I don’t blame the people that think that Nigeria is God’s cartoon network. One hundred years after the birth of our nation, we cannot provide the simplest of amenities for our ever growing population. Against this backdrop of gross socioeconomic deficit, the drums were rolled out for a multi-billion Naira centenary celebration. Unfortunately, I missed out of the whole jamboree, because there was no power supply that night to watch the live telecast and I couldn’t find petrol to buy to power my generator because of the scarcity of the product. Plus I was still mourning the pupils that were killed in their sleep in their school dormitory and praying for those that were adopted days earlier, also from their school.
Everywhere you look, you see one problem after another. It appears those in government are not capable of doing anything right. Who organises examinations for enlistment into public service in a sport stadium? Nigeria is a very big example of sheer waste and ineptitude. Every election cycle sees us cycling the same mountain, while smaller and less endowed nations like Rwanda are building a nation their citizens can be proud of. Clearly our problem is not in our size, but the power and sheer cluelessness of our tyrannical elite, who by the way are in the minority. All they have mastered is the looting of our commonwealth with impunity and the promotion of religious, ethnic and tribal sentiments.
In a time and age where nations are led by young, energetic and visionary leaders, Nigeria is busy recycling the same stock of old, tired, and backward looking, greedy, sleepy, and tribalistic rulers. You don’t need to look too far to see this, just take a look at the on going national conference. Why won’t they all be sleeping? Didn’t the Holy Bible say of old men that they will dream dreams; and that young men shall see visions? To dream, the old must sleep. A vision on the other hand keeps you awake all night.
Poverty is fertilized by a little sleep and a little slumber. A nation that depends on a conference of” slumberers” to chart its future will inherit a future of poverty but would end up a proverb and a by-word. It is bad enough that majority of the delegates to this conference were major actors in creating the mess we are in now as a nation, it is double insult and a generational tragedy for them to be sleeping at the supposed table where they seek to find solution.
This current stock of leaders doesn’t have anything to offer Nigeria. They remind me of the generation that came out of Egypt with Moses. They, like them, were born into colonial rule; they were born second class citizens. They are still stuck with the colonial and tribal mindset. They cannot see the possibilities in the promise land, they know the giants well, but lacked what it takes to slay the giants of poverty, unemployment, infrastructural deficiency and general institutional decay and collapse. They don’t know what to do with money other than steal them so that they and their cronies eat, play and sleep.
The only way they know is backward, little wonder we are going backward very fast.
Sunday Ogidigbo a community organizer, and pastor at the Holyhill Church in Abuja, is a faith columnist for Premium Times. He microblogs @sogidigbo and lives in the Lokogoma neighborhood of the Federal Capital Territory.