We are family and all of us as part of the global village are confronted by a raging storm. We can see it coming, but there appears to be very little we can do to halt its advance.
These are moments of great and daunting challenges when we all have to keep a cool head or go mad; when we have an obligation to protect our integrity or plainly lose it.
It is as of the heavens watch from above while man is persistently faced with challenge after challenge .
It is for instance, a season of superfluous floods. Many in our nation and others somewhere in the world are at great risk.
They are hunted by volumes of surging water; and their lands eaten up by erosion. Forests are giving way in the face of growing deforestation and advancing agricultural activity.
The advent of the mudslide hasn’t helped matters either. Add its increasing occurence to the list of man’s many troubles and you may appreciate the enormity of phenomena that are frightening.
They are times of growing global warming; times of drastic climatic change. Recent studies suggest most of these challenges are caused by man’s activities within his environment.
Science warns increasingly of the danger to come, of the consequences that are set to befall society, but who really cares? Who is listening?
It is as if the gods have finally blocked our cringing ears. Those lobes which sit on both sides of our head can hear no more.
Our eyes can see but they cannot comprehend. Similarly, knowledge matters no more because those who should be slaves to its proper use have joined the mad rush down the valley.
Everywhere you turn, there is confusion. Confusion in the home. Confusion in our communities. Confusion in our states. Confusion within, and amongst countries, trailed by deepening concerns about the future of our world.
It might be that this setting suggests the end times are here. It may be too, that it reflects a period of signs and wonders.
Many religions, including the Christian faith would readily agree. God’s world was supposed to be very perfect, but for man’s unpardonable sins.
I see the world; see changes that are ongoing in our environment; and see Nigeria too.
It hasn’t been easy for Nigerian families. They have had to bear the brunt. The odds appear to be heavily stacked against them. Who would they cry to?
Many families are unable to put food on the table in our country. Many more Nigerians have never had jobs and those who have are being made to pay some more in taxes and levies.
It is a period when Nigerians are being urged by the pro-estsblishment cartel to make some more sacrifices. Why won’t they make such calls? Haven’t we been making sacrifices before now? So, what’s wrong with making one more?
After all, we operate in an era of big government. To keep the system well oiled and running, we just have to cough out some more; and growl some more.
Somehow, the burden borne thus far by the people may raise moral questions down the line, but for operators who set targets and construct policies, addressing moral questions may be the least of their problem.
On the contrary, it is our problem, our burden and our duty as citizens.
To keep our leaders in the saddle; sustain the overblown appetite for wealth that some of them have; assuage their cravings for power; give them a rare dominion over us and live the life they want us to; we must pick up bills.
It is the price that “we the people” must pay for the sustenance of big government. It doesn’t matter if the times are bad, if there is food for our children to eat, or if our kids are able to attend school.
It is as if starvation has become a veritable tool for combating inflation. Who can blame our experts who are experts in deception?
See what the numbers say! Those numbers say Nigeria’s inflationary trend is slowing down. So, as a nation, we are talking in terms of single-digit rather than double-digit inflation. How sweet!
But wait-a-minute! How can a people who fall largely within the low income bracket, without spending power, pose any real threat to inflationary control? The emptiness of their wallet has simply won half the battle against inflation!
In the books, these figures which explain where we are, where we are going as an economy add up so fast, but not so on the breakfast table where hungry tummies yearn for more. Do not say I told you!
If you put your hard earned money in a bank, you pay for doing so even when it is obvious the banks use your funds for other profitable transactions!
If you want to withdraw cash for purposes that are yet to be covered effectively in a system that wants to go cashless, God help you!
The official next door grins from ear to ear while we grimace. He has suddenly found a new route of escape which puts him beyond reach.
It is corruption and the fight to stop it from fighting back that has become an excuse. So, it is an act of corruption to lift a helping finger! An act of corruption even to sit down with others, close associates of yours, who may tell you they are looking up to you.
IMF which visited Nigeria doesn’t think our fate matters. Remember the institution that IBB rejected up-front under pressure from Nigerians and later agreed to embrace behind closed doors?
Nigerians, the financial institution says, are heavily under taxed, meaning ‘we the people’ haven’t seen anything yet in our quest for modernization.
We are knee deep in debt, but we hear being prudent would speed up the provision of infrastructure and put us in a position to repay staggering sums that run into trillions.
The Americans whose system we copied didn’t bring this situation upon us; they simply spiced it up; and gave our constitution drafters a guided tour of their structures. Before our colonial masters could say Jack, we were gone.
Caught in the middle, weighed down by the burden placed on our shoulders by big government, we must carry our cross. Will the cross we bear take us to the promised land? Who knows?
Now we have borders that are securely locked. So next time when you head in the direction of the border, know you have nowhere to go with your goods.
|The fear of illegal migration, the smuggling of guns and ammunition and the temptation to bring in foreign goods that have been banned through what we see as our porous borders have resulted in the closure.
Commodity costs have risen ever since, but the killings and threats to peace and stability from terrorists have reduced.
We shouldn’t be practicing Afghanistanism. It isn’t healthy. It is an escapist construct which encourages journalists to write about events outside the purview of the society in which they operate.
For their effort in telling the story of their people the way it is, alarmists who pretend to love the press more are crying out loud. They say Buhari and his team are planning to gag the Nigerian press.
Not even the Nigerian army could gag the press when rampaging military jack boots could be heard in our neighbourhood. Wasn’t Buhari one of their leaders at the time? So, where is this new threat to press freedom coming from? Is this a democracy or not?
Some of the time, members of the political class act like clowns and palace jests. Only clowns dream dreams about the emasculation of the press in these times.
Wouldn’t it be nice to give them the benefit of the doubt? Is it possible that these alarmists are patriots instead of angels of doom?
What should be more important at this time? Is it curtailing press freedom or dealing with pressing national concerns?
Should we talk for instance about climatic change and growing global warming? What should we do about spiraling food costs? How will our children go to school? What should we do about the girl child? How would we generate employment?
Isn’t it ridiculous that a State like Rivers which earns so much has the highest unemployment rate ever recorded in the history of this country?
Spare me jooor! These earth men called Nigerians can’t see it; can’t feel it; can’t even understand it.
Yet people, actual voters who rolled out to elect leaders and their political parties watch and pray. What can they do now?
The arrow has long left the bow. Prayerfully they must await the coming of redeemers. Will redeemers ever come? Shall the people live happily ever after?
Whatever happens, “we the people” who are part of the silent majority are waiting. We are waiting for the fulfilment of promises they made us; and waiting for a better life.
It doesn’t matter how long it takes, how long they stay upstairs, we will wait for them downstairs.
We hope they would be able to find the staircase. Some of them have since set aside the ladders they climbed with. Will they fly or jump?
Buhari the other day ordered a forensic audit of the NDDC. Investigators would go back to 2001 and trail the Commission’s expenditure from that year to 2019.
The people have already ordered theirs. While the President is intensely focused on the NDDC, the attention of the people is focused on the entire country.
We wait for those who have left us hungry; wait for those who don’t seem to care how we feel; and those who have become expert in telling sweet tales which absorb them of blame when the cycle is complete.
The people may not have the power to convict. They are however conducting a probe of their leaders at various levels. Their votes would prove those who have fallen short guilty when the time comes.
We must thank God our democracy has come to stay. As owners of the land, we run long distances and we are hoping to count the number of miles when we are done.
Up there, I can see you, yes you! Like my fellow compatriots, I am waiting for you.
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