Why Are We This Mad? By Nathaniel Amroboraro,
Enjoying the beautiful weather yesterday’s evening; I decided to take some time out, reflecting on the happenings in Nigeria in the past few years, and our response to these.
We live in a country in which a person who stole a telephone worth N13,000 is sentenced to seventeen years imprisonment, whereas Mr. Yakubu Yusufu who stole N23 billion from Police Pension Fund was sentenced to a two-year jail term on each of the count charges with an option of paying a paltry fine of 750,000 naira; a sum promptly paid by the convict, to regain his freedom.
What happens to the helpless pensioner whose only hope has been stolen?
Stella Oduah ordered the illegal purchase of two armored cars at an inflated rate of N255milion. We were told of the probe, but what punishments have been meted out to her to deter others from such acts?
I want to believe we have not all forgotten about the $20billion missing funds. Is it that $20billion has become as small as a pin that since it fell down in CBN, the search for it has still been on?
Reports from the Delta State Government claim that Nigeria loses N640million daily to oil theft. The question is; who are the oil thieves? Think no far, they are the same set of ruling elites who come out to say what they secretly stole at night, is now missing at dawn.
Only 47 out of the 990,179 students who sat for the just concluded JAMB exams scored above 250. This tells of the level of decadence in our education sector. Yet, a whole lot is been embezzled and all we do is sit down and watch.
UNESCO reports tell that Nigeria tops the table of 12 countries with the highest population of out-of-school children, having about 10.5 million children out of school, which is 47% of the total number globally. That is double the population of Singapore and 60% the population of Chile. I pray tomorrow, we do not beg these ones to shun violence and accept amnesty.
The Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics have been on strike for ten months, and the National Assembly has just decided to come into the issue. I dare to ask, where have they been all these months? Please, we should not blame any of these ones, if they add to the menace in the society.
The government is simply using the uninformed majority against the informed few. An instance is the protest that held in Abuja during the 2013 ASUU strike, where the association of market women protested against ASUU. The question is who amongst them can afford sponsoring a ward to Lagos State University (LASU)? These people, due to poverty and ignorance, have been bought over. Hence they are blindfolded to the evils been wroth constantly by the present administration.
We are in a country where ex-militants have more allocation than the Police and the Army in the 2014 budget. This is simply a way of encouraging youths to pick up arms, and then accept amnesty, rather than going to school and spending months at home for strikes.
Asari Dokubo, leader of Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF) claimed at a stage in his life, to be fighting the cause of the people. But what we have today is the same man, who now owns a University in Benin Republic, two football academies, a refinery, and chains of supermarkets. I am not saying it has now become an offence to be wealthy or industrious. But how did he acquire such within the limited period? Do not think much, here is it. He has simply succeeded in diverting the money meant for the development of the Niger Delta, for personal benefit, while using the administration of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, as his shield.
The careless statements of this fellow are not also out of place. He has always stated his position that if Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is not returned as the president after the 2015 general elections, irrespective of the will of the electorates via their votes that he would ensure that there is blood on the streets of the country.
I am not surprised of the reason why the SSS and other security agencies have not flung around him, certainly, he who pays the piper (the presidency), dictates its tune, but my surprise is why the House of Assemblies have also been mute.
Another is that of Tompolo (former Niger-Delta militant warlord), who some months ago, acquired a private jet. Mind you, he was never a secondary school student. And there you are, saying lecturers should not go on strike for wages unpaid.
When General Babangida assumed office in 1985, he said, “The youths are the future of this Nation.” Twenty-nine years later, this same person is still vying the office of the presidency. My question is, “when then is the future?”, because a youth of let us say eighteen years then, has now become a man of forty-seven, yet, is still waiting “for the future”.
Japheth Omojuwa, Uche Briggs, and Azeenarh were arrested and brutalized by men of the SSS and NSCDC, for daring to protest against the death of seventeen youths, four pregnant women inclusive, in the NIS immigration job test.
Japheth Omojuwa and some others led a protest to the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro’s house, offering him multiple caskets for the deceased, while painting the premises with red, signifying the gruesome murder of young promising Nigerians, caused by the carelessness and greed of the Minister in a fraudulent job recruitment test.
Reports from omojuwa.com state that this same incident occurred in 2008 in which 20 people died. Abba Moro was also warned by the board of immigrations to postpone the recent exercise so as to prepare adequately and avoid casualties but he refused. He also insisted on awarding the contract to Drexel Technologies LTD, a company that was incapable of crowd management, simply because he had some ties with the management of the company.
The SSS headquarters was recently attacked by Boko Haram. The bullet exchange lasted for about two hours with the Army coming in to assist their colleagues- and we were told, though I do not believe, that 19 members of the Sect died, while the ‘brave’ members of the armed forces lost no life.
An issue worthy of mention here is the unjust and cruel maltreatment of the man who tweeted the SSS/Boko Haram incident, Mr. Yusuf Onimisi Siyaka by the men of the SSS.
The brutality of the SSS and Police on citizens, rather than these elements, is so baffling. Why should they be always ‘at alert’ when students and other Nigerians are holding peaceful protests, yet, seem unable to tame these elements?
On the missing Chibok school girls, I sense something fishy going on. Reports reaching us claim that WAEC originally declined to hold exams there but the governor gave them assurances that security would be provided. Why did he not keep to his own side of the bargain?
And recently, the first lady ordered the arrest of Naomi Mutah Nyadah and Ndirpaya for leading the ‘bring back our girls’ protest in Abuja.
Is the government not ashamed that it has failed in its duty of protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians? Is this not the same police that has failed to track down Boko Haram over the years?
By the way, what right has the ‘First Lady’ to order the arrest of anyone, since there is no provision for the office of the ‘First Lady’ in the 1999 constitution?
All these in one country, yet the citizens still feel comfortable, some busy praying that God intervenes, or better still, that Boko Haram does not get to them and theirs, others busy looting and myself merely making some non-profitable noise with my pen. But the question still remains unanswered-“why are we this mad?”
Nathaniel Amroboraro, 200 level, English Language, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. email@example.com.
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