A Case For Change In Nigeria, By Fredrick Adetiba
That the best we can get from the present PDP-led administration at the centre is a maintenance leadership is not in doubt. And what would be maintained is the current reign of impunity, primitive accumulation of wealth (corruption) by a few, polarization of the Nigerian people along ethnic and religious lines for political gains, mediocrity, etc. Nigeria’s democracy is threatened, our corporate existence is on a balance. Mismanagement and theft of our resources is threatening our economy, particularly in the face of dwindling oil prices. We can either face the truth or continue to live in denial that this administration is not poised to deal with the issues it helped exacerbated.
While most of us are clamouring for change, it is apparent that we are not ready to pay the price. Change is never served a la carte anywhere. There’s always a price to it. It is equally apparent that most of us want a change that would accommodate our religious and ethnic sentiments. That will remain far-fetched. The change we are clamouring for will not accommodate our preferences either. At the point where we are right now, something has to give way. We cannot continue on this path and expect to arrive at a different destination.
It is laughable that President Jonathan would posit that his administration was better than that of former President Obasanjo. In retrospect, I remember the team Obasanjo assembled to run the economy, the many trips he embarked on to restore confidence in the international community and attract foreign investors, the savings from oil into our foreign reserve and Excess Crude Oil Account. If I were told in 2007 that I would make reference to Obasanjo’s administration like this I would argue in the negative. With the many obvious flaws and misdeeds that characterised that administration, when compared with this one I would ask: Where is the economic reform, the savings, the tact and strategy in governance, the bold international stance of the Obasanjo’s administration? Some of us may not have been in total agreement with some of his policies, Obasanjo had a vision and a direction.
My take is that an APC or Buhari-led administration at the centre would not automatically turn our pathetic situation into Eldorado. I have my personal misgivings about Buhari. One has to do with his poor response to the 2011 post-election crisis. Secondly, his age. But these are not enough for me to prefer the current leadership that is running the country aground. I would see his administration as a transition and cleaning up of the mess greed and corruption has created.
The campaign is becoming more interesting by the day. The first few weeks created intense panic in the Jonathan’s camp. When they finally saw that their chances were becoming slimmer by the day, they have resulted to campaign of calumny and absurdity. You would expect a sitting President to flaunt his/her achievements of a period of about six years for campaign, while expecting to hear from the opposition what they would do differently. The Jonathan’s camp was doing this until they discovered that Nigerians were not impressed with the same lacklustre projects they were brandishing.
A couple of months ago I was lamenting about how our democracy and unity has come under threat, which ought to be a major concern of the man at the very top. My brother with whom I was talking responded that the same person actually thinks he’s the one who’s threatened. Their preparations towards the elections and the many strategies they are employing to either prevent the elections from taking place or win at all cost is further pushing Nigeria to the brink. They are now hiring people to come up with all manner of fabrications to discredit Buhari because their tokunbo locomotive trains, road constructions and success in the agricultural sector are no longer appealing to Nigerians.
These shameful and insensitive campaigns have gone to the extent of bringing in the private life of the people’s general. I sat back and wonder what would happen if the opposition decides to dig into the private affairs of Mr President. I bet those who are happily supporting him because they think he’s a Christian would have a rethink. I thought about their uninspiring campaigns and remember the long list of reasons not to vote for President Jonathan. This include: Malabu Oil deal, pension fraud, $10b that suddenly developed wings, botched $9m arms deals, poor response to Chibok girls kidnap, immigration job scam, Oil theft, unending strikes, kerosene subsidy scam etc. These are just a few that are in the media space. You don’t want to know how the spoils from these scams are shared and the people involved. It’s simply appalling. That’s why they and their cronies live in stupendous luxury, while the mass majority of Nigerians wallow in poverty. This is INJUSTICE.
To my Christian folks who feel justified to keep quiet in the face of this gross injustice because of bigotry, sentiment or as result of the direct benefit they get from our treasury looters, they should know that God HATES injustice.
“Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labour.” Jeremiah 22:13.
“Can unjust leaders claim that God is on their side – leaders whose decrees permit injustice?” Psalms 94:20
“Hear this word, you cows of Bashan, who are on the mountain of Samaria; who oppress the poor, who crush the needy… The Lord has sworn by His holiness: Behold the day shall come upon you when He will take you away with fishhooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.” Amos 4:1-2.
I don’t have to run through some of the dirty campaigns going on right now on both traditional and new media. The one that is so gross is the payment of an Islamic group in the South West by a governor in the same region to call for Buhari to implement Sharia all over Nigeria. This and many other falsehoods are what their campaign is running on. “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness and injustice”. If Nigerians should fall for this falsehood, then that would speak to how gullible we are as a people. It’s so bad that they are now bribing pastors to preach that Buhari’s intention is to Islamize Nigeria. How can a man who didn’t Islamize Nigeria as a military dictator, and refused to drag Nigeria to the IOC, now do that under a constitutional democracy? The people spreading these lies must really think Nigerians are daft.
Pastors and Christians who think God has a religion should note that He referred to Cyrus and Nebuchadnezzar, who were both heathen kings as His anointed servants. They were used to accomplish His purpose. I will end this by saying what I said during the 2011 elections: If it’s not yet time in God’s plan for Nigeria to change, then President Jonathan would win. No one can stop an idea whose time has come. The 2011 sympathy votes are turning protest votes in 2015.