Nigerians are clouded with so many opportunities that we tend to skip every little thing that matters. Yes, just like a long-sighted person, we see farther things clearly but we do not have a clear vision of really close matters. We are literally blind to the most important of things. We like to be so superficial with our challenges and problems that we tend to skip most foundational issues and causes. And we, most times, close all doors leading to objectivity. Yes.
Clearly, you will agree with me that the issue of good governance anywhere in the world, and at every level of civilization is holistic, all encompassing, forbearing and time enduring; how do we claim to improve a nation when we don’t genuinely want good for one another? I can imagine the change in your countenance as you read that, but that’s the reality in our nation today.
Don’t be surprised, we clearly don’t! We plan and act as individuals in this Nation (especially we the Southerners) and not as a community. On the other hand, the average Hausa man will go any length to make you comfortable if he knows you can speak his language only or better still a muslim. How much more his brother? Trust me, I hate tribalims and all other types of “isms” because it divides. But self centeredness and extreme greed is worse to being tribalistic – a major problem the southerners have (especially, the Yorubas).
Are we not empathetic, loving, understanding, wise and smart as individuals but emotionally cold, callous and antagonistic collectively? We tend to always play the better-than-thou game when we come together to deliberate on how our lives will be better. We smile and encourage ourselves with love, kindness and encouraging words but go behind the doors to stifle every opportunity that our brothers may get because we don’t want them to be better than us. Don’t we always want to top the table of the principalities and power and even do anything and everything to sustain that? Albeit we will deprive our own brothers and sisters a better life?! You will agree with me that we do all these and more.
Quickly, let me call your attention to the policy the presidency introduced some years ago: Indigenization of economic activities. A scheme prototyped after some other great nations like China. This scheme was developed to equip Nigerians with the resources and skills to start in-house productions; I mean to make Nigerians productive and self sufficient. To reduce importation of goods and control international outflow of cash.
The Federal Government provided some short and long term loans to agriculturist all over the country. Some were to teach young, educated farmers on how to maximise their productions, others were funded with capital to start livestock farming.
Now, quickly ask yourself this question: if someone really close to me (my father) oppresses and makes life difficult for me, will I hesitate to speak against such injustices? I guess no. I will cry out wearily for help. Let’s think of this objectively, how many Northerners are genuinely crying and sadly complaining like we are doing in the south? Do you think they will be quiet just because this man is their brother? I don’t think so. And I feel you also wouldn’t believe so too.
In reality, the leaders of this southern part of Nigeria are the real problems. When subsidiary opportunities and ease come from above, they “slim fit” these via unnecessarily duplicated middle men until the person that’s entitled to 2,000,000 naira for his start-up capital gets only 350,000 naira or even less. What can be achieved with this?On the other hand, the northerners will get these incentives and more just to develop their initiatives and economy. How many more can be listed? As I type this, two things come to mind:
Please pay close attention to the points I want to raise now as regards two trendy issues ongoing in the country:
1. Palliative discoveries in southern Nigeria.
2. Attacks on lives and private and public properties in southern Nigeria. Particularly, Lagos, Ilorin (though geographically northern) and other states.
So far, palliatives have been discovered in Lagos, Osun, Ilorin, Calabar and Ekiti (these are all southern states). These were meant to be a means of ease to people during the coronavirus lockdown but instead it’s been hoarded by these southern leaders for months, and there’s no clear evidence to indicate they intend to share them soon. If you recollect vividly, we criticized the federal government bitterly and accused it of tribalism when it provided these same conveniences for the northerners in excess. We thought it’s been uneven in its generousity. Little did we know that our Obas and southern leaders are the ones storing these foods for motives only God knows!
These and more are reasons the Southerners should think of better solutions that are peaceful and change producing. We should dump every opportunity of violence and embrace all kinds of progressive thinking in its stead. Criticisms should be directed to the right sources and we should become active doers and not just naggers. How much more do we need to realize we are our own problem in the south. How much?
Secondly, we have been attacking each other and thereby reducing our population, by implication, reducing our chances to have an equitable governance. Or how do we explain the destruction of BRT buses and other state-owned properties in Lagos? Trust me, ranging from the Southerners, the Yorubas to the Lagosians will face the consequences of these actions in the later time.
As if that was not enough, under what justification do we put several local government secretariats razed down, private properties and lives vandalized and numerous street furnitures destroyed? Over 80 BRT buses worth of 3billion naira was burnt. How do we want to bounce back to life in a city that houses more than 20million citizens? How do we reappraise these damages in the most metropolitan city of this Nation? How?! We have clearly gone too far.
It’s time we woke up and put our reasons to work, it’s not over until it’s over. We can still come back to order and restore sanity, peace and progress in our region.
The sun shines long enough to serve us, we shouldn’t be quick to lose hope.