Nigeria On The Cusp Of Epochal Glycogenesis By Ayobami Oyalowo
Nigeria went down into the abyss of despair, hope became a forlorn exercise in futility. Terrorism and insurgency ravaged our land like wildfire. Women, children, the old and the young became preys and targets. Life in Nigeria had degenerated into the Hobbesian circus of that which is so short, nasty and brutish.
The Nigerian economy was touted as the largest in Africa but the country is also home to millions of poor folks living on less than two dollars a day. Over 10 million children of primary school age currently out of school. Universities and Polytechnic students spend more time on forced, strike-induced holidays than they spend on their various campuses.
A huge population of Nigerian youths are either unemployed or underemployed. Transformation agenda messages were daily blared on radios and television sets, but such agendas were only heard on air but nobody can point at anything transformational in their daily existence. Food became plenty and inflation was minimal but we could only see and hear about it all on radio, TV and newspaper pages. Hunger, starvation and hopelessness assailed the people as if they were related.
At the height of the oil boom, our government officials became rich and fat at the expense of the people they purportedly serve.
Private jets littered our skies while the bulk of the people were left to struggle with decrepit commercials planes that were not only old and in bad shape, but are also poorly managed with most canceling and rescheduling flights at the drop of a hat to the detriment of travelers who continually miss business appointments and valuable time waiting endlessly for flights that were simply unavailable.
Nigeria was on a brink…
Then cometh the hour, cometh the man. General Muhamamdu Buhari, a man once touted as a serial loser and perpetually unelectable breezed into the scene.
This gap toothed retired army general was not new to the Nigerian political landscape but the time was ripe for a change.
The ruling oligarch were too blinded in their delusion to see the pains and agony of the ordinary people. They underrated the resolve of the commoners who had all made their minds up and taken their destinies into their own hands.
The elites were adamant in their resolves to force their way back in, using a most familiar route of rigging but Nigerians were ready to defend their votes. Elections were postponed and scaremongering became the order of the day. Damaging adverts and irresponsible documentaries started appearing left, right and center. Some media houses lost every commonsense and joined in the melee. Dollar started to rain like it was going out of fashion.
In all these the commitment of the masses was unwavering. Religious and ethnic card, their usual trump card, was thrown into the ring, certificates went missing but Nigerians were going to vote even if bread wrappings were all they could find instead of school certificates.
Card readers and PVC that ordinarily ought to aid the electoral process suddenly became subjects of discourse. The erstwhile ruling party would have none of it. But the ordinary Nigerians stood steadfast, unwavering in their quests to bring about change.
The elections were eventually held amidst lots of apprehensions. At the tail end of concluding the process of collation and declaration of result, the last dice was thrown-in, in the form of an unblushing ex-minister Orubebe. But Jega was ice cool…the rest, as they say, is history.
Today the presidency of the federal republic of Nigeria finally change hands from the former President Jonathan to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigeria has many reason to celebrate yet we must be circumspect in our ways. Many states are yet to pay the salary of civil servants, we have a huge debt stock of over $60 billion dollars, our external reserves is at a low ebb while the budget deficit of over N3 trillion is a huge challenge for our dear country.
The incoming new administration of Muhammadu Buhari won’t be a cake walk, neither a tea party but with a steadfast focus and responsible prudence, we may yet get it right.
We asked for a change and we got the change, now is not the time to gloat and boast, the government must hit the ground running. But as a people we must also support and give the government some time to show they are the change we want. While we must also realise that we must be the change we want.
It can’t work like magic but with sincerity and honesty from the government, plus cooperation from the governed, Nigeria stands a chance to stabilise, to proceed on a journey of true development and finally reassert ourselves as the true leader and giant of Africa.
It will not be a walk in the park but Muhammadu Buhari and his vice, Yemi Osinbajo are well poised to lay a foundation for true growth for Nigeria.
I am @Ayourb on twitter