Crisis of a Wealthy Nation

The man-made ugly events in Nigeria in the last few weeks are strong signals that all is not well with the country. Concisely, the situations in the country needs urgent surgical care but unfortunately, the country’s history is very repetitious and sooner or later, it will be business as usual. Only the bereaved will continue to be traumatized by the ugly incidents that characterize our national lives. Politicians have decimated the reasoning of most Nigerians, if you are normal in your ways of life in Nigeria, you are seen as being abnormal; too radical and uncompromising, but if you behave abnormal with corrupt mind, you are seen as being normal. You are given unmerited national awards with easy passage to getting government contracts even if you are not qualified.

Here is a nation where you have a government who has absolute disregard for basic constitutional protections for its citizenry. The removal of fuel subsidy recently was a callous policy aimed at benefitting only the rich and this, in a civilized world antithetical to the basic provision of easy life for the people whose providence has endowed with these massive resources, the peace in the land now is like the peace of the graveyard; innocent people are being maimed by religion extremists with impunity with no hope to ending the dastardly acts, roads are dilapidated, our aircrafts are not airworthy, every sector of the Nigeria entity is compromised.
Every general elections in Nigeria has always exposed the ineptitude of our corrupt leaders. The product of these ineptitude and inefficiency is the presidency of Goodluck Jonathan of today. The government of Jonathan Goodluck will go down in the history of Nigeria as one the most corrupt, callous, deceptive and clueless administrations.

When Olusegun Obasanjo was elected in 1999 presidential elections, Nigeria wanted a change from the claws of military dictatorship. The masses were full of high hopes and expectations that Obasanjo would deliver the dividends of democracy, (a deceitful slogan of People Democratic Party PDP). Obasanjo succeeded in presiding over the dehumanization and impoverishment of the masses.

So steep was Nigeria economy and infrastructures decline during the 1999 to date that it became known as the ‘lost years’. Government claimed to have recorded huge success in the revitalization of the economy but the masses continue to wanton in abject poverty with dilapidated infrastructures. In one state after another standard of living plummeted. The lower class continues to be poor and poorer than they had been at the time of independence. The economy was crippled by debt, mismanagement and a complete collapse in social amenities, Power, water, railways, roads deteriorated and our aircrafts are not airworthy, and every sector of the Nigeria entity is compromised. Schools, Universities and hospitals were starved of funds. Scientific facilities and researchers in various Universities became casualties. Energy sector has collapsed and the whole nation has been plunged into total darkness. The Universities witnessed the incessant strikes by lecturers over Obasanjo’s nonchalant postures to their demands. He ran the affairs of government like his private estate. The clergymen and religious leaders were insulted by Obasanjo publicly without due respect to their positions. He still relishes in a piece grotesque of attention seeking.

Nigeria drift to the position of a failed state due to callousness and hedonistic ways of our leaders and the massive disconnect from the needs and welfare of the people. The People Democratic Party- PDP wanton in self-delusion and self-glorification, having used the state apparatus and resources to launch and reengineered propaganda to the enlightened and civilized global community over the situations in Nigeria. His administration witnessed the most wanton destruction of lives and properties. Political assassination and deliberate massacre of the people of Odi community and other communities were ugly events that will continue to traumatize the psychic of the affected surviving families and Nigerians. The parlour and degrading state of the people of Niger Delta is a big embarrassment to Nigeria as the six largest producers of crude oil.

The post independence of Nigeria has witnessed a massive retrogression in our socio-political lives. The economy still wantons in doldrums and depression. The past and present leaders celebrate mediocrity. There is a huge disconnect between the leadership and the masses. In spite of the substantial returns from the sales of crude oil in the international market, and the country position as one of the leading members of the oil producing countries, and number three supplier of crude oil to the United States, the basic structural foundations of the country continue to be in a state of disrepair.

The pertinent question is: Why is Nigeria in spite of its endowment in human and material resources continuing to wallow in political turmoil and economic depression? The answers to this question are not far fetched. Firstly, the political class innate and corrupt tendency to amass illegal wealth at the expense of the hapless and deprived masses. The last administrations of Olusegun Obasanjo and Yar’Adua in spite of its pseudo-economic reforms and the deceitful anti-corruption campaigns, the hedonistic lives of the Nigerian political class were exposed. Governors of some states could not account for the periodic Federal allocations running into billions of naira. Governors in some states reportedly met empty treasuries. The hapless citizens are always at the receiving end. Nigerian roads continue to be death trap. The educational institution in all ramification is near collapse. The prices of essential goods in the common market are beyond the reach of the common man as they continue to wanton in abject poverty. It is disheartening and nauseating that the deprived citizens are made to pay for the inefficiency of the government.

The results of Obasanjo’s maladministration continue to manifest in successive government policies, unless the present regime brakes the umbilical cord that connects them to the old regime through credible elections, Nigerians may not see any development and security that directly affect their well beings.

Written by
Yahaya Balogun
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