by bimbo amole
It’s interesting to see the several reactions to the recent escape of the alleged master-mind of the Xmas day bombing. And to also note the proximity of his escape date to the fresh bombings and killings in Kano. But the reactions are rather belated. They are not telling much novel news. We have always expressed through several means that the line between government and the Boko haram terrorists is now so thin. The president corroborated that when he affirmed his government is infiltrated. If this does not make us think further that the just concluded 6-day demonstration of the people’s wish for good governance is not a waste even if ill-coordinated, but a pointer to a re-focusing of our attention on governance itself then we are not getting the perspective right. I’ll rather say this is an underscoring of the point we’ve made repeatedly: the proper occupation that will yield meaning is not quite that of the streets. That might be a starting point. But it was bound to end. It couldn’t have been sustained. I understand after three days lot of people were already clamouring for normalcy and for the end of the strike, saying ‘a fe je nkan alata o! (we’ll like to eat peppery things!).
In anycase, the proper place for occupation is the three-headed machinery of governance. That is where the broth of bad policies and stomach-churning administration is concocted and forced down the throat of the Nigerian people. The film says it right. ‘The enemy is within.’ And several facts echo it. Look at this string of idiocy: Sanusi publicly and to the face of our ‘honourables’ affirmed that the overhead cost for running the Senate accounts for 25% of government’s overall expenditure!; a man no less than a Senator was arrested in connection to the terrorists and was granted bail in a case that is nothing than a treason- a working against the safety and security of the Nigerian people; the presidency, at a time that the nation suffers under the shadow of fear and hundreds are losing their lives, without adequate plans and measures (no matter the good will, for good will without proper plans in life generally but especially in politics is a poison) comes up with a controversial policy to remove fuel subsidy; that was after presenting an incredulous budget that reflects the elected ones living like kings while the electorate goes further down the drain of poverty, an irony to the meaning of democracy which is nothing but a submission of the people’s trust to a group of individuals to manage their affairs and better the lives of such a people (not of the few individuals); a man alleged to be the major person in the bombing plot that killed over a hundred (even though intense propaganda says about 40) on one of the most joyous day of the year escapes from POLICE net; and now another round of HUNDRED lives have been wasted, their beloved ones in deep sorrow, some maybe for the rest of their lives.
All these call us to a sobber reflection on the trend of things. The occupation required of us right now is a besieging of our system of governance. Not a besieging merely of the street. It is a besieging through all manner available to the Nigerian people: the Press, the Church, the Universities and all other tertiary institutions, the Civil Service, the Academia, the Sojourners abroad, the different unions of private workers, the market women, ALL. All must stand up, and through a unified and calculated leadership of trusted men and women who have shown their bravery and trustworthiness in the recent past, bravely beam the light of REASON and CRITICAL APPRAISAL on the government. That sort of light that calls into judgment any action that is not for the good of the Nigerian people; that sort of light that calls for immediate resignation of public officers who are wanton (like at this particular time Ringim, the IG of police. They say Africans do not even know the concept of resignation. Nonsense. It’s about time we are forced to know what is honourable and what is not); that sort of light that begins to call for a careful preparation for 2015, encouraging the many good elements we have in this nation to come together and kick out this mammoth party of crooks, a most important assignment for all our leaders calling for a change of governance right now. Often we fail to step over our personal goals and general selfishness and come together to have a common front. If the few parties which are worth their names do not come together in this way in 2015, they would have done nothing but fail the Nigerian people, thus enhancing the continuance of this most unglamorous and dishonorable mode of governance exhibited by the so called greatest party of Africa!
In one word, the assignment before us all right now is a national one and covers all ambits of life. If we all have a consciousness for change and are aware that this change can only be meaningful when the machinery (governance) that determines a pretty large chunk of the people’s life is put under continuous spot light, then we are getting somewhere. The watchword is to remember ‘The enemy is within’.
In any case I never for once think Nigeria will remain the same after these recent National experiences. If it does remain the same, then it will be forever.