NIGERIAN DEMOCRACY: WHAT DOES FUTURE HOLD?
By Comrade Muhammad Ishaq
On October 1st 1960, nearly six decades ago, our parents rejoiced for gaining independence from foreign domination. Unfortunately, ever since, Nigeria has not gotten true independence. Thus, a pleasant life becomes nothing but a mirage for the Nigerian masses.
Year in, year out; hundreds of thousands of Nigerian children die of hunger and malnutrition. Yet, our country is one of the largest oil producers in the world. Millions of wives become victims of antenatal and postnatal death due to lack of medical care. Yet, we are called ‘The Giant of Africa.
The average life span of Nigerians is below a reasonable standard all because of high incidence of poverty. Huge amount of money is allocated to rehabilitation of road infrastructures. Yet, accidents have been claiming millions of lives of Nigerians as a result of bad condition of our roads. Talented Nigerian youths who made a lot of financial, mental, and time sacrifices to become graduates cannot get gainful jobs but a child of a politician who has never spent a semester in school throughout his academic years can easily get the most prestigious job which he knows nothing about. First class graduates are riding tricycles and driving commercial buses because there is no job available to practise their desired career.
Brilliant female graduates who once had beautiful dreams have been compelled by joblessness and frustration to enter the circle of prostitution. They found themselves living a life they never dreamt to live. They have become the sex toys of our politicians and other aristocrats. Many able-bodied youths have been driven by the tempest of situation into undesirable acts of kidnapping, armed robbery, thuggery, political sycophancy, assassination, rituals and so on.
Our system does not only make life unbearable for the youths, it also robs our civil servants of their future. Anxiety of what future holds for them after a long period of meritorious service has made many developed hypertension. Poor care has forced many retired civil servants to their early graves. Realizing how unpromising future seems for them, many civil servants indulged in reducing their age so as to make ends meet. The children whom they have spent so much on are yet to get jobs and they have no hope of getting their entitlements after their years of service.
Is there any love greater than that of a man to lay down his life for the safety of his country? Many Nigerian soldiers have died in the hand of Boko Haram due to lack of effective weapons to fight the enemies. Some were beheaded while many are now disabled. Yet huge billions of naira are allocated for security. What has our government done to compensate the wives and children of those patriotic and gallant soldiers who fell in battle fronts just to protect their beloved country? What has our government done to compensate those wounded and crippled soldiers? What has our government given back to that soldier who has heavily bled for his country?
Thousands of Nigerian professionals and intellectuals do not have a stable income of fifty thousand naira per month but a child of a politician can squander ten million naira at a party. Numerous companies have left Nigeria for good and countless firms have folded due to poor state of our economy. The rate of suicide is alarming and many people are thrown into quagmire of poverty on daily basis. The situation has driven numerous Nigerians into voluntary exile. Thousands of Nigerians die in Sahara desert while some drown in Mediterranean sea trying to reach Europe on unauthorized routes, in their desperate search of means of survival due to harsh condition of living in our country - Nigeria. This bizarre condition of life is too tough and hard for Nigerians to bear.
It was first revealed in June 2018 that Nigeria had overtaken India as the nation with the highest number of people living in extreme poverty across the world, with an estimated 86.9 million people measured to be living on less than $1.90 (N684) a day. Even though nearly 60 million people have escaped extreme poverty across the world since June, 2018 more Nigerians continue to slip into it [World Poverty Clock]. The 90.8 million Nigerians living in extreme poverty constituted a staggering 46.4% of its estimated 195.6 million total population. This has risen from the 44.2% of the total population that was recorded in June, 2018. This fact was backed by the United Nations as it rated Nigeria as one of the eight countries facing acute hunger.
If we are to ask, “Who are the roots of our problems?” The answer will be, “Who are those that benefit from our predicament?” They are people who are united in corruption. They do not consider religion or tribe when they are looting national treasury. They dine and wine together. They give sons and daughters in marriage as a sign of their heinous solidarity. But when their political interests clash, they preach tribalism and religious intolerance. These are people who divide Nigerians along religious and ethnic lines. They are those who intentionally starve the masses so that their one thousand naira note can buy the votes of electorate. They are the shakers and movers of selfishness who can sacrifice many things for one thing: their greed. They are those who steal public fund for the interest of the immediate family. They are men and women of narrow minds who regard the Nigerian masses as nothing but a horde of idiots. They are those who use public fund to sponsor their children on vacation abroad. They are those who use the money for road construction and rehabilitation to buy private jets subjecting the masses to road accidents. They are the heroes and heroines of corruption who steal money for equipping our hospital for their family to get world class medical treatment. They are the Nigerian politicians at all levels of government. You know them, I know them.
NOW that we know the architects of our travails, our journey of liberation must begin. It is NEVER TOO LATE. The JOURNEY TO THE PROMISED LAND has started under the platform of Nigerian Liberation Movement (NLM)!!!
By Comrade Muhammed Ishaq,
the National Convener of the Nigerian Liberation Movement (NLM).