Can APC Be The Father Christmas Of Our Time? By Shomoye Abiodun
One of the unforgettable periods as a living human remains my days as a primary school student. Definitely this remarkable period isn’t the examination time, neither is it pre-or-post examination period nor holiday period (I know you’re wondering when it is). While it was fun to me, to some of my school mates then, this period is usually the scariest days in their lives, a period when parents are seen as “rebels”, you know why?! This is the period parents will willingly hand over their wards to a “masquerade” with big belly but lots of give away at disposal.
What we as infants saw as a masquerade back then is a generous mankind (with profit at his back of mind) generally known as father Christmas who only show up during the Christmas season to put smile on the faces of people but not as his/her detriment because you must pay before you enter.
I sincerely doubt if there is still much celebration of Father Christmas in today’s Nigeria compare to what I experienced in the mid-2000. Mid 2000 to present day is more than a decade and I ask; was my remembrance of Father Christmas after 10 years a natural occurrence? Absolutely, No! Something must trigger an action, APC’s social welfare package actually triggered my remembrance of Father Christmas, the smart prodigal son.
Sincerely, I think it is time for us to be truthful to ourselves, the fact that APC inherited a well planted disaster should not be subjected to further arguments, what we should be arguing on is; how APC won’t add more salts to the wound.
The Nigeria that was handed over to APC was a sick one that requires serious medical, psychological and in fact metaphysical approaches to cure. With the decisions so far, especially the social welfare package, from my perspective, APC seems to be suggesting subsiding drugs (whose after effect might add more to our problems) to our country’s illnesses and not the much needed cure.
One of the sadly numerous illnesses Nigeria is seriously battling with currently is mass unemployment which painfully leaves no age bracket behind. This definitely must be top priority of any sensible and rational government. Happily APC looks sensible but to what extent are they?
The idea of the social welfare package looks like a profligate decision from the government to the masses. Federal government is simply saying; “dear masses, there is a five hundred billion naira we are not using, accept our kind gesture and register for your share”. Apparently, Nigeria is now like the big bellied Father Christmas but something differentiates them; Nigeria’s belly is filled with challenges that needs funds to solve and can’t afford to spend without calculation. Though, Nigeria is currently on the mission to begin her own “giveaway” but she seems to have forgotten Father Christmas never did his own giveaway at his detriment.
The social welfare package patent belongs to APC, a good idea to some populace but before we celebrate this approach beyond rational reasoning, let me ask; have we forgotten Nigeria runs a democratic system? Have we also forgotten APC won’t be there forever? What will then happen if a new political party takes over the space and decides to say no to social welfare package?
Pathetically, at the moment, the best relieving approach to unemployment from APC is social welfare package and I sincerely doubt if the party really studied the causes of mass unemployment in the land before taking such Paleolithic decision. The social welfare currently targets majorly the extremely poor Nigerians, a study population no agency can give a close to accurate statistics about. I actually hope when the disbursement starts, the already wealthy Nigerians in position of power won’t hijack it. Be as it may, the fact that APC saw no reason to invest such huge amount in making agriculture or other sector attractive shows how outdated the ruling party is. A forward looking government would never have preferred giving her populace fishes to eat ahead of cleaning the ocean to enable the populace fish for themselves. Unfortunately, our ruling party is running on the outdated version of socialism software, hence they must embrace Fayose’s stomach infrastructure. The only difference is; president Buhari can’t cover Nigeria to share food items and to substitute that is disbursement of cash equivalent, what a pity for my dear country.
Below is my presumed excerpt of conversation between APC decision maker and an out of school Nigerian kid:
APC: hey kid, why are you not in school?
Kid: I haven’t eaten, no books, no chairs and tables and the school is leaking.
APC: Don’t worry, we will give you free food in schools, now you can go to school.
From the conversation above, APC addressed the food aspect but left out the much needed infrastructure to make learning conducive and attractive to students. Kaduna state government being an APC led state, has launched her own free mill program in public schools and it has become a mockery as students are said to be returning back to their homes after taking the free meal. Now that Federal APC is yet to fully implement the free meal package, I hope steps will be taking to avoid “eat and go home”. In an approach to avoid that, Federal government should equip schools with latest textbooks, rehabilitate dilapidated schools and if possible provide media learning approach, even if it will be at the detriment of free meal package.
Governing is not a rocket science, if APC really wants the party’s era to be written in the book of positive history, I advise the party to focus mainly on establishing structures and institutions. Structures and institutions lasts, appointing 500,000 teachers without structures and institutions to accommodate them will later amount to underutilization of labors which we can directly understand its effect if we take a vivid look at our local government sectariats and ministries. God bless Nigeria!!!
@MrShomoye on twitter.