By Emeka Nwokocha
It is only in covens that witches and wizards congregate to feast on the blood of humans and inflict excruciating pain on their victims. In such evil communion, witches and wizards derive great pleasure in causing their victims great misfortune.
The above narration aptly brings to the fore the reign of torture innocent and law abiding Nigerians suffer in the hands of their opportunistic and cruel leaders over the years.
Against the backdrop of the throes of economic collapse and torture from poverty Nigerians endure every day, it is pertinent to say that Nigerian political leaders practice Satanism with relish. Like a roving vampire, they often rejoice when the citizens gnash their teeth and grope in forlorn hope.
Regrettably, since 60 years of political independence, Nigeria has consistently wobbled and stumbled on her journey to nation-building occasioned by bad leadership, even as the citizens have massively been exploited by overzealous politicians who sought for power for pecuniary benefits.
No doubt, Nigerian political leaders have become notorious for stealing state resources with impunity, just as they would give little or no attention to the welfare of the teeming populace.
All over the country, there is wide spread poverty, insecurity, unemployment and flagrant violation of rule of law. Nigerians are enmeshed in nutrition crisis, as they suffer from want of food and other basic needs of life. Ideally, every Nigerian should be able to get sufficient work to enable him/her make ends meet, but that is a far cry from what the ugly situation presents currently.
Lamentably, nothing is permanent in Nigeria, except suffering, galloping poverty and rising unemployment. Small wonder, 50% of Nigeria’s urban population live in makeshift and poor homes in slums lacking basic amenities like drinking water, electricity, toilets, and health centres (World Bank, Brookings Institute, 2014).
On the flipside, the political leaders live in palatial homes, seek medical treatment abroad, drive posh cars and flaunt their ego like small gods – they are desperately wicked with their hearts filed with rapacious greed that often nudges them to plunder and loot the people’s wealth to satiate their unquenchable quest for personal aggrandizement.
Truth is, from Kaura-Namoda to Obosi; from Ijesa to Lafia; from Chibuk to Jebba; from Oturukpo to Okitipupa; from Ikwere to Angalabri, the relics of poor governance stare us in the face, and diminish the stature of Nigeria in today’s world, just as the stealing spree has continued unabated.
Worst still, the new but inglorious status of Nigeria as the world poverty capital saliently tells how poverty stricken Nigerians have become in the midst of plenty.
According to the Brookings Institute’s findings, 87 million Nigerians (about half the country’s population) live in extreme poverty having overtaken India which has a population seven times larger than Nigeria.
More scary is that six Nigerians slip into the extreme poverty club every minute (Bloomberg, February 22, 2019), but Nigerian political leaders are never bothered about this national embarrassment and crisis that trail their nefarious deeds.
As it is the nature of witches to abhor anything good that profits humanity, Nigerian leaders have deep apathy for productive and transparent leadership founded on inviolable principles of accountability and prudency. They would harden their policies to subject the gullible citizens to perpetual slavery rather than bringing succour to their plight by lifting them out of excruciating poverty.
More worrisome is the fact that despite our faltering economy worsened by very weak naira, rapacious greed and unquenchable desire for luxury by Nigerian political leaders increase by the day while the hapless citizens crave for good life that have since become a mirage.
Truth is, we have travelled this bumpy and thorny road of political leadership and nation building repeatedly, and our psyches have been seriously battered and tortured by our opportunistic leaders. Even when we have shown weakness and lacking courage to interrupt their cruel and injurious actions, they have continued to make life unbearable for us through orchestrated and well plotted divisive and antagonistic policies.
Against the backdrop of an obvious trajectory of a faltering political leadership in Nigeria, it behoves good spirited and patriotic Nigerians to muster courage now and demand untainted patriotism, accountability, transparency and visionary leadership from our political leaders.
Without mincing words, the time has come for Nigerians of good will to match to the capitol and demand justice, fairness and equity from their representatives.
The hour has come for the Nigerian youths to demand their tomorrow from those they elected into political offices.
The hour has come for Nigerians to compel their leaders to look deeply into the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and make its salient provisions a compass for good governance.
It must be drummed much louder that the hour has come for all Nigerians of progressive mindset to say no to looting, squandering, and misappropriation of the resources of our country – our collective patrimony.
The hour has come for Nigerians of good intention and upright virtue to take their gauntlet and oppose any obnoxious laws targeted at truncating the growth and development of Nigeria and subject the citizens to slavery.
The hour has come for Nigerians from all walks of life to ruminate on the cardinal objectives of our political godfathers in the making of the entity called Nigeria and uphold the tenets of unity by dismantling all forms of oppression, inequity, corruption, nepotism, ethnicity that have become a norm in our democratic character.
Above all, the time has come for all courageous and progressive Nigerians to quit the passenger’s seat and take over the driver’s seat of the wobbling and ill-fated Nigeria political vehicle, and redirect its course to an eventful journey.
Most importantly, the hour has come for the gullible Nigerian youths to wake up from their slumber and rise to the challenge of governance; take their destiny in their hands by playing active and participatory role in political affairs and vie for elective political offices for the purpose of rejigging the political structure and righting many wrongs in our chequered democratic government.
As we consolidate our unity as an indivisible entity, we must realize in time that our unionism must be shielded from the rascality of our emerging political leaders. We must puncture their ploy to hide under the cloak of ethnicity to mortgage our genuine quest for an egalitarian society where every Nigerian child will have a friendly atmosphere to pursue his/her dreams to the fullest.
We must identify the plot usually deployed by our political leaders to sow a seed of discord amongst Nigerians and neutralize their divisive tendencies and antics.
In a nutshell, we must stand above sentiments, ethnicity, religion, political loyalty and communal fraternity, and wisely wheel our support to a detribalized Nigerian democrat with the right character, competence, patriotism and vision to fix our fractured country and progressively pilot our nascent democratic government to greater heights. (An extract from my book: The Plain Truth)
Comrade Emeka Nwokocha, a journalist and Human Rights Activist, writes from Warri.