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New Year, New Birth

It is nine months since the Chibok Girls were abducted and the question is: Will some Chibok couples be grandparents without knowing it? It is a harsh, even cruel question to confront a grieving and traumatised parent with, but we are past such considerations. After nine torturous months our eyes should be wide open, no looking to the Aso hills from whence no change has come.

BBOG (Bring Back Our Girls) issued a statement on December saying it is now apparent that Jonathan is not looking for the Girls.

This is probably for the record, for the day of reckoning when the story will have to be told and each person will have to state where they stood, because, what happened to 279 teenagers nine months ago will be a watershed in Nigerian history if for nothing else but the way the country responded to it. There may yet be more events that will eclipse it in violence and tragedy because that seems to be the path on which we are met, but as a dateline in Nigeria’s history, this event is set in stone.

Two hundred and seventy nine young schoolgirls, ready to make their mark in a community where the struggle to educate women is still a current reality, and the only ones rescued are those who took it on themselves to escape? This is an indictment on any entity that calls itself a nation.

BBOG is still meeting and peacefully protesting nine months later? Not a story you see often in Nigeria.

Like the advent of Boko Haram, the Chibok abductions are an indication of a level of dysfunction and disintegration in our nation state. It is no longer merely a lack of ability to organise ourselves to provide the basic amenities of power and water but seems to have reached a level of an inability to conceptualise ourselves as people capable of thinking through their own problems and embarking on a solution.

Time was when we focused on the basic issues such as, better infrastructure: roads, schools, hospitals, electric power, those elements that signify that the stability of the building blocks of the state is assured and the goals to be pursued are quality of life …

Today the core matter is not just the sanctity of the state, but its sanity. In the face of problems that include security and the economy Goodluck Jonathan’s inability to get a handle on any single issue is frightening and forebodes ill for the future.

This is why what Buhari has going for him is, anything but Jonathan and the PDP again. This party has been in power for 15 years and where are we? Boko Haram continues to seize territory and protection from crime really only belongs to those who can pay for it.

Seven years ago with Jonathan, among the reasons leading to his election victory was, let’s give the Delta its chance.

Today is should be clear there is actually no percentage in this business of zoning leadership, or giving every ethnicity its turn to ‘chop’.

What are the clearly articulated issues of the general election that is presently slated to take place in three months? Certainly not the two that have been mentioned here, security and the economy. The issues that party supporters are arguing about rest again on personality and character. The contention is that since corruption is at the root of Nigeria’s problems the APC presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari will be able to fight corruption because he is clean and either incorruptible, or uncorrupted. Well, that is just another prayer, based on the evidence of things, not seen.

Buhari has been head of state before. He seized power on New Year’s Eve, 1984 from a profligate civilian government, declaring that his mandate was to set the ship of state on a straight course. He did not succeed and it is my opinion that he did not understand how to do so.


*Published in the Daily Times newspaper dated Wednesday, January 7, 2015

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