The Forward Never Soldiers

by Uche Nworah

Government is not doing this, government is not doing that, Obasanjo is corrupt; Atiku is a thief, bla bla bla. Just when are we going to get tired of this drones? This morning I was constipated and guess whose fault it was? Sure you got it, my local government chairman, although I don’t know who he is but I chose conveniently to blame him. Why should I take the blame for overdosing on my own gluttony?

‘Aha, so the governor is building new roads’? ‘Who does he think that he is fooling anyway’? ‘It is only a ploy to siphon state funds’. ‘Don’t mind these other governors, we ‘vote’ them in and they don’t do anything for us’.

Just when would all these retrogressive criticisms go away? Devoid of any constructive suggestion of a way forward.

Since when has media commentary ever changed the Nigerian society? Write what you may, hiss any which way but I don’t see what difference that is going to make. If anything, it is only a macabre dance in the forest, with only the ghosts as spectators.

And the target audience, the supposed ‘culprits’, do you think they care? You have another think coming, if you think they would waste hours poring over the thousands of venoms that Nigerians pour on them every day on the internet, and on the pages of newspapers, then you must be the biggest joker.

For some of Nigeria’s social commentators, I am wondering if perhaps this idea of writing is not driving them nuts, what else should I say when some of themnever see anything good in anything, everybody is a thief, every action is suspect, nobody deserves to rule Nigeria. Donald Duke is a lady charmer, Prof Pat Utomi is an Igbo man, Chris Ubah is a godfather and a tout, or maybe not, faults, faults, faults. The same old story.

But in their personal capacities, ask them what they are doing to change the situation, NOTHING. What have they done for Nigeria? NOTHING. Only God knows where their very ideal leader would come from, everything is bad, everybody is evil. They go to bed and wake up with one thing on their minds, attack, attack, attack. Obasanjo wanted a third term, big deal. Did he get it? NO. But these individuals would not let go, does that bother Obasanjo what they write? NOT ONE BIT.

Where in the world is politics not about horse-trading, and manoeuvrings, would Nigeria’s case be any different? Surely Nigeria would continue to get the kind of leaders it deserves because all we do is stay on the sidelines to complain and speak big grammar. Corruption this, corruption that. Phew!.

And those that understand that this game is a winner takes all one are busy strategising to retain control over Nigeria’s commonwealth in 2007. And the forward never soldiers, what are they doing? You guessed right again, complaining, whinging and moaning.

Oh! Pat Utomi should start from his local government, some of them even ask Pat who? Where did he get the money to float PlatinumHabib, they allege that he is also a part of the problem, he is this, he is that. And Buhari? He is a soldier they argue, he should explain what happened to the 53 suitcases, he should this, he should that. What about Donald Duke? He embezzled government funds through Tinapa project, he is too young, he would not last long, he would this, he would that. Mention Auntie Ngoo, (Madam Ngozi Okonji-Iweala) and they would reel out her numerous crimes; she is Igbo, she is a woman, she is arrogant, she is a world bank stooge, she is ….(please insert your own descriptions here). What about El-Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu? Oh, they are short, they are from the North, we need a power change, they are victimising Ndigbo, Yorubas, Hausas, in fact they are vindictive bad men, they would quickly conclude.

But none of these forward never soldiers have ever come up to tell us who they think should be president, or even governor and chairman of their state or local government. They also haven’t said what they are doing to support such a candidate, or what they are doing to enthrone good governance in Nigeria. As if the angels would come down to do the dirty work for them while they sit in the comforts of their homes with fingers on their keyboards waiting for the next person to hack down with their vile commentaries.

Bukola Saraki invited Jay-Z to his state and they screamed, Nigeria is re-branding her image with a view to attracting FDIs, a common practice the world over and still they complain, Nduka Obaigbena organised a music concert (a purely business venture) and they are querying the purpose, and the huge gate fees, as if a music promoter is not at liberty to fix his ticket price to cover costs, meanwhile such people would readily spend huge sums in their respective countries of residence to attend such concerts, they also forget that attending concerts is not a must for all. Some Nigerians got together and celebrated Nigerian Music by organising the Nigerian Music Awards (NMA) in London recently and the forward never soldiers pounced, why host the event in London, has Frank Nweke nothing better to do attending such events? they queried. This is colonial mentality they went on, people who attend such events are sick they maintained, bla bla bla. Meanwhile they forget that nothing stops them from hosting similar events in their own backyards. They would be the ones to quickly reel off the names of the winners at the American Music Awards or MTV Music Awards, who is fooling who?

The NMA was solely a business project without any form of government funding and cost the organisers over £70,000 to put together. To the forward never soldiers everything begins and ends with politics, with corruption, with criticsms. Also everything is a problem, every initiative foolish, to them nothing works. It is as if they have lost the zest for life. The sun doesn’t shine any more.

Some of them live in America and marvel at the level of patriotism of American citizens, they gladly sing America’s national anthem and deride Nigeria’s. Beyonce came calling and being in patriotic mode sang Nigeria’s anthem which was well received by the audience, and they are questioning the motive, and what purpose her effort would serve.

Reading some of these negative and vile commentaries sometimes make me shudder and wonder at the future of our country, I can not help but conclude that the western media are saints and friends compared to some of our forward never soldiers. The consolation however lies in the fact that even when the forward never soldiers refuse to accept that the Nigeria of today is not the Nigeria they may have left behind when they went on their voluntary self-exile, there are indeed some progress on the ground, no matter how small which hopefully a Pat Utomi presidency can build on come 2007.

If you are a forward never soldier, look yourself in the mirror this very moment and ask yourself; what have I done for my country (Nigeria) lately?

You may also like

1 comment

John Iteshi October 27, 2006 - 1:41 pm

Its really pathetic that our enlightened people are the greatest facilitators of bad governance and corruption in NIgeria. Some people cry beloved Nigeria only when they are day dreaming about some wind chasing presidential candidates. I have always maintained that the failure of Nigeria is not about corruption per se, but more about those who should complain, but do not. Hence, I've pointed out that it is morally wrong for the Bishop of Abakaliki for instance to be watching the plundering and destruction of his homeland by some rogues claiming to have been elected, without open condemnation. I actually wrote him in that regard. Our enlightened citizens (mainly the highly educated paperwise though) are more to blame than those touts in power. Highly gifted speakers and writters who use their gifts to manipulate truths are worse than our corrupt governors. Those who think that only when they become president before they make impacts should think again because our problem is not lack of presidential candidates, but lack of reasonable citizenry. Some of us here can help boost the thin population of reasonable citizens of Nigeria by discarding their budding sychophnatic tendencies for genuine ways of contributing to change. Educated Nigerians will save Nigeria only when they get organised and trade ideas rather than chasing money. The worst group of educated Nigerians however are those in diaspora who despite escaping poverty at home still lack genuineness of purpose. They float dubious NGOs and organisations pretending to be helping NIgeria when they are only helping themselves…


Leave a Comment