Saturday, 21 November 2009

A Reply to A Fellow Citizen

Re: Good people, Great nation
Hi Deola,
I have always enjoyed reading your write-ups since joining this group. I am a Nigerian but presently in the UK. I could recollect the feeling of anger, of shame, of frustration , and of disappointment and betrayal that assailed me when I first entered London airspace. The disorder of the Nigerian experience of governance suddenly became tangible to me standing judged by the order I was seeing even before landing. I felt betrayed. That our leaders have gone far and near, have seen that the greatness of a people necessarily consisted in the leadership…and yet we’re still where we are in the squalour of political mismanagement that has left many raped of their natural sense of patriotism.
I have severally wondered, how can a nation possessing such rich culture, history and religions remain so long in this abyss? I really wish I could pretend brilliance and give a one-cure-all solution to that. I wish our shared situation was this simple requiring just a single answer-renovate governance. And I wish all muscles of effort would not be geared towards replacing leadership only to find out that a new set of individuals that have long waited to ascend the ‘throne’ for selfish gains have just come…
I was once in a taxi ( I think in 2007) in Osogbo and some middle-aged women at the back were as usual running a baleful commentary on our leadership problems. They lamented how bad and evil it was for someone in governance to abuse the office to his/her own selfish advantage. And then one of them rounded-off by saying a prayer, that her children too would get there and would have the opportunity to so dishonestly enrich his/her folks.
Sad huh? Well while this singular experience may not represent every well-meaning individuals I believe not many people will find it difficult to believe that there is a dearth of the  stuff leaders are made of even in the governed. But reading people like you and listening to people like Tobi Oluwatola and some other friends  have suggested that quality still resides in some hearts.
I have come to realise that corruption and abuse of nationhood thrives where the ‘good’ people are silent. A near-holy hush still resides in many towards the affairs of our leaders; this results from a thoroughly suppressive military regime. This is a grave neglect and betrayal of our national duty-this decorum. Leaders are nothing but a mere reflection of the followers, after all that’s how democracy has been aptly qualified…a government of the people by the people… Our dailies and media are filled with publicity of gross under-performance…A governor donating bags of rice to fire victims, the Federal goverment increasing NYSC ‘allowy’ to N26,000, another government commissioning a one-kilometre road that’ll soon be swept away by rain the next season. And what do we do? We either shrug and say,”At least he’s better than last one” while some people actually come out dancing to meet the prodigal son that we have elected.
But where are the very people to call these men we voted in to accounts? Where is the insistent voice that publicly demands an answer from a government that seems comfortable with the pomp of giving rice bags to fire victims instead of providing a vibrant fire service that should have stymed the disaster in the first place? Where are the people that should ask the Federal Government why he’s increasing Corpers ‘allowing’ just days after our promising youths were murdered in Jos in the trust of the very people that should host and protect them for a year?
Really the failure of the government belongs more to us, for where the ‘good’ man will not talk then evil will go unchecked in the leadership.
We are the check.A corrupt goverment is like a cancer cell, it only becomes damaging and lethal while healthy cells fail to call it to order.
We are the goverment, the healthy cells needed to maintain sanity.
We should together destroy this evil culture of decorum. All is not yet well. Let us explore means to speak up, to question how we are being governed…It’s our business, after all we are the governed the direct recipient of all actions and inactions of the governing. Speaking up needn’t be so costly, and if it is we should understand that the journey of a thousand miles needn’t start with a step but with a decision.
Thanks Deola Kayode. I pray we’ll see in our time the Nigeria that we desire, the Nigeria that we deserve. And if not many people reckon this vision as pertinent let the few people who see the light at the end of the tunnel make their voice strong for there is yet hope. With time by God’s grace others will wake up too. In any case the night is long over it’s time to wake.
We will.
Count me in.
Jide Olubiyi
(Written March, 2009)

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