriately anytime the opportunity provides itself.
We should not allow such opportunity for negative reaction from our youths to ever occur again. What happened in the recent past was one too many. But it remains an eye opner and a big lesson for our leaders.