As we move closer to handover day to a brand new Federal Government of Nigeria on 29 May 2015, with a mixture of optimism and trepidation, if Nigerians think that the problems that have besieged and dragged Nigeria down for several decades are going to disappear with a wave of a magic wand,we have another think like the Americans will say.
Our expectations are, understandably high. However, while most of us are optimistic, there are saboteurs and agents provocateurs lurking and waiting for the promised change not to happen.
That is the reality. It is not going to happen. We will have to endure some more wrenching agonies and suffering before it gets better. In fact, the suffering will only ease a little after the first four years of Buhari’s presidency.
Nigeria, and her people, have been subjected to decades of appalling deprivation, degradation, dilapidation as a result of gross and criminal mismanagement and crass corruption and impunity, that it will be a herculean task by even the most sincere and ruthless of men and women to even attempt a rescue operation. Therefore, I do not see Buhari, doing it in the short term. Sincere men like him need longer, because he is not a magician or miracle-maker. That is the fact, despite both gullible and cynical people expecting wonders from him.
The rot, the ruin, the rape, the looting, the impunity, disregard for humaneness and degradation of over forty years simply cannot be undone in four years. However, if we, as a people, are sincere with ourselves and approach the task of “change” with a certain degree of altruism, and want the best for ourselves, our children and future generation, it would serve us best to have all hands on deck to approach the massive and onerous, mostly painful tasks ahead.
There is therefore the need for mediocre, corrupt and purposeless politicians and other public servants to be kicked out, prosecuted and jailed when and if found guilty of having partaken or collaborated in the looting of this great country. This is the time when no Nigerian must be above the laws of the country; no sacred cows. All cows must be slaughtered.
We do away with drug dealers, murderers and other criminals making our laws for us. We do not want dishonest politicians calling the shots from the state houses and from the corridors of power. We must reject in its totality, mediocre and political-jobbers as ministers, commissioners and other appointees. We do not want situations and environments where political leaders reward mediocrity but sacrifice and neglect merit.
There is a real need to prosecute and severely punish corrupt high-ranking government officials and political office holders who had arrogated illegally to themselves the common wealth of this country, taken undue advantage of, and have abused the positions and authority entrusted to them and who had cause, directly and indirectly, millions of deaths and suffering to our people. They must not be allowed to go scot-free. No way! There must be actions to deter others who think it is their right, or do not see anything wrong, in plundering government treasuries and taking us for granted.
Since Independence in 1960, and perhaps even before, what we have seen in Nigeria is a pervasive desire for power, status, fame, recognition and unimaginable wealth. In the political arena, the corridors of history are littered with much destruction, pain and suffering because of the unrestrained lust for power and wealth. Thousands and millions of our people have suffered and dying and are still suffering and dying because of the despotic and undemocratic rule and the whims and fancies of corrupt, insincere, clueless, self-centred, conscienceless and insensitive leaders and their acolytes, owing to unending political and social instability as a result of endless jostling for power and all kinds of political manoeuvres.
Politicians lie to us because the people want to be lied to and the people, psychosomatically, do not usually want to hear the truth, because Truth, as the saying goes, hurts and no one wants to hear things that threaten their existence, their beliefs, or words that will make them uncomfortable. It is decidedly better for politicians to tell people what makes them feel comfortable. Peoplealso always expect too much.Politicians know their followers will believe them, even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary. If a lie is told enough times, people will accept it is true. It is not a stretch to understand why people would believe something if they hear it enough. People expect that lies will be disproved and fade away. So if the lies continue to be heard, people assume, then they must be true.