Nigeria’s young: The story of collective negligence.
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
– Nelson Mandela
Where do we begin? How do we start to discuss the way and manner in which successive generations were repeatedly betrayed time and again by those mandated with the responsibility of equiping them with the proper mindset and mental fortitude to cater for the challenges of their own times?
If we ever decide to genuinely be honest to ourselves,we would stop viewing today’s issues as ills that just emanated as mere challenges of the day,but rather as conditions that should be traced far back to the few years before the actualisation of independence and a few years after.
Within that period was a window,a window where those involved in the shaping of that era could have chosen a visible framework with which to model our society after going forward,a template to aid in charting our course away from the ignominious,but sadly they never did,and subsequent generations have had to constantly grope their way through the dark,repeating the same mistakes.
It would have been a simple decision for any other multicultural nation,but the snag in the case of Nigeria was always the fact that even with the varying cultural backgrounds of the different regions,obstinacy and hubris were qualities shared by the various groups,so it became a monumentally difficult or perhaps impossible task for them to learn what they did not know,or unlearn the things that had held them back all along.
We are still discussing our society’s neglect of our young.
So picture the individual bequeathed with all the paraphernalia of modern civilization at that time,possessing little to zero knowledge on how to perpetuate it’s continuity,and grossly unwilling or unable to learn. What hope for generations to come after him. Now multiply this scenario into it’s millionth incarnation.
And so eventually what we were left with was a system that had no plans for the replication of whatever little virtue it possessed if any,and no carefully crafted way for acquiring any going forward. Place on repeat. Over and over and over again. No thoughts towards the future or the generations of human beings who would benefit or suffer due to their ineptitude.
They could only imitate the “colonial masters” pretend to be African versions of them,but never capable of taking their own society close to the heights of personal and societal accomplishments of those they believed they were imitating.
They never understood the dynamics and mechanisms that went into the strategic construct of modern civil society,so while they could imitate the superficial like mannerism,mode of dressing,system of governance,structure of academic institutions and so on,they were abjectly deficient in the intrinsic capacity to build on what was bequeathed them,or at least maintain it as it was. Pretenders.
They did not understand modern society’s use of orientation agencies to aid in strengthening the moral fibre of the young,and educational institutions reinforcing a proper value system. They did not understand the need for the upholding of the integrity of institutions, they did not understand how the absence of this could birth the total corruption of any system.
Now the discussions are about tramadol and Ghana SK (Indian hemp),about benylin with codeine,about brown and sniffing of glue,about the use of designer drugs that we don’t have space to focus on today,about the degradation and debasing of our women folk,the compromising and corruption of our young men,and the searing of the conscience of our society. Most of the time these young people are exposed to this ills as early as from twelve years old.
Who will save our children.
In their delirium over the halcyon days,the independence generation,or what is left of them,are blind to the damning realities of today,a mixture of effete intellectuals suffering delusions of grandeur,parochial minds trapped in the stone age, and degenerate scum disguised as societal leaders,and they have ushered in a brood of criminals,drug users and dealers, raising youth with slothfulness ingrained in their DNA’s. But there might be a silver lining.
The generation of Nigerian musical artists and actors,the “new generation”, have deviated from the mould a little bit by successfuly showcasing their immense talent and grit. They have shown a country that gave them nothing that they too can succeed, they have shown the independence generation of irredeemably fell characters that they too can dare the heights of achievement enjoyed by their foreign counterparts.
But here again,the past lays hold once more on the industry and accomplishments garnered by these successful youth,you see Success without the moral equivalent fails to yield results that move society,and in some cases,such success can become detrimental if not properly honed to suit progressive inclinations.
So what are we left with.
A desperate need for societal re–engineering with a view to elevating the moral construct of our society,extolling hard work over graft,elevating regard for our fellow man above the apathy that has caused our society untold hardship and pain.
Without this,we would continually scour the darkest aspects of the human nature,and constantly reap of it’s brutal savagery.
This should not be what we bequeath to generations after us.
Lies sound like facts to those who’ve been conditioned to mis-recognize the truth. – Dashanne Stokes
Even by the most absurd stretches of delusion and fantasy,the President Buhari led federal government has not quite lived up to it’s billing,to out it quite mildly.
But there are two ways Nigerians can look at this fact generally.
For one part,those who support him believe that the journey of recovery for Nigeria would follow something very close to the path the president has initiated,and the second perspective,a damning one,is that he was never prepared for the job,was always an outsider to succeed at moving the country to better fortunes,and then add to that his frail health,predicted and eventual passing as they claim.
So enter Jubril,the man the IPOB leader Nnamdi Kanu first introduced as the Sudanese impostor who replaced the dead Nigerian President. This followed the predictions of the likes of the erstwhile Ekiti state governor Ayo Fayose, who first revealed that he had on good authority that the real President Muhammad Buhari had died from his illnesses in the United Kingdom where he went to seek medical care.
And so the conspiracy theories and intrigue began,surrounding whether the President is truly still,well,himself,or the mysterious character Jubrin. These theories have dragged so much so that the likes of former minister Femi Fani Kayode and now even a certain Oyedepo,have waded in on the Jubrin (or is it Jubril) from Sudan chorus with full accompaniment and conductors to ochestrate the tune. A truly pathetic moment for a people.
I for one would assume Jubrin a perhaps really lonely man,leaving his country,hometown,friends and possibly family to take up leadership of a foreign country all by himself. And most heartbreakingly,I would feel sorry perhaps, for the PMB family for not being able to mourn their own,that the real President Buhari would have passed on without the proper ceremonies and rites to honour a man who achieved so much personally. And finally I would feel sorry for a nation that was so cruelly deceived into allowing such an evil impostor take the highest seat of office in the land,without even being a citizen or any form of election.
But come on people.
It is true we live in desperate and dire times,it is true that the minds of the worst among us are filled with mischief and all forms of deceit,but really come on!!!!
How simplistic can we allow ourselves to be? How long do we allow obtuse degenerates spoon feed us with the idiocy that only their truly retarded minds can churn out? When do we say enough is enough and begin to hone our own capacities for deductive analysis?
First and foremost only a highly dense individual would believe that the international community would ever play host to an impostor President of any kind,and to believe this would require staggering heights of stupidity.
On the other hand to propagate this level of perverse and odious folly requires a mindset of wickedness that can stifle the growths of nations,and turn a blind eye to the dire hardship and suffering of its own populace.
It is true that under President Buhari Nigeria has suffered untold hardships,and by the evidence on ground he does not deserve a second tenure,but decency demands that we allow the truth stand on its own if we cannot reinforce it with truth. It is inhuman and beastly to concoct wicked lies to support what we believe to be true,such a formula will never survive prolonged scrutiny.
We can believe the claim that Jubrin of Sudan is now President, or we can see it as a cruel joke,but whatever we chose here,we should be aware that the world is watching us yet again,that there are narratives and counter narratives that could be drawn for or against us,and that with the present turn of events the world over,we as a people will never be able to acquire the right allies if we allow ourselves to continue living in the morass of ridiculously base story telling and delusional realities.
Now is not the time for any of that,now is the time for truth,courage,honest endeavour,and goodwill towards our fellow country men.
To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society. – Theodore Roosevelt.
For sometime now,conscious Nigerians have pondered the intriguing irony that is the Nigerian “intellectual” and the plethora of ways in which they wield influence on the Nigerian society.
But to do justice in the assessment of their influence,we must first scrutinize them individually with a view on the tertiary institutions,and how they are managed,and also the ethos and normative structures they reinforce within their confines.
To say the state of the Nigerian tertiary institutions is abysmal is to describe it too simply. These are institutions that have failed to improve themselves in major areas of relevance for perhaps over 40 years. By this we mean the considerations applied in the selection of personnel,lecturers prominent in consideration,a sytem rife with loose normative lattices and the total absence of innovation and desire to truly enhance the capacity of the students entrusted to them.
But let us really scrutinize the individual minds that run these organizations,administrative staff and lecturers, let us look into the lives of individuals who pull the strings. The lectures mainly,since theirs is the more focal endeavour within the scheme of things.
For most of the cases,the lecturers or “apex” intellectuals are cosily ensconced behind secure campus walls that are well gated,and for the most part sated by almost full 24 hours power. There are basic health facilities and personnel to cater to issues of health and they enjoy their leisures in the glorified beer parlours they call senior staff clubs,with accompanying fields and courts for further enjoyment. For them,this reality is above every other consideration,in fact the world around them can burn,and it is.
You would expect individuals who enjoy the facilities outlined above to be imbued with the honest intentions of constantly improving the quality of tutoring and knowledge they impart to their students,but no,alas pedadogy displays itself at it’s worst here,and what is exchanged instead is fear in exchange for reverence,grades for subservience,and degrees for empty praise. In this process, very little value is imparted,the Primary gains remain sleaze and filth.
Those who are at the helm of affairs,and beneficiaries of the it’s pliant conditions ( relative to the Nigerian condition) possess just enough sense,just enough organizational capacity to support and further a system that serves them the most. It doesn’t take long to discover that the perpetration of conditions that foster their comfort are of far higher importance to them than the instilling of value and knowledge into the thousands of students entrusted into their care.
If it is in the secondary schools and institutions that the individual Nigerian begins to wonder and realise something is wrong with the educational institutions in the country,the tertiary institutions all but confirms this,and it is here that the proliferation of the greater vices wrought upon our society is first practiced and perfected,it is here that the knowledge and actions of the worst that the Nigerian individual can do and be eventually takes root.
They have excuses for all of their failings,excuses that would sound valid on the surface, excuses like poor government funding,dishonesty in the utilization of government input,truant students and wards,negative societal influences hampering their efforts,when in truth,the biggest issues ailing those institutions fall at their feet.
Stay with me.
Now effete intellectualism has always had externalising blame for breakdown as one of it’s most ardent attributes,and being deludedly self assured is bewilderingly lacking in any human form of empathy. That empathy required to quicken the mind into change because of something other than the individual self.
This is the singular reason for the lack of improvement in Nigerian universities, the belief that those in charge of it’s affairs are perfect entities,and therefore are not in need of any form of upward evolution.
That is why for example, engineering courses that are now four years or even three years in institutions around the world still remains five years in Nigerian universities. This is because they have no room for internal review or self appraisal,and time and again reflect the sociopathic degenerates who make up the higher numbers among their personnel.
The recent sex scandal case in the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Osun state involving a lecturer Prof. Richard Akindele who was nabbed in a case of “sex for grades” is not a random happenstance, but a regular occurrence in Nigerian universities, where female students are preyed on by sociopathic lecturers who are ready to fail a student that refuses their sexual advances.
Sadly many of the female students succumb because having had poor preparation from decadent secondary schools, they must depend on the “benevolence” of the lecturers involved to secure good grades. The lecturers in turn do not really care if the students acquire any knowledge from these institutions,since the failure of the student is their ultimate gain.
It is a truly saddening cycle of evil and shame.
Where does our society look to,in the building and instilling of character into the young, if not institutions created and tasked with the actualisation of this dream? Who can drag as away from this horribly dark abyss.
This is a call to the few good Nigerians at home and in diaspora,this is a call to what is left of our innate humanities, this is a call to the developed world,all of the humanitarian AID bodies can’t take us a step further if the real issues that plague our society are not adequately treated.
There is still time,there is still hope,but even these eventually run out too.
Bellum omnium,contra omnes. –Thomas Hobbes.
The pressing need for the creation of modern society and it’s sustenance was born through time by the desire of man for a higher set of values that foster the security,liberty and freedom to pursue and enjoy all things,provided such things are not explicitly prohibited by law. And that this structure applies to all entities that function within that system in the exact way it applies to any single one.
A perversion of this value system is what leads to the statement by Thomas Hobbes,which translated from the original latin text is interpreted as “the battle of all against all”,the ultimate depiction of a system in total chaos.
Civil society has been in existence for centuries,and it is upon the basis of liberty,and security to enjoy this liberty that men agreed to sacrifice personal passions for the higher ideals that ensure the continuity of liberty to pursue the passions not sacrificed.
This is what differentiates man from the lower species,not just the capacity or propensity for communal coexistence, but an equitable structure that avails justice and balance to even the weakest and most vulnerable members of that system.
Sadly however,the Nigerian situation when pitched against the backdrop of civil society in it’s upwardly mobile continuum, with the parameters of social psychology fully engaged to delineate the progressive from the retrogressive,we find ourselves looking at a level of rot in human capital that has eaten so deeply into all spheres to the point that vice is enthroned as norm,and perversion is institutionalized as the only way.
Detrimentally, institutionalization of societal vices and corruption of the individual will eventually cripple even the nations with the highest potential for growth,since corruption is both cause and consequence in itself. A decay that festers and decays in a cycle that is an inhibitor of economic,political and social development.
Essentially, a society not built upon the tenets of sacrificing the singular in favour of the collective,or individual aspirations and passions in favour of a more holistic and inclusive objective,would eventually find itself in a state of anarchy,this is primarily because the goal of individual liberty is absolute freedom,and absolute freedom is itself lawlessness,where the liberty of one individual can become the basis and impetus upon which other individuals are encumbered and violated according to the whims and caprices of the absolutely free individual.
Now it is vital to foray into the origins of the thought forms and considerations that brought about the creation of civil society so as to show that even from the earliest centuries,man had always yearned to live in an elevated manner that continually seeks to utilize his innate capacity to transcend base existence through empathy,insight and self enhancing endeavour,and how he was able to surpress and surpass the proclivities of barbarism and animal instincts, to be refined and enhanced to such an extent as to ensure the inclusion of all of those who wish to participate in the building of society,and protect their effort from the elements who by either action or inaction,are against the progressive strides of the whole.
Social psychology in the developing and developed world is an intrinsic aspect of the building blocks of civil society,it is a holistic approach at harnessing the essential elements that come together in a deliberate attempt towards building societies with balanced tenets,and an equitable structure that is fair enough in catering to all and sundry. It is the inquisition into the thought forms and nature of the average human being,with his needs,desires,goals and aspirations, flaws and weaknesses brought into perspective against the backdrop of what is generally agreed on as progressive for the larger group.
A conscious Nigerian would read this and feel a sense of gloom by the vast chasm we have to cover in order to model our societal construct after what is most progressive,and more ominous is the question of when we would even wake up to the fact that our mission in that regard should have commenced 58 years ago.
Our brand of civil society,or the Nigerian incarnation of the concept,is riddled with the proclivities of the base self,things like unbridled avarice,sociopathy,narcissism,nepotism,tyranny and too much more to outline.
All of these,testaments to the decay of the man,and the decay of the man, an inevitable facilitation of the decay of all the institutions he holds in trust for future generations.
And indeed there has been decaying in institutions in Nigeria, unmitigated decaying for 58 years that has festered through the years,leaving behind a putrid gash that continually bleeds out the best a frail nation can muster in the bid to rescue itself from oblivion.
Tribalism,nepotism,flagrant criminality,general sociopathy,terrorism and other expressions of extremist proclivities are as a result of a social programming that conditions the individual functioning under its influence to not see themselves as under the direct authority of the state or government,institutions who’s legitimaies have been eroded by their weakness and corruption.
Consequently, when we describe the Nigerian malaise as an immensely deep and depraved one,we are actually referring to the gross failure at even the most fundamental essentials of proper human behaviour and character building such as basic courtesy, decorum,commonsense and fairness,values lost to a society that lacks conscience and an internal mirror,a people that have truly lost their way.
But what are the steps to follow in the quest for the acquisition of a societal construct that fosters progress,what are the foundations to be laid,albeit belatedly.
Perhaps we can start the journey the way it began in the first place,we can start by trying to understand our needs as individuals,our need for security,our need for liberty, our need for equality in the pursuit of our singular aspirations,and perhaps in doing this we may understand how these needs mirror that of the next person,and the next,and the next,till the realisation dawns on us,that to enjoy freedom and security,we must first be willing to contribute to its emergence,and sustenance.
And most crucially,that we seek daily to promote the lattices that hold together the regard of one man for another,and in the absence of any deeper bond,find peace in the internally profound understanding that even in our vast differences,we are all still one and the same.
Mr Boma Princewill.
While you won’t easily find a Jew telling the world how the Jews also contributed to the Holocaust, you won’t need to search deep to find where a black man has written a long treatise narrating how his ancestors were also responsible for slavery.
On the Holocaust the Jews sell just one narrative -they were victims. The world owes them an apology and must treat them like delicate eggs – especially when the issue of the Holocaust is mentioned.
The world must regard the Holocaust as the greatest horror ever perpetrated on any people. The memory of the Holocaust must be accepted as sacred. In fact today in Germany to deny the Holocaust happened is against the law,you will be jailed if you express that kind of opinion,you can’t even joke around it,you can’t try to water down the memory with silly narratives.
It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, that people were hounded and packed into chambers and gassed is all there is to be told. You attempt a different tale and you are liable to serve time in prison.
But the Blackman, especially the African is always the first to tell the world that slavery existed in Africa before the unforgivable criminality that was the Transatlantic Slave Trade. They tell you blacks too also held slaves in the USA. They tell you the Black man is responsible because it was actually the Blackman in Africa who sold his brothers to the White Man. They are always there, these miseducated Africans, reminding other Africans that the TAST wasn’t such a big deal after all, such that long after abolition black people are still talking about it much less blaming it for the racial issues plaguing Black people in places like America.
What is the motive behind these disingenuous narratives coming from inheritors of this shame? To water down the horrors and present the hundreds of years of hell as something to be waved away based on collective guilt? To expunge from the conscience of those who, were the times not different would still have humans in chains and treated like properties, a guilt that should only be washed by centuries of atonement and restitution, if at all? Or do these people have a proper appreciation of the the horror that was the TAST?
Someone said the way black people talk about slavery amounts to crybabism and I thought to myself,”seriously? Is that so?” If so,then what? The entire state of Israel is founded on such crybabism! The Jews got an entire country gifted to them because Hitler and his bunch of cavorting neblungs invested 3 years of their miserable lives gassing folks!
To suggest that a people that were burnt, hung, raped, slaughtered like chicken, dragged across the ocean locked supine in darkness to hide their shame while they vomited, shit and urinated on their bodies and on arrival at a place that could have passed as the land of their deads were treated like properties for more centuries should just wave it all away and move on is criminal!
The Holocaust isn’t something the Jews wish away by trading on deodorizing narratives, why should the Black people become merchants of narratives that make to lighten the burden of guilt on the oppressor? The Jews know the Holocaust was an unforgivable sin and they have no desire to tell anyone otherwise.
But a Black Man thinks Kanye West in a moment of vapid simplcity is worth his vacuous opinion because “blacks should get up and stop blaming slavery, after all it happened hundreds of years ago.”
Go to Israel, Germany or Poland and express half of that kind of retardation on the Holocaust and see if you won’t find yourself in jail.
It would seem as if there exists a paradox where brilliance is a burden for the modern Black Man,and he must of personally imposed necessity dull the effervescence of who he is,but most importantly,dull also,even the greatness that lies within his capacity,if only he willed it.
Dr. Uwuma Precious.
“Every society gets the kind of criminals it deserves”. – Robert F. Kennedy.When we mention nationalization, the concept that first comes to mind is the transfer of assets or commodities from being privately owned to being publicly owned or controlled.What does not come to mind is the notion of transfer of ideologies, principles and concepts, from privately imbibed to publicly or more generally imbibed or accepted. This has a huge influence on the direction any group would go as regards progress, stagnation or retrogression.Now, follow me.In the early stages, vice when repeatedly taken to certain extremes, is termed deviance or criminality, but when criminality has permeated the majority of a system, when it has been etched deeply in the mindset of a group, it is no longer merely criminality, that level of rot is called corruption.That is the stage when the system no longer possesses the moral leverage or intrinsic justification to prosecute the wrong doer, when what should ordinarily be an an anomaly, has attaindattained ascendancy in the internal lattices of the system.Unfortunately, this process can occur on a much larger scale, it can occur with nations who fail to be vigilant, and we are discussing Nigeria.Around the world, we see the different qualities and tenets imbibedand absorbed by both rising nations and those in decline, and from the respective practices we can draw a trajectory for prosperity and progress for both cases almost accurately.The nations who imbibed grit, industry and the penchant for riding favourable tides even as recently as fifteen years ago have fared far better than those that began well on the surface.On the other hand, the nations in decline who have internalised graft and sharp practices along the way,even with a fifty years head start, indvertantly fall behind because internal decay eventually brings about visible breakdown in all spheres of the nations plagued by corruption.Consequently, whatever methods, behaviors, or inclinations a people imbibe and absorb, or for this case “nationalizse”, they will eventually give account of, and the reckoning will be taken at some point further down their path.Without delving too deeply ,any onlooker can see how Nigeria is faring in the reckoning,the present hardships and woes suffered by majority of the populace is directly connected to our nationalized practices. Of these practices, one stands out preeminently, and that one is an unbridled level of Corruption.For the more favorable outlook, an adequately honed sense of nationalism in majority of a populace may not be enough to protect them from the worst the human nature can muster but what it can do is ,it can serve as a beacon of hope for the better, going forward.An unalloyed sense of nationalism is what it takes to galvanize citizens whose nations find themselves in doldrums and stagnations, into the single mindedness that births a uniformity in the drive to achieve growth and emancipation from mediocrity or worse.The singular mindset fostered by nationalism has been sufficient to drag nations away from the brinks,into developmental strides that have been heralded the world over. India serves here as a case study, having dragged half the population of the second most populous nation from poverty in the decade between the years 2006 to 2016.The population being discussed for India is around the billion mark ,and half that is double the population of Nigeria in the most conservative assessments. In India they were able to exploit their demographic window to boost their advancement in information technology and related services along with a general utilisationutilization of their large population,to improve from a third world country in dire straits ,to an economic power alongside leading nations like the U.S and China.But we are discussing Nigeria, whose demographic window is a more favourable one than India’s, albeit with a largely smaller population, yet such indices should portend a scenario where cases like that of India can be replicated through application of a proper mindset.Currently, that is too much to ask in Nigeria.Rather what we are witnessing is a primitive mindset, working one of the grandest cons the world has ever seen on its populace, playing pretend on sustainable development, an approach that will never work to move us forward.This is a situation where the intrinsic nature and mentality of those tasked with shaping the minds of the society, those tasked with protecting the individual lives in society, those tasked with the defensce of the vulnerable ,and prosecution of the offenders are all equally twisted across board.As for the mind shapers, and here I mean the educational and learning institutitutions,these are themselves deeply compromised entities, a cesspool of mediocrity and sleaze, constantly complaining over respective governments of the day, but themselves corrupt despots like the regimes they denigrate, running a smaller representation of all they claim to eschew. These include money and sexual favours for grades,compromised standards and processes for admissions, victimization of students,the use of old and outdated course curriculums, and a general apathy towards the building of the students under their supervision.A looped continuum that can never improve itself,or the graduates they churn out,except for the occasionally rare cases.And what about the defenders, the police and other armed bodies in the country, theirs is probably an evil highly rare the world over. Their Broad daylight collecting of bribes along major roads all over the country,guns for hire,saboteurs of their fellow officers,illegal arrests and detentions,planting of evidence,and of course the ever present apathy against those they are tasked to protect.They will blame most of their excesses on poor working conditions and low salaries,lies to defend their greed and incompetence.For our legal institutions,I leave this to the imagination,considering their silence in the face of a system rife with multiplicity of damning ills and breakdowns.For those with designs on truly rescuing Nigeria from the dregs and abyss of self-inflicted retrogression and decay, theirs is the onerous task of cleansing, or attempting to cleanse a nation whose preoccupation and creed has been the furtherance of it’s own internal rot, and the violation of virtually every single principle or institution prerequisite in the building of nationalism and patriotism in the hearts of its citizens.It truly is bleak,perhaps even worse than can be explained.A heartless government,abjectly wicked institutions,decadence,and a populace whose individuals expactantly wait their opportunity for governance,swindling the electorate,bribing and even killing their way in so they can mete out all of what they suffered in the hands of their predecessors on those still on the outside,and so the cycle continues.In the end,what do we truly understand the nationalization of corruption to be? What can the be expected from it repeated perpetration? Well In a hopelessly looped continuum, the nationalization of corruption is defined as the total corruption of nationalism.Mr Boma Princewill
Dr. Charles Awuzie is best described as a dynamic bible expositor and CEO of Gemsbok Group Pty. Ltd. He is followed by several thousands of people on social media for his inspiring micro blogs on issues of Spirituality and faith, relationships and marriages, life and death. This is his recent post on facebook, blasting the recent viral #Blesser Hashtag:
The President’s decision to reallocate funds once earmarked for the fuel subsidy and commit these to other more socially productive services and undertakings was a difficult decision. It was also a necessary one. Politically, it would have been easy for the president to sit back and let the subsidy remain in place, yet in the art of governance, the easiest policy is rarely the best one. As originally envisioned, subsidy formed a basic part of the social contract between the people and government. It was a benefit all were to enjoy. Yet, because past governments were not for and of the people, the true meaning and objective of the subsidy policy became lost.
Over the years, the operation of the measure was distorted to where it no longer functioned for the benefit of the masses but for the undue enrichment of a small club of businessmen, some legitimate in their work, some not. Instead of remaining a positive aspect of the social contract, subsidy was transformed into an opaque haven of intrigue and malfeasance. It was turned into a shadowy process from which the unscrupulous extracted large sums of money without providing the services and products duly paid for. Fake businessmen became true billionaires over night as if by supernatural force. They paraded themselves as such. Meanwhile, the rest of the nation, the innocent people, where left to face erratic supply and were made to groan in the misery of long fuel queues and the high costs and loss of time attendant to this situation.
To allow this unfairness to continue would have been a breach of the promise made by this government to the people. While we all have an emotional and sympathetic attachment to the ideals upon which subsidy was founded, we all must recognise that the institution was hijacked years ago. Instead of a bonus to the masses, it became a factory of corrupt enrichment, so imbued with trickery deceit and theft, it stopped serving the interests of the people. It became a weapon of profiteering. The machinery of the subsidy had become so polluted that it was no longer feasible to talk about reforming it. Either it had to cease or we would have to surrender to the corruption now inherent in it.
This administration entered office with a mandate of CHANGE. The government could not forever sit back and allow this dire inequity to continue, less it forfeit the essence of its mandate. We all want fuel at a cheaper price. Under subsidy, we got the right price but not the fuel. Meanwhile, some were getting rich on the common man’s predicament. They were laughing to the bank while the rest of Nigeria waited on the petrol line. This is not the way to democratic development. It is a recipe for creating a class of economic predators that would feed off the people and in time gain such power and wealth that they would seek to buy and control, if not own, government as well.
President Buhari has with this decision put an abrupt and just end to the assault against our economy and political system. He has made a courageous and prudent decision. It is time to end fuel subsidy and begin to subsidise the true needs of the people. To Mr. President, I say congratulations for having the courage to remove subsidy. The president has taken this tough decision in the interest of the present and future generations of Nigerians. For some time, I have been a proponent of this action. I believed the ending of subsidy was the only sure way to put to sleep the myriad demons that had invaded the subsidy process, sucking the blood of Nigeria, swallowing much of our needed money. The rentiers will no longer be able to make free money at our common expense. They will no longer be laughing to the bank while you languish on endless fuel queues.
Nigeria has taken the historic step needed to create a competitive environment that that will eliminate smuggling, provide incentives for private refineries and attract foreign investments in the downstream sector and create employment. Instead of just shipping off oil and having the more expensive finished products sent back to us, Nigeria will move closer to realising its potential to become the plastic centre of the continent by manufacturing numerous by products. Nothing can stop Nigeria from being the net exporter of fertiliser from the bye products of the oil industry. I am hopeful but also realistic about this measure. I am also mindful of the situation of our people. This change will mean higher fuel costs in generally, and I would be lying if I said this will cause no pain or dislocation. However, it will lead to better supply and end the hidden substantial costs associated with long waits and delays for fuel. The days and hours of waiting for fuel will be a thing of the past. In a perfect setting, I wish we could have sanitised the subsidy regime and thus continued with it.
However, I believe that President Buhari correctly understood that there are to many malefactors and flaws in system for that hell to be turned into heaven. Better that we remove it. But I believe he is removing it not for the austere purpose of saving money but for the nobler purpose of putting those same funds to fairer, more equitable use in order that government might better serve those of us who are truly in utmost need. Now that the subsidy is being phased-out, we should simultaneously phase in social programmes benefiting the poorest and most vulnerable among us. Programmes such as transportation grants, school feeding, improved basic medical care and coverage for the poor, and potable water projects are profound social objectives that can be funded with the money that was once going to rentiers and speculators. This way we can use government funds to ensure that fruits go to the hungry, not the already well fed. Thus, I ask everyone to take a step back to coolly and objectively assess what has been decided. We must not make the mistake of allowing our political and sympathetic attachment to subsidy blind us to the hard fact that the purpose and benefits of subsidy had long ago been taken from the common man to reside in the purse of an elite few.
We cannot persist in this imbalance and think it will help us to develop. Instead, it is better to end subsidy and use the funds to establish well-targeted anti-poverty programmes that actually assist the people in need. True, this measure will increase fuel cost in the immediate term, and government must be vigilant to ensure that market forces are allowed to work properly and bring about a fair balance between supply, demand and longer-term favourable pricing. Collusion and manipulation of the market must never be allowed.
If government sets the system fairly, it will ensure better supply and with it economic certainty. Over the longer term, it will boost investment that can spur employment across several sectors. Perhaps more importantly, it will liberate money that government can now use to lower the social costs of living for our brothers and sisters who really need the help. While this may not be perfect, it is a much better deal than the one the subsidy offered us.
Originally published by Vanguard.
by Dr. Charles Awuzie (Johannesburg)
“The use of force to deprive peoples of their national identity constitutes a violation of their inalienable rights and of the principle of non-intervention…By virtue of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples enshrined in the charter of the United Nations, all peoples have the right to freely determine, without external interference, their political status and to pursue their economic, social and cultural development, and every state has the duty to respect this right in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Charter.” ~Ref: Hurst Hannum; Autonomy, Sovereignty and Self-Determination: The Accommodation of Conflicting Rights, Page 38.
I have endured the urge to write about the on-going agitation for the release of Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and the subsequent declaration of the Sovereignty of Biafra for two reasons:
1) Because of my principle of not publicly speaking about any subject I have no clear understanding of.
2) Because of my doubts about the honesty of the motives of the incarcerated leader of the #IPOB – Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.
Its okay if you have a problem with my second reason, I also do. The proliferation of Secessionist Movements in recent times has made some of us to question the motives, aims and desires of the leaders of such groups before we lend our tiny voice(s) to their cause.
For the record, I believe in the principle of self-determination, whether it is Chief Femi Fani-Kayode’s call for the secession of the Yoruba people from Nigeria or Mr. Nnamdi Kanu’s struggle for Biafra’s secession from Nigeria; I believe in both ideologies but I always have problem trusting in the pioneers of such movements, perhaps because of my secret romance with conspiracy theories.
Back to the purpose of this macro-blog, I am afraid that Nnamdi Kanu might not make it out of ‘prison’ alive, not because Buhari will kill him but because the security agents might snuff the life out of him in the course of interrogating him. But before that happens, here is my two-edged-sword:
First to Biafrans: Protests, no matter how peaceful have never solved any socio-political problem instead it has created more confusion and chaos. You have a just cause. The actualisation of Biafra is a dream every Biafran hates to be awoken from. That you and I love Biafra doesn’t mean that we hate Nigeria. It just means that we would rather choose to relate with Nigeria as a mother and no longer as a sister. If Nigeria understands this, she would let Biafra go in peace having understood that at one stage in life, a mother will have to release her child to take care of himself.
Like everyone else, I believe in self-determination but I do not believe that IPOB and MASSOB are doing it the right way.
Biafrans should immediately withdraw from the streets and mobilise a team of high powered international lawyers who would engage the United Nations in the processes and procedures of self-determination. This would culminate in the summoning of the Nigerian Government to a world court and subsequently, the Nigerian Government would be given an ultimatum by the international community to either hold a referendum on the Biafra-Secession saga or risk sanctions. I strongly believe that if the international community forces Nigeria into holding a referendum on Biafra-Nigeria marriage, Biafra would surely win. This way, we would have secured victory without further bloodsheds and unnecessarily frustrating economic activities in South Eastern Nigeria.
To the Nigerian Government: I believe that you have the right to protect the unity and sovereignty of Nigeria. I also understand that you do not wish to kill Nnamdi Kanu in detention. But please understand that it is dangerous to fight an ideology whose time has come. The war against Boko Haram has not been won because it is a fight against an ideology. Biafra is an ideology and not an enemy. Only fools fight ideologies with bullets. I will advise that the Nigerian Government call for a referendum on the secession of Biafra. I bet you that there are millions of Biafrans who would vote against Biafra, not because they don’t believe in Biafra but because they don’t trust the after-effects of the declaration of the sovereignty of Biafra. They are afraid that if the igbos are still divided over grey-haired issues like the OSU-Nwadiala myth, the ODIBO/ORU-OGA mentality, The inter-State dichotomy where Abia would freely deport Anambra civil servants while Anambra would not promote an Enugu civil servant beyond a certain grade level because of their state of origin and all the crinkum crankum familiar with the politics of the Igbo people. With fears like these and perhaps a few state-sponsored propaganda, Nigeria might win the referendum.
#NO2Protests #YES2Referendum #ReleaseNnamdiKanuNOW #CharlesAwuzieSPEAKS
Dr. Charles Awuzie is a South African based Nigerian pastor, succeeding businessman and prolific blogger. He blogs on www.charlesawuzie.com and tweets @pastorcharlesc.
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