Hello, everyone. In light of recent events, the following is an older post from a good friend of mine called Tom Lash. Feel free to get at him on his Twitter handle, @MisterLash
The said catchphrase rings a nostalgic tune. However, the once popular victory chant now echoes dead beat, in the conscious minds of a deeply disconsolate populace. Why perhaps? The called frigid fable follows below.
About one year ago, Nigerians took a bold chance at change. But what have we today? One Chance! Just as sure replacing the second c with g herein doesn’t guarantee CHANGE;
Bus conductors hardly ever have CHANGE;
Tariffs on the rise yet power cuts never CHANGE;
Substituting coaches yet eagles play don’t CHANGE;
Exorbitant conversion rates for foreign exCHANGE;
Unbearable cost of living all in the name of CHANGE . . .
Sai baba? This is the sad reality. The people clamoured, and clamoured for CHANGE. And did they get an altered package or what? To some Nigerians now, the word is a taboo. It is a word most associative of a plague. Even a Nigerian child born today might just grow to learn the word in the disapproving sense as every other Nigerian has come to identify its connotation in the negative light.
Sai baba? Nearly one year into your second coming, we have rather to record the second anniversary of the Chibok girls’ abduction—talk about a miserable milestone to mark. Indeed we see your continued fight against extremism up north, it doesn’t, however, absolve your government of its standing obligation to fulfil one of its main campaign promises much less to speak of its given mandate to carry out its core function of securing lives and properties all over the federation. Say, if sparing Nigerians the national stigma seen with failing to sting the Sambisa scorpions to bring our girls back isn’t paramount enough, then the undying trauma being faced by the downtrodden mothers at hand, many of whom have died of hypertensive abandon, should strike a melancholic chord.
Granted, the previous administration were in custody of security concerns when this tragic debacle occurred, your government, nonetheless, as a matter of responsibility and introspective priority, should have squared up to its demanding billing in doing everything possible to #BringBackOurGirls. It’s not enough to drive the hash tag and then allow the rescue mission drag; it’s not enough to trend in the opposition only to bend the struggle after being inaugurated in prime position. The longer this clarion call stalls, the quicker it would fetch to open more windows to widowhood; and who else to say would have allowed for this wide aperture of woe? Men full of evil intentions? Perhaps the fearless faction of Fulani herdsmen slaughtering human beings for cattle should make the shortlist; except they are yet to count as full threats to the sanctity of regional peace and unity. But here’s what counts. Many have already been murdered in cold blood. But how many more must die before the government were to acknowledge the arrival of a new band of terrorists? Are we to wait for a rule of full anarchy before it takes urgent action to nip this crisis in the bud? Simply put, it foretells a move foolhardy.
Sai baba? Your fight against corruption is commendable. Undoubtedly, a mere lot has been looted from the coffers over the years—oil monies laundered; treasury bills pilfered; government bonds cornered; and public funds diverted…to mention but a few. Surely now, your tireless charge to recoup these spoils is valiantly extolling to say the very least. However, if really Nigeria must come to grow under your command; if really Nigeria must come to know itself a lush productive land, then far more must be done beyond cultivating scapegoats. Now, inasmuch as rearing sacred cows isn’t the point at issue here, the tenets of logic, at best, would suggest that channelling all of your energy into prosecuting the war on corruption might, in the long run, defeat the purpose of nation building. Conversely, if all the anti-graft agencies under your watch would act as commissioned while you focused on harnessing green ideas so geared at driving Nigeria’s static economy forward, then far more would have been achieved during your faring administration. But, from the look of things, the sword, sadly, appears to be tearing the pen apart.
Sai baba? We tend to see more of you abroad than we get to in Aso Rock. We get to see a dark dawn as the cock crows while you get to wake up to radiant lawns saying hello to us from the other side. But it wouldn’t be such a sin as long as Nigeria were to win; it wouldn’t be such a bad thing as long as our economy stops being thin.
Recently, our attention was drawn to your novel trip to China. Over there, it is rumoured you allegedly cajoled the Chinese government to commit to lending Nigeria $2 billion dollars for her infrastructural development. Now that sounds mighty impressive—but merely on the surface.
First of all, this is NOT a grant. It is a loan that would be paid back in full, and safe to deduce, with capital interest. Secondly, it makes but for a harrowing concern to negotiate the fact that this alleged loan should constitute any part of our national budget at all. (Speaking of budgets, how does it take an APC-led FG/NASS five months beyond the fiscal year to enact? Surely, this tardiness which now has had the 2016 budget signed into law, nearly half way through the year, can only make for a fitting excuse waiting to be exercised should the unsurprising story be that of a partial implementation of its called provisions). We beg to differ. Why toil today to borrow only to foil Nigeria’s interest tomorrow? This, baba, bemoans a no-brainer. Rather than subject Nigeria to a gargantuan debt profile as was the case with the Paris debt just over a decade ago, wouldn’t it call for divine wisdom to formulate favourable economic policies to attract foreign investments instead of borrowing the kind of money that can conveniently power the annual budgets of two independent nations? Why set ourselves up as debtors when we can set up green field staple points with our IGRs, including looted funds recovered, to maximize our economic potential? Why?
Sai baba? This is not what Nigerians voted for; neither is it time to resort to playing the blame game. From your inaugural speech, we learnt the past to be prologue; so pointing accusing fingers now at the previous administration for Nigeria’s present economic woes is simply addressing of an acerbic epilogue.
To close this chapter, we heartily state that APC should not be A Problem Continued. Rather, APC should deliver on its vital promise for…
…A Positive CHANGE!
We hereby call on your government to give real meaning to the watchword. And while we do not expect a sudden miracle to rescue Nigeria from its putrid plight overnight, we do expect to start seeing signs of a gradual recovery process.
Baba, Nigerians are helplessly waiting. But time certainly isn’t.
#SaveNigeria now before the light dies out;
#SaveNigeria before it is consumed by the blight of austerity;
#SaveNigeria and be the hero after;
#SaveNigeria . . .
. . . that’s all we ask;
For and on behalf of every unchanged Nigerian.