Do you think we can save Nigeria from collapse?
Once upon a time, Nigeria was an indisputable leader in Africa. But along the way, we did not only fail to realize our potentials, we made life more complicated and difficult for each other.
It is easy to sit back and point fingers at government officials but way too often we fail to realize that the head is usually part of the body. In other words, we are only as good as our leaders. Besides, we elected them. Yes, many can argue that our leaders emerged as a result of rigged elections but mathematically, nothing multiplied by whatever still gives you nothing (eg. 0 x 100 = 0). What this means is that if these leasers did not have supporters or a fan base, no matter their efforts to rig, it wouldn’t have been fruitful. Because the fact that we don’t have a united voice, we are as good as the voiceless. We all are just a bunch of noisemakers.
Divide and conquer is the method most used by our leaders to keep us from becoming a united force. In fact, the one time it seemed youths (especially those in Lagos) came together for a united cause of ending SARS and police brutality, it shook Nigeria to its foundation that Nigeria is still yet to recover from the aftermath.
Due to the end SARS protest, the two major Lagos tolls on the island have been on hold. Also, the international community became aware of the happenings in Nigeria. In no time, Twitter announced Ghana as the preferred location for their Head Quarters here in Africa over Nigeria because Ghana is a strong supporter and promoter of freedom of speech, unlike Nigeria. It is on record that Nigeria tried to silence its youths with everything they have including deploying the military to shoot at harmless protesters.
If a united voice of the youths can have these effects, the question is: why don’t we united to speak as one more often? Nigerians are known for being able to endure a lot but when do we say “enough is enough”?
Recently, youths on social media have been at war with each other over Sheik Isa Ali Pantami. The extremist comments once uttered in support of terrorism and the killing of infidels (Christians) by the present Federal Minister of Communications and Digital Economy have some youths calling for his resignation while others have turned it into religious and tribal warfare.
It was the case of “to err is human while to forgive is divine” when the Presidency came out to issue a statement in support of Isa Pantami claiming his extremist comments were youthful mistakes of the past and that he has recanted his stance. It begged the question, why didn’t The Presidency back up Kemi Adeosun too when she was asked to resign over a lesser issue than terrorism? Probably ethnicity, tribe, and nepotism hand a part to play here. But the truth remains, as long as Pantami is still in government, Nigeria will continue to portray an image of a state in support of terrorism directly or indirectly.
What is good for the goose is also good for the gander, or so they say. In Nigeria, it seems the same principle doesn’t apply because different social classes, as well as different ethnic groups, have different laws in which they are expected to obey but do not cut across to other groups.
Or how else do you explain the fact that Sheik Gumi who claimed to have met with bandits and possibly Boko Haram members responsible for kidnapping and killing Nigerians could come on Channels Television to plead their case and present their demand without consequences but the same Channels Television was fined five million naira for providing the same platform for the Public Relations Officer for Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to speak on the issues affecting Biafra and what they are agitating about by The National Broadcasting Commission (NSC)?
In some opinions, maybe Biafra, Boko Haram, and Bandits should be given a platform to debate the mission.
Some claim that IPOB has been termed a terrorist group in Nigeria and shouldn’t be given a platform to air their opinion. But the numerous threats to both lives and properties by Miyetti Allah and the Fulani Herdsmen, what is stopping Nigeria from terming them as a terrorist group also? And why were they allowed the same platform to make threats without consequences? My guess is, “what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander here in Nigeria and there is almost nothing anybody can do about it”.
For a very long time (probably since Nigeria’s Civil war), Nigeria has never been this close to collapse the way it is presently. Unknown gunmen are everywhere especially in the east. Owerri, Imo State has been boiling ever since Ikonso death. Lagos has not been quiet also. Recently, Iyana Iba and its environs have been a mini warzone due to the clash between Hausas and Yorubas. Kidnapping and banditry is still the order of the day that you can almost forgive an average Nigerian for not being concerned anymore whenever they hear such news.
There is really no use crying over spill milk but by now most Nigerians are wishing to turn back the hands of time to when Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was still president. If not for anything, Nigerians enjoyed the freedom of speech at least under GEJ, the fuel price was still below 100 naira, inflation wasn’t this high and there was at least enough food to go around. Above all, Patience Jonathan was always there for us to make us laugh at least in the midst of whatever chaos we might have been going through at the time. OH GOOD OL’ DAYS!
Now it seems every region wants its own country. Well except the Northern region of course. How could they? They are the ones in power but ironically the north is the region hit with the most impact of bad governance with kidnapping and bloodshed now a regular headline story from the north has caused many to flee their hometowns for survival elsewhere.
The question that begs for an answer is: if the north is negatively impacted the most from this bad governance, why continue to support the government due to tribal and religious reasons? I can only imagine that it is the case of the trees seeing the ax as one of their own because of its shiny wooden handle while the ax kept cutting them down.
In all earnest, Nigerians especially the youths are tired, and aligning their interest with different interest groups such as IPOB and even Oduduwa gives them a sense of purpose.
The day the youths will be able to align their interest towards one united cause without ethnic, tribal, and religious sentiments is the day they will take back their country. Until then, the power lies with those at the top to divide and conquer us until we come to our senses and declare that we have had enough.