By Raymond Oise-Oghaede
The Nigerian nation is presently beclouded with intriguing allegations of serious security concerns. There are talks revolving around plans to cause mayhem in some parts of the country in order to discredit the government; the Fulanization and Islamization of the polity; attempts to overthrow the government; and, the arrests/detention of opposition leaders on trumped-up charges to mention but a few.
In as much as some of these allegations could have ordinarily been waived off as fabricated rumours; the sources of some of them are too strong and sensitive to be ignored. The most baffling aspects of the hullaballoo is the fact that the elites who ought to be at the forefront of campaigns to addressing these attendant fears and concerns with the aim of setting the records straight, are the same people that are embarking on activities that are capable of destroying the very foundation of the country’s existence. The country has now been divided along the lines of the ‘Wailers’ and the ‘Hailers’. In as much as it is a normal phenomenon for the people to have embraced diverse interests, ideologies, political parties and candidates in the countdown to the recently concluded elections; the bridge has now been crossed; and, the most expedient next line of action is for the people to close ranks and come together as one by putting our country first in all ramifications for the purpose of promoting our national interests.
Unfortunately and embarrassingly, some ‘self-acclaimed progressive elites’ are still engaging in activities that have clearly depicted that they are the ‘real enemies of the country’. Their stock in trade has remained throwing up sentimental and bigoted posts on social media to promote their unobjective, myopic, parochial and sentimentally-compromised opinions on issues of national concerns. They are the untamed promoters of hate speeches who are always quick to trivializing, condemning and criminalizing objective criticisms of ‘patriotic citizens’against the ills bedeviling our nation. These propagandists have become blinded to the suffering of the masses and, they are deceitfully praising ‘our leaders’for turning the country into a ‘paradise'(in deed).
These enemies of our nation have suddenly come to love and embrace all draconic features of military dictatorship (which they hitherto, pretentiously abhorred to deceiving their gullible supporters and hailers). They have metamorphosed into proponents of lawlessness by their redefinition of democracy as “the government of the selected few for the promotion of crass unconstitutionality”. Presently, they are tacitly supporting the persistency of the numerous calamitous problems and challenges facing us as a nation by ‘shamelessly’ giving empirical analysis about the foundations and originators of such ‘societal ills’ as justifications to absolving the government from wrongdoing. It is therefore, not surprising that these ‘champions of deceits and professional sycophants’ have refused to see anything wrong with the spate of continuous and unabated killings in some parts of the country in recent times. They have not seen reasons to call on the government to live up to its responsibility of securing the polity. They are always quick to reminding us that ‘herders/farmers clashes’, ‘Boko Haram menace’, and the Fulanization agenda to mention but a few have been in existence before the coming of this administration. They are not smart enough to tell the government that there can never be any headway to a progressive ‘next level’ without making the society safe and conducive for the people to co-exist.
It is so disheartening that these ‘elites’ (who claimed to have the listening ears of our leaders) have not been able to convince and make the government realize that the spate of insecurity in the country is having negative multiplier effects on the increasing rates of unemployment, crimes, poverty level, and other vices amongst the youths. Presently, frustrations and depressions have led to increase in the quest to migrate to Europe through the deserts and the Mediterranean Sea where hundreds of our ‘lazy youths’ are perishing on daily basis. Year in year out, the higher institutions are churning out thousands of graduates with no hope of ever practicing or making ends meet with their ‘certificates’ because there are no concrete efforts in place to making the environment conducive to attracting investors and creating job opportunities. Even the privileged few in employment are constantly reminded that they are in excess of requirements. Those that are too scared to embark on these journeys of uncertainties have readily found succor in committing suicide to end it all. It is therefore; most worrisome that nobody is telling the government that this lingering frustration amongst the youths is a time bomb waiting to explode because of its capacity to pushing them to revolting against the society and setting the country on the brink of destruction.
No one amongst these elites is calling the attentions of government to the fact that Nigeria is a secular and multi-ethnic country where all government policies and decisions must be seen to be fair to all and sundry without promoting ‘mutual suspicions’ amongst its citizenry.
Nobody is telling the government that the prices of food stuffs and other essential commodities have skyrocketed in the markets; and, that, it is by the special grace of God that the masses are managing to survive and hanging on to life.
The same people are not telling the government that it will be counterproductive to always be criminalizing and politicizing genuine/objective criticisms of patriotic members of the public and the oppositions regarding the numerous problems and challenges bedeviling our country. In the present scheme of things, it is so obvious that majority of the so called ‘aides and advisers’ are in actual sense infecting our leaders with ‘real virus of maladministration’ by their politicization and condemnation of every objective and patriotic criticisms. These ‘false friends of government’ are not bold enough to tell our leaders that disbursements of `Trader Moni` to selected few at various markets is not, and will never be a solution to the array of our problems; thus, there is urgent need to rise above partisan considerations by putting effective machineries in place for tackling our national challenges.
In view of the foregoing, you will agree with me that the `real enemies` of our country are those that are deceiving our leaders to believing that all is well in the country against the true positions of things on ground. Therefore, the time for positive change from the antics of deceit and sycophancy to patriotic objectivism is now. Let us join hands together to let our leaders know the importance of prioritizing set objectives. The truth remains that even if we recover all the `looted funds` from the country`s treasury since independence to date; it will still be difficult, if not impossible, to move the country to the `next level` in the face of `insecurity` and `atmosphere of mutual suspicion`. Consequently, it will be in the overall interest of all and sundry for the government to come to equity with clean hands. There is need for genuine and honest consultations with leaders of all the geopolitical regions regardless of their political affiliations. Stake holders meetings with all elected members of the National Assembly, outgoing and incoming governors, first class traditional rulers, leaders of the opposition parties, former presidents/ heads of state, members of the military and paramilitary, captains of industries, labour leaders, journalists, and the students representatives to mention but a few are very crucial at this point. There is urgent and deliberate need to forge a common front to finding lasting solutions to our `national problems and challenges` for the purpose of moving the country forward to its deservedly position as the `Giant of Africa`
Please note that the above recommendations are without prejudice to all subsisting suits at the various tribunals/courts challenging the outcomes of the presidential and other elections. The process is a constitutionally-backed avenue for seeking redress against proven cases of anomalies and malpractices in the conduct of the elections. Therefore, judgments (no matter the outcomes) are expected to reflect equity, justice and fairness to all parties. Our democracy will be better off for it.
Lets keep watching and waiting……
Oise-Oghaede, a Public Analyst/Commentator writes from Surulere, Lagos.