By Denrele Animasaun
“If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable”-Seneca
A friend of mine asked me what I thought of this restructuring debacle. Well, he asked my opinion so, I gave it. To put it simply: it is another ruse, a cheap trick, another distraction to take the glare off their insatiable greed to grab more loot from the ever dwindling national coffers. These carpet baggers fly by the seat of their pants hoodlums, who do not know when to stop inspite of the fact that they have robbed the nation blind and have gotten so fat and wealthy on the national cake. They have enough to last many life times but with greed enough is never enough. These snake oil sellers have the temerity to peddle their trade; sowing discord, hatred and suspicions amongst Nigerians but repackaging their trickery as working in the best interest of Nigerians. No, they work only for their own best interest and greed, they have always done this.
Ask yourself this; why had they not done this before in all the years that they have been in power and high office so, why now? If they did not care of national unity before, why would they suddenly become so lilly white and self righteous? Beware of Greeks bearing gifts, I say. First they cast aspersions on the basis of tribe, religion and political party membership and yet they drink from the same glided through and fan the flame of disunity so the masses fight amongst themselves while they cart pieces of the national cake out of the country and spending it on the latest ostentatious and vulgar materialistic things. It is a slight of hand, a conjurer’s trick to distract and rob gullible masses blind and then rub the faces of the masses in it, while they lie and convince everyone that care to listen that they are working to improve the country and its people.
These very same people, who bought votes for a miserly bag of out-dated rice, built pink elephants, substandard edifice and lines their pocket with kick backs. So for those who want to go ahead and follow the old chestnuts, I say to them, you have been down this road before and it led nowhere. Of course, the political parties are slinging mud at each other; APC, is accusing, PDP, over its calls for the restructuring of Nigeria. They wondered why the PDP have just realised that the country needed suddenly to restructure and yet failed to have paved the way while in government from 1999 to 2015,while at the same time they are imploring the nation’s patience to fulfill their mandate.
Hon. Hilliard Etta, the National Vice Chairman (South – South) of the party said, “I don’t know if it is essentially about the APC. But some Nigerians are very quick to enter judgment when it comes to APC. The APC has been in power for two years and in these two years, you are aware of what has attended our presidency. It is disingenuous for people to now look at the APC and say those types of things that they say.
“If is unfortunately because, whenever these things are done, I think they are just amplifying or reciting the propaganda of the PDP. The PDP was in power for 16 years and never cared about restructuring. Today, PDP is all over the place talking about restructuring. I think Nigerians should be a little patient with us. And he continued, “It is unfortunate that the unsustainable sub structure of Nigeria has brought the current agitations in the manner it has come and at this time when the APC is in power. We are not afraid of the responsibility and the challenges of the time.” There is nothing new here. It does not take genius to know why people are aggrieved; in the longest austerity period in years people have no money, starving, no jobs, no prospects and no discernible light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, people will agitate and, for the right reasons too, because much was promised and little was delivered by both major parties.
Right now, hunger is a poor political ally and all people want is to be safe, secure, access to basic amenities and a future for their children and loved ones. It is not much to ask for, or is it? So pardon me, if I do not agree with Etta’s comment that, “there is agitations from almost all parts of the country. The almajaris are agitating for a better life, the Yoruba man is agitating for better governance, the Igbo man is agitating, and the Calabar man is agitating. “There is no ethnic nationality in this country that isn’t agitating. Now we must interrogate who they are agitating against and who should they agitate against? I laugh when I hear my Igbo brothers agitating against the Hausa/Fulani, are they saying that it is the Hausa/Fulani that has marginalized them”.
This is not a laughing matter; this is a serious matter. What we need more than anything is truth and reconciliation. To help us heal wounds of the past injustice that has pervaded into our collective present. The truth is difficult to hear but it seems that we continue to paper over the cracks of our painful past and it continues to rear its ugly head and it is used by political opportunist to flog and plant the seed of hate, resentment, division and intolerance. This is the burden that we carry as a nation and a people to this day. We have got to bite the bullent of truth and move on together by being honest of our painful past and accept that mistakes and injustice did occur but it will no longer play part in our collective future. So it is trite, for anyone to downplay people’s dissatisfaction and suffering as agitation.
This is a life and death matter and one that only good and sustainable governance can ameliorate the prolong suffering of many Nigerians for the better. Governor Okorocha once said, “What the nation needs most this time should be ideas, unity of purpose and patriotism to deal decisively with the lingering security problems threatening our nationhood and not actions that would further inject bad blood among the leaders of this country and the citizenry in general”. I could not agree more but words means nothing without action.
We have to change the national narrative, everyone has to be part of the structure of Nigeria in its present state and definitely in going forward. If everyone swept our respective corner, we can achieve much. There is no place for me, the mantra has not worked and it would not work now or ever. Time to stop chasing our tails and call off these restructuring political hound dogs.
”I learned when I was negotiating was that until I changed myself, I could not change others.” — Nelson Mandela
The United Nations officially declared 18 July, the day of Mandela’s birth, as Nelson Mandela International Day. The 18th of July in many places across the globe is a time set aside to celebrate the idea that each individual has the power to transform the world, the ability to make an impact. So for 67 mere but crucial minutes people make time to give back in their small way doing something good for their communities and for good causes to make a positive difference.