“The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen! Tell it not in gath, publish it not in the streets of Ahs’Kelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.” 2 Samuel 1: 20-21
The quotation above was the lamentation of King David on the mountains of Gilboa. Though, with passion for the country, unlike the God’s anointed King of the Jews, President Muhammadu Buhari in one of his travels, speaking against the backdrop of corruption that has bedeviled the country for decades, was alleged to have pronounced Nigerians living abroad as corrupt and disgraceful to the world. In a chat prior to an Anti-Corruption Summit in London, British Prime Minister, David Cameron in the presence of the Queen of England, made an infamous statement to the effect that Nigeria with Afghanistan were two of the most “fantastically corrupt countries” in the world.
I do not need to puncture on the already over-flogged unfortunate statements because it is nothing but the home truth. The level of moral decadence and support for evil in the land is becoming unbearable. Those who are to use their mightiness in pursuit for the good of the masses suddenly turned their might to instrument of oppression to impoverish the already oppressed. Corruption as known, has always been, a clog in the wheel of development of our nation. Between 2014 and 2015 was a significant time in the history of the country where the political elites set aside to gang-raped the national economy to nearly point of no return (thank God for Change): sharing the spoils of office which spread across every apparatus of government from the executive to legislative to judiciary and government agencies and establishments. The armed forces were not left out in the looting spree as money meant to defend and protect the helpless and hapless citizens from Boko Haram terrorists was massively and ‘fantastically’ cornered, shared and embezzled by the top officers under the auspices of a sitting but very “ineffectual” President.
According to the EFCC, many were reported to have returned stolen funds with promise to return the other halves of money mischievously collected, some are still claiming to be innocent for not knowing the source of the money they collected while others have quietly relegated themselves to the background-knowing fully well the more they make noise the more pressure to fasten their court case. And we are told to be quiet that it is a national issue and due process has to be followed as dictated by the law.
Frankly speaking, the rots are enormous, it high time we told the sane sons and daughters of the world that these people parading themselves as honorable chiefs are thieves. They are enemy of nation and threat to the world at large. The difference is obviously clear that they are not Ose-Ilu but Oje-ilu in kaftan and agbada.
While we are still groaning on the difficulties and challenges of present times, the government of PMB in other to cushion the effect of drop in oil price and save the government from shutting down: removing fuel subsidy may be untimely but if it could bring the needed change, I think we should give it a chance.
It baffles, those who wreaked havoc on the national economy and their evil supporters suddenly found their lost vanquished voice, vilifying the government from being insensitive on the problem they help created. While the government should be commended for being clever and open enough to have carried all constituted stake holders along unlike what is obtained in the past where a ‘highing’ President wake-up one morning and order a policy.
Having be voted out of power for negligence and total support of impunity for the past sixteen years, one would assumed the party should have the wherewithal and the resources from stolen funds to savage the situation of the country. As announced by the Minister of State for Petroleum, that any Nigerian entity is now free to import the product, subject to existing quality specifications and other guidelines issued by Regulatory Agencies. And as an entity in this nation, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) can explore on this very opportunity to buy fuel wherever and as sell it at any given price not above specified guides; even as low as N35. Then, we will know their seriousness- 2019 general elections is at hand. As it worked in Ekiti by sharing kerosene and other food stuff, it can also happen in 2019.
Deviating from bashing on problems inherited by the present government, it should be understood that these are national challenges that also made complex by our federating nationalities without evading the pains of Thomas Paine (Apologies to Martins Ihembe). From all indices we should have no fear, the government of Muhammadu Buhari is a sincere and very responsive regime. Thoroughly, the pain is much but with the belief as Majekodunmi Fasheke, a reggae living legend, popularly known as Majek Fashek once sang that “those who sow in tears shall rip with Joy and there will be no more pain.”
Nigeria belongs to all of us.
Remi Otuneye is a political analyst based in Lagos. He can be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org