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Curious desperation to lose Nigeria!

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It is unfortunate that our unscrupulous politicians, our dealers who call themselves leaders have failed to read a classical warning from Henry David Thoreau who once noted that, ‘it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things’. Yes, it is now crystal clear that Nigerian politiciansare very desperate at the moment and their desperate situations make them do desperate things – to win election, even if they lose the country in the process. They don’t care. They are in a hurry to pull down their country, win election and then set up a bunker in which they can run their country.

They want to win at all cost. The country can be lost. They want to create a Syria out of Nigeria. They don’t care anymore. They seem to have picked up a Samuel Doe’s strategy paper: win election, remain in the government house as long as you are safe until you lose everything including your country –to satanic forces.

They don’t seem to care a hoot at the moment that Africa’s most important country is on the brink of collapse. They don’t care about the most populous black nation on earth that even the West would not like to rise as a world power. Theyare very desperately desperate. They don’t care anymore about the humanitarian tragedy in the entire North East at the moment. The resurgent insurgents can kill all our soldiers. They don’t care a hoot about the North West too that is almost lost to the insurgents. They don’t know the implications of an elected governor’s invitation to the authorities in Abuja to come over to Zamfara and declare a state of emergency. They don’t know the consequences of the governor of Katsina state declaring to the world that even the president’s home state is under siege.

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They don’t care to note what I told them the other day that we are in what a British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill called, ‘a period of consequences’. They do not read any writing on the wall anymore. They appear too desperately deaf to hear what their spirit man is telling them about the country they are about to lose. It is unfortunate they want to win election and lose the country that iconic Nelson Mandela saidis the only critical success factor for both Africa and the black race.

Nigerian politicians are desperate to win the election war even if they lose the whole people from Maduguri to Yenagoa. They are piling up arms to destroy even the fragile Niger Delta because they want to conquer the region in the name of politics. Even the desperately wealthy politicians in the Niger Delta states are prepared to assist the desperadoes at the centre to capture the entire South South. The desperate politicians in the area are hissing and saying President Goodluck Jonathan (2010- 2015) was a fool to have opted for peace that ‘passeththeir understanding’.

They want to be in charge of the nation’s dwindling resources. They want to capture the South East too to join the powerful centre where values are being allocated. Even Ohaneze youths are desperate for recognition and pledging zeal to deal with their kinsmen who would not join the 2023 desperate bandwagon – to crush all the oppositions. Even some powerful and desperate politicians in the sophisticated Western Nigeria are selling what they know to be a dummy to their people to embrace the desperate salesmen in Abuja who are selling just one plot of land in Asokoro, Abuja to the Igbo and Yoruba at the same time. The desperadoes in Yorubaland too seem to be blind to the tragedy of the heaven that is about to fall, which no one can escape (in Nigeria).

Even the public intellectuals in power from Western Nigeria are desperately collecting a dud cheque from unscrupulous sellers of the Asokoro only one plot to their people! Whatever happened to the people from the pacesetter region – Western Nigeria – where some elders of a fake Afenifeeresay they are supporting the desperadoes!

It is incredible too that even the opposition leaders who say they are desperate for power too are desperately disorganised. The governors of the opposition states seem to have curiously given up. They just allow statements, just statements from Abuja reacting to matters arising from political bulletin of the governing authorities. The opposition elements who used to fill the front pages and prime- timenews slots with ideas and well-researched facts and figures don’t seem to know what to do at this time. They too are desperate for power but appear clueless about how to engage the governing powers who are fixated on their only strategy – the blame game.

It is getting curiouser and curiouser that governors of the opposition states don’t know how to engage their party. They have even justified to the press how their presidential candidate would lose election. Incredibly, key opposition leaders are still bellyaching over how they were not consulted over choice of a presidential running mate. It is a tragedy. They can’t weep for the nation that is going under even if they have been part of the building of the leaking ship of state?

Tragedy, insecurity, religious bigotry and ethno-centricism everywhere you turn in the country now. Yet these are not election issues. The issue in this season’s election is simply about who is more corrupt in a country that is supposed to be organising colloquia daily on how to hit the moon in this disruptive digital age where bureaucracy is crumbling to the power of technology.

Time to cry for the beloved country where elders, public intellectuals and classical social crusaders have been curiously quiet even when they have spotted incompetence and even wickedness in the troubled federation. Instead of planning for the next generation, instead of planning how to fix critical infrastructure and even infrastructure that feeds corruption, Nigerian politicians across board are negotiating where the 2023-2007 incompetent president will come from. No one is talking about when we are going to get a great president who will lay a solid foundation that will set Nigeria off to be a member of G-20 in global context. No one is talking about a knowledgeable competent, smart leader who will set off Nigeria to an entrepreneurial nation, a club of emerging markets of BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to be BRICSN when Nigeria is added. I hope our desperate politicians who just want to use Buhari or Atiku to get to power realise that all our vaunting about how we are richer than South Africais simplymisleading. South Africa is still the only country in Africa that is a member of G-20 and BRICS! South Africa is still a country like no other.

Where are the men?
Again, I would like to borrow a context from the First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari who asked a critical question recently while decrying an alleged hijack of the governingauthorities in Abuja: ‘where are the men?’. Indeed where are the men who fought for this democracy that is not delivering progress anywhere? Where are the men when desperation seems to have taken over governance and there is a dangerous systemic failure in the country? Where are then men who should have spontaneously protested a recent composition of presidential committee, which threatened to ruin the most significant face of Africa in Nigeria, AlikoDangote?

Where are the men even in the presidency who should have cried foul when significant public officers heading sensitive offices such as Federal Inland Revenue, FIRS, Nigerian Ports Authorities (NPA), were being desperately drafted into campaign advisory offices for re-election? Where were the real men when Dangote and Otedola, were being listed without consulting them? What manner of desperation triggered choice of Dangote without considering implications of that action on his international business empire? Is that the limit of knowledge in Nigeria’s seat of power? Can’t things be done properly and orderly as the iconic Paul of Tarsus has advised?

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For those who worship the gods of the bellies in their politics, for those think they can market the Asokoro strategic plot to the desperate but gullible Oriental brothers and malleable and naïve children of Oduduwa at the same time, should know that rotational this and that has been the bane of our politics and development. As I have noted before on this platform, zoning a presidential plot to any region has never benefited any zone as long mediocrity is a dominant factor.

They are dangling a 2023 presidential ticket to Western and Eastern Nigeria at the same time in a dubious political marketing strategy. Has anyone asked what the south-western Nigerians benefited from Obasanjo’s presidency of 1976-1979 and 1999-2007?Did he pay attention to even roads from Lagos to Ota? What of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway? Did Obasanjo pay due attention to the Lagos Ports as his predecessor General Murtala Muhammed promised in his February, 3 1976 broadcast proclaiming Abuja as the nation’s capital? What did the north-western people benefit from UmaruYar’adua’s presidency from 2007 to 2010? How did that reduce abject poverty in the far north? What can the south-southerners remember as dividends of democracy from Jonathan’s presidency from 2010 to 2015? Did Jonathan complete the East-West Road, for instance? What about the Buhari administrations 1983-1985? What of General Ibrahim Babangida’s 1985-1993? What did General SaniAbacha’sregime 1993-1997 add to the north? What of General Andusalami’s 1998-1999? All told, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) still records the three northern zones as the poorest in the country? Specifically, the serving president’s zone, northwest, remains the poorest according to the NBS’s index on poverty. It is followed by the northeast.

What is worse, the breeding groundsof insurgency and extremism in the country now are the northeast and northwest. I hope we haven’t forgotten that most of the current service chiefs are from the zones: The National Security Adviser (NSA) Major General Mohammed Babagana Munguno (rtd) hails from Borno State (NE); the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar is from Bauchi State (NE), Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai is from Biu in Borno State (NE); the Minister of Defence, Brig-General Mansur Muhammed Dan Ali, hails from hotspot Zamfara State (NW), the Interior Minister, General Dambazzau is from Kano State (NW); the Inspector General of Police is from Niger State (NC). Despite the strategic presence of all these strong men from the northern region at this time, for instance, what has become of the same north? All these facts tell us that desperation for power in any zone without proper planning will lead us nowhere!


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