We are gradually approaching 2015. We will soon be at the tail end, zero hours to the election that will determine the fortune of our great nation and entire citizenry. As of today, many of us are pre occupied with personal safety. Boko Haram used to be big issue as many lives have been wasted. These lives should have been spared. Over 200 girls have been abducted and in some unconfirmed reports, a certain number of women are still missing yet we seem to carry on as if there is no tomorrow. Many Nigerians are scared of today, trying to escape Ebola Virus, not to now think about a week or months ahead. It is becoming a hard job to look straight at another fellow and not be scared. Even in churches, where unity and faith are supposed to be in full supply, many cannot shake hands with their fellow believers. Even when they do, they are looking for the next exit where hand sanitizers are conspicously placed to sanitize their hands. I went to a bank three days ago, and a smart looking man asked for my pen to fill his form, I turned and moved on because I was afraid of possible Ebola Virus. That was bad I know but what can one do?
Indeed this is a trying time to live in Nigeria and most especially in major cities. While some states are doing their best, we still have a long way to go in ensuring safety of lives. Schools’ resumption had been postponed in order to make adequate preparation for school children resumption. We do pray great effort is put in place so we do not become another Liberia where activities are shot down. With first discovery of Ebola case in a University in the Northern Nigeria, we are beginning to think of possible outbreak in our overcrowded public universities and Colleges.
In the midst of all these, our Political gladiators are more concerned with winning election. We are always in a drama here. If it is not opposition party today, It is the ruling party that is at fault. The battle line has been drawn and all focus is on the election: how to win and not how to change lives. President Jonathan Goodluck team is consistently building a solid foundation instead of a desire to make a difference which can make his name to be written in gold.
There are various groups springing up to support this ambition. Yet the President and his cabinet has turned their eyes against this illegal behaviour of starting a campaign when the law has not permitted such. Each time one travels out of the Country, one is tempted to curse our leaders. Other Countries are not perfect but at least they have good roads, power supply and relatively good health care system.One keeps thinking, why is it that our leaders here do not wish the citizen well? Why are our citizen traveling abroad to treat common head ache? Why on Earth do our Political leaders travel, do globe trotting and can not benchmark some of the good things they see over there.
What is the big deal in keeping money in reserve, which may soon disappear anyway, and allowing lives to be wasted through unnecessary road accident, common cold among others? Today, one hears, “Nigerians earnestly ask for Jonathan’ among other slogan. In other climes, people do no talk in Millions like we do here but even with Two or Three Thousand Dollars or Pound, they can live well. In South Africa here, with six to eight Thousand Rands a month, one can live considerably well. What do we have here? With the Eighteen Thousand Naira minimum wage how many are really living? Yet we see our leaders building, buying houses, schools all over the place. What is the hope of the common man.
As we approach 2015, what are the issues we are raising? What do we, citizens, want? Have we reticulated them well and ask questions from our Political gladiators. Today in the South West, our Governors have learnt lesson, many want ‘stomach infrastructure’ and so they are providing a bag of rice to win a vote. Initially they wanted changes in infrastructure development but when they discover a bag of rice is important to them, they are changing tactics. A bag of rice that will last for a week. The sealed hope of next four years are sealed on a platter of gold.
Can we shift our attention for a while? Can we start asking question about our money? A local Government Chairman we all kne w about five years ago will build as many houses and buy cars in Millions and no one is concerned. Our hospitals are run down as well as many other infrastructures like street roads, major roads. Street lights are not working, House owners are doing vigils in some locations after hard day jobs in order to keep armed robbers away. Bornu State Youths vowed today to fight Boko Haram with sticks and bare hands as the last option. The security system gives less hope to the people. Everyone is sleeping with one eye closed. People who can afford it buy big cars to escape potholes and armed robbers. We are being pushed to the wall yet we keep shifting, bruising our bodies in the process instead of turning around and say no more.
It is time we changed focus. It is time for policy redirection where citizens’ lives are valued. It is time to ask questions despite the fear of being killed by political thugs. Youths who religiously follow corrupt leaders just for a piece of bread must consider their tomorrow. World Bank and other development partners also have have a role to play. Why give money to Countries you know can survive under strict discipline? Why give Millions in aids and not follow up on how the money is spent? Why not have strong policy on who to support?
Why should credible people stay away from Politics? Why are we not encouraging them to come out, support them with our widow’s mite without a demand for kick backs when they eventually get to power? Why are the citizens corrupting their relatives who are in one position or the other by making outrageous demands from them since we all know they do not earn as much except when they steal? If Nigerians are serious about their future they will take right steps. The teachers will be ready when the students show up.