Well…may be it is time to believe that God has a plan for this country.
Why he spared us of natural disasters like tornadoes, land slides, tsunamis, mud slides, earthquakes, as someone has alluded may be just because he knows we can’t handle these. But he has left us with man made disasters which we (true to character) have failed over and over again to manage.
I will give you examples.
We were within our own dear internal linguistic and cultural boarders doing well or so we thought,until slave traders and explorers came calling. While some fought them, others traded with them. Sold ‘enemies’ and ‘never-do-wells’ to them for mirrors, shining coins (that we can’t use in any market), cloth fabrics (that we didn’t know how to sow), beautiful boxes. Slave trade ended not from our own efforts we must note, but from the benevolence of the same traders.
Then we got colonized (not by our choice). The masters got every commercial benefit known to them as at then, grouped us into countries for easy governance. They had no choice but to leave some traces of ‘civilization’, since they also benefited from such.
We got our independence. Yeah! That one we fought for.
Our politics thereafter got immediately ethnic, with various happenings and utterances that got many of our sections maligned and bearing grudges. That is our making. Nobody taught us that. May be that’s how we are actually wired. To always think in the “self” or ” me” mode not “us” mode.
With that background, a group of poorly selected but adventurous young officers carries out a poorly executed and murderous coup, leaving open a litany of interpretations and misinterpretations that spread from the military to the general society, throw into that mix some uninformed decisions, actions and inactions of the then crop of leaders and you have a dynamite that led to a needless Civil war with its prizes that we are all well aware of.
Then the Military took us through all the roads,paths and routes they took us through. The edges and precipices we went through. The tensions and near war situations we went through countless of times. Not to mention the down spiraling of our various national sectors like education, economy, health, agriculture and even the Military. We are not counting the human rights abuses and lives lost. All these while the average man was and is still being made to believe it is in his best interest.
And we re-cycled back to democracy. First with ex-soldiers all over the political space. With a lot of knee jerk decisions we had to cope with. Our politics remained like it was in the immediate post independence era- ethnic and religious. We never learnt or acquired anything new in the interlude when the Military held sway. Well, some have argued that this same politics of today is still being propelled by the Military albeit in Civies.
We’ve had repeated plane crashes and I’ve not seen any adjustment in plans to prevent further crashes besides sacking the ministers of the day. Neither have I seen adjustments in emergency responses besides establishing an agency, NEMA, that is poorly funded, poorly organized and whose personnel is poorly recruited and trained. I have not seen a superlative response to any disaster by this nation and her agencies for as long as I have lived.
We’ve had numerous flood disasters but I have not seen any response besides ear-marking some ‘unlegislated’ funds for ‘shearing’. Funds that won’t get to the desired victims. Jamborees of fund raising for flood victims, who remain as afflicted as they were until the next flood.
I’ve not seen any effort towards combating ecological ‘land mines’ which give way to these floods despite all the funds ear marked as ‘ecological funds’ yearly. One of the Govs of plateau I think, even told us how he used his own to fund PDP campaign under OBJ.
And so we wait for the next flood…
It used to be our universities. ‘Falling standard of education’ we all kept crying but I see nothing being done. And I see we have money appropriated yearly for education. I see we have leaders whose duty is to think and act on our behalf. ‘Our graduates are unemployable’, ‘our graduates can’t construct simple sentences’, ‘not like when we were in the universities’ they kept spewing. I’m reminded that they went to school free too.
Now it is our secondary schools. The base of our educational sector. JAMB, WAEC,SSCE results have been on a free fall for a long time now. Unity schools were our pride. How are they today?
I don’t see any active effort to remedy this. I don’t get to see any active protocol by our ministers (one after another) to #BringBackOurSchools. Who did this to us?
Teachers of all cadres go on industrial actions and are ignored for months while politics of survival is being played across the length and breadth of the country, especially in Abuja. And we are all meant to believe it is in our own long term interest.
BOKO haram came. Are we all satisfied the way it has been combated? Right from when there was a chance to nip it in the bud till now that it consumes everyday, young girls, boys, innocent people minding their daily business or worshipping their God and our young military boys?
I’ll will leave this alone for today as I’ve commented a lot on this self made cancer (and another that is brewing which we as usual have ignored. I’m talking about Zak Zakky and his sons that were murdered by our military for a procession).
I have a dilemma of which among my last two points to talk about first. Election of 2015 or our health sector and Ebola, because in my view they portend equal danger. Allow me to make a choice not based on priority here.
Our health sector has been in the news since almost every coup planner started using it as an excuse to intervene. “Our hospitals have now become mere consulting clinics” is the one I quickly remember. Yet I didn’t see any attempt by anybody to reposition this sector in terms of personnel training, equipments and consumables, better remunerations and farther reach of the hospitals. Health workers have literally worked with bare hands in this nation for ages, because they get blackmailed with the nature of their Job being for the good of the society, while some small percentage of the same society smile to the banks and fly first classes to vacations abroad. So many industrial actions have I recorded since independence from this sector, all addressing the same issues.
It was Mohammed Ali who said that a man who views the world at fifty the same way he viewed it at twenty, has wasted thirty years of his life. Could this be our situation? Could it be that we have wasted all fifty something years of our independent years?
Ebola! That virulent and unforgiving virus is here now. It has been in Africa since 1976. So not a new comer to us. It was first seen in Zaire Congo then Sudan, then Cote de ‘voire in 2004. Recently, last December, it appeared in Guinea. All this year since March/April, we’ve read in the news(which I assume our health ministry and other leaders read too) how it has been ravaging Liberia,Sierra Lone our next door neighbors. What did your country do in preparation for its eventual epidemic here? I will tell you. NOTHING!!!!
What did your country and her leaders do to tighten boarder security and screening, especially for travelers from that west African axis, to protect us the citizens (whom they swore to protect and whom they always do everything in their interest)? I will tell you. ZILCH!!!
And so Mr Sawyer, the bio-terrorist (my other conspiratorial mind, the one I usually tell you guys I’m tired of its workings, tells me he may be CIA self) comes in with love from Liberia, infecting any moving object including flies. What has your Govt done since then? I will tell you. Nothing! Nothing that can help contain the spread. Anyone who have seen the PPE (protective personnel equipment) worn by any care giver should please tell me). They even discharge Ebola patients and they know one keeps secreting Ebola up to 6 weeks after infection. Have we all seen quarantine sections for Ebola?
I don’t see any active plan or organization to contain and prevent the spread of Ebola anywhere.
But I see money (that sweet and aromatic curse of Nigeria yet again) being earmarked. I see a minister who blame shifts to cover his ineptitude and his lack of foresight to prepare for this danger that was knocking since last year. I see a minister who failed to dialogue and convince his mostly younger colleagues to return to work (because he had reneged and failed on an earlier promise and thus had lost their trust) trying to hold on to any straw he finds, by sacking a group of people he knows are the backbone of any health sector. I see him desperate because he may have to cut short his political ambitions because of his misplaced priority.
In the end 2015 becomes the leveler. Every action is directed towards that date. What you don’t get from the Govt now you may have to forego until after 2015. That’s the way we roll here. This piece is not for politics thus I won’t dwell on 2015.
But like I have said, may be it is time to believe that God has a plan for this country. The direction of the plan is what I fail to decipher. And thus I urge you to see who it is that you see- Alfas,GOs,pastors, Babalawos, diviners, sorcerers, Amadioha priests, Okija priests, Ogwugwummiri priests etc to help you decipher, because these are perilous times and the sky is not clear anymore.
Goodnight Nigeria! Good morning my people.