By Ogunjimi James Taiwo
“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.” – Aristotle Onassis
I was in a cab this morning and heard a song being played on radio. The song’s main message was that Nigerians should not blame or question their leaders, and that things will eventually get better. I laughed! Get better? Who are we fooling? False hope will get us nowhere; it’s time to face the facts.
My thoughts are that the kind of music that people listen to today has played a major role in effectively subjugating them and crippling their sense of duty. Religious houses announce year in year out: “20xx, My year of abundance”, yet there’s want in the land. “20xx, My year of freedom”, yet the people remain enslaved. That’s why I like the way the late Tai Solarin dished out salient truths. It’s not a curse, with the way Nigeria is going, things won’t get better. Looting is on the increase, authority stealing has become ‘normal’ news, and the ruling class is determined to run this nation down. Tell me then, how is everything supposed to get better eventually?
N2billion naira was initially budgetted for the Vice President’s residence, but they later added an extra N9billion naira. How can things get better that way? N4billion naira to the First lady’s Mission house even though the law doesn’t recognise her! And we still think things will get better? $67 billion foreign reserve was squandered and the government can’t account for it! Yet we still hope things will get better?
Perhaps what has given some Nigerians hope is the formation of All Progressive Congress (APC), the party Nigerians ignorantly believe will wrest power from Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and liberate them. I laugh! To try to differentiate between APC and PDP, CAN, CPC, etc, is like trying to show the difference between goat-stealers and cow-stealers. The same people that have plundered the wealth of this nation, practised godfatherism and finally lost relevance in their old parties are trying to cling to relevance by switching boats, and naïve Nigerians believe they are there to liberate them. The earlier we shook off these illusions, the better for us. Things won’t get better until we are determined to make them better.
My only hope is that Nigerians of this generation will wake up in time to avoid making the same mistakes that our fathers and mothers made; the mistake of harbouring false hope. My only hope is that we’ll wake up in time to avoid the pitfalls they fell into; the pitfall of ‘suffering and smiling’. If we continue to harbour hopes that things will get better without us doing anything, we’ll hope for long and things will continue as they are. Finally, I echo the prayer of Mark Twain, “Lord save us all from a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.”
A new Nigeria is possible; we must never give up on that dream!
God bless Nigerians!
Ogunjimi James Taiwo