Nigeria, dear native land!

So Long a Letter

Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo’s letter to Mr. President has raised diverse opinions. Some of those opinions are more of the name, just opinions. But one reality which is indubitable is that the letter is a signal of a dangerous awakening in the country. There is no gainsaying OBJ has a hand in all these disasters that have befallen the nation, for in spite of several good records which he has (and that is some huge good record), I certainly believe he stood in a position to do even more for the country. There are very few people in the nation who had such a leverage and background which he possessed and still possesses. And so he could have done better himself and we would not have to bear such a burden of impunity called governance which he is now trying to salvage. But then the point remains that if OBJ who was instrumental in bringing Jonathan into power now turns round to strongly criticize the President, then there is something more than a political maneuver here.

One of those who have reflected on OBJ’s long letter to the President is Pius Adesanmi, in his fifty Billion-Dollar Blues, a great satire indeed, coming from a gifted writer. The deep satire however communicates so much for those who have been following the story of Nigeria, for those who wish the nation well, and for the mind that perceives salient truths even when concealed under satirical layers. This said however, I do not believe OBJ’s letter is merely diversionary. We know nothing is impossible in this joke of a nation but I doubt if such a public exposure by OBJ of fundamental lapses in Jonathan’s capability would eventually serve any positive purpose in favour of the same Jonathan or his purported 2015 ambition.

In any case, Pius’ article shows our bum in the nude again: the whole world is laughing us silly. Billions of dollars are fast disappearing in a country where constant power is a taboo, transportation system is moribund, the health system is a killer rather than a healer, and we say the United States is crazy when it makes unpleasant prediction about Nigeria? You naturally cannot continue a crazy spree without a necessary consequence. It is more a question of time rather than if.  I fervently hope that time does not come, but as we know and as history bears witness, such stuff does not depend on hope or excessive religiosity, they depend more on right actions. That is what religion teaches by the way, right actions, not this euphoria of a 2-hour worship.

Even as we reflect on OBJ’s letter, farce or well-meaning, realities in our country speak in support of the facts of the said letter. How do you describe Sanusi’s prominent allegation that $50 billion have not been remitted by NNPC and nothing significant is yet to be done  by the government? Is Sanusi also making political maneuvers? These are not insignificant issues. It is for such issues that we continue to carry last in the League of Nations. Similar issues like accounts of wastefulness in Aviation Ministry, Pension scams, etc just merely arise every day, get “settled” and we move on. How could a country ever develop under such a clime?  We made much noise about the subsidy issue, now we’ve almost like forgotten about it and several other issues have long covered them up. How could a country ever grow? Na yam? It is for such reasons that this controversial letter is most on point.

The satire of Pius Adesanmi is full of so much wisdom even if  yet a satire. Someone like Fola Ojo had rightly mentioned that we have spoken so much about Nigeria and her woes. So many articles and blogs, past counting. It is similar to Karl Marx’s “Philosophers have hitherto only interpreted the world in various ways; the point is to change it.”  People do know when things are wrong and what needs to be done. But what is so wanton in our nation at this time is a group of people who would emerge and enter at all cost into this dragon called “government”, offer their good ideas and insist on same.  I say “enter at all cost” (and emphasized) because the status quo will always reject people of such mind. The story of the great legend whom we just lost tells it all. Mandela, the Madiba, a personal hero, rendered his part, “insisting” on it even at the cost of spending 27 out of his lifetime in jail.

I pray the evolving scene in Nigeria will bring out the several “Mandelas” who are still in their cocoon, either due to the nations’ malicious and terrifying status quo, or due to lack of adequate encouragement to do all to salvage the nation.

The time is getting rough. Those sleeping “Mandelas” need to wake up  now, particularly as 2015 approaches.


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