Nigeria: Gaining Freedom from ideological gullibility

By Ogunjimi James Taiwo

“True compassion is more than flinging coins to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Nigerians, bow your heads and pray!

Today, I will be going ideologically-spiritual. I have realised over time that Nigerians will embrace anything that appeals to a higher being or that has even the slightest hint of religion in it. Hence my decision to tread the part of spirituality in espousing these critical issues that have to do with our survival, not as a nation, but our survival and re-orientation as individuals.

The issue that has caught my attention today is the registration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) by INEC and the furore it has generated in every nook and cranny of this nation; the furore that greeted the announcement is one that makes the un-knowing onlooker think that perhaps the party has already won the presidential election.

Bayo Oluwasanmi captured the nature of an average Nigerian perfectly in his article, 160 million dumb Nigerians. The question that should be asked all those jubilating over APC’s registration is that, do they, in their wildest dream, think that anything good can come out of a lying down of strange bedfellows?

I write as a politically-neutral Nigerian; I am not a citizen that concerns himself with the roadside arguments on crises in the ruling class. I do not belong to any political party, neither am I a blind loyalist of any political figure. I write as a social crusader, a revolutionary prophet that can see what greed, deceit and blind loyalty has blinded others from seeing.

The alliance of CPC, ANPP and ACN will shock many that it would bring no difference. True, there would be a change in portfolio, there would be a change in leadership, there would be a change in anti-graft agencies, but I dare say that there would be no change in the living conditions of the citizens.

Let’s go on a journey of self-education. When the minimum wage was signed, how many states paid it? How many PDP states paid it? How many APC(ACN, CPC, ANPP) states paid it? The point is simple; they are all birds of a feather with each one trying to grab higher than the other. Another illustration, as regards child marriage, how many PDP senators voted in support of it? How many APC(ACN, CPC, ANPP) senators voted in support? In the educational sector, can anyone try to find out how much is being paid in institutions owned by APC states? I dare say the students in these states pay higher amounts of money than their counterparts in other states. Go back to the NASARAWA 4, and confirm the government that deployed military men to gun down unarmed protesters in their school.

Perhaps a more recent illustration is the ‘jagabanlisation’ of Lagos state. In a bid to turn Lagos state into a Mega(maga) city, rule of law, regard for human lives, care for the poor have all been thrown to the wind. The use of Okada has been ‘banned’. Beggars are being rounded up and sentenced to community service and given jail terms, people who have spent all their lives in the state are suddenly ‘deported’ based on ethnicity, leadership of markets are being forced on residents. I then ask, If Lagos state, the ‘home’ state of Jagaban himself is to be used as point of contact for all other states, what is the hope of the average Nigerian?

The earlier we awoke out of this ideological sleep, the better for us and our generation. We may choose to ignore this, but by 2016(if it ever comes), we would remember.

I am not saying PDP did anything worthwhile, far from it, in fact, PDP will go down in our history as one of our fiercest looters. But thinking that APC will solve our problems is just another deceit that we are being fed with. If there’s any doubt, please show me any APC governor that got into power and successfully prosecuted his predecessor or recover any loot. No! They cut deals, at our own expense; there’s just no way out.

I do not believe in this system; I lost faith in it a long time ago. As long as we continue to tow this path of governance that neglects the poor and enrich the rich, let Pastor Adeboye become the president, the plight of an ordinary Nigerian will remain the same.

It is better to start preparing for the difficult days ahead instead of wasting time celebrating the registration of yet another looting enterprise. Start saving up, I see a dark cloud looming.

Nigerians, bow your heads and pray!

Ogunjimi James Taiwo

Twitter: @hullerj


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