Nigerians Just Hoping On Emptiness, By A.S.M. Jimoh
Nigerians and Nigeria are two wonderful objects that defy nature. While Nigeria represents all that make a country to be successful, yet it remains a failed state. People who are less harsh say failing state. Nigerians on the other hands represents a people who are supposed to be thoroughly angry with their rulers but they never get angry. They have one reason or the other why a ruler should be. It is either he/she is a Muslim, Christian, first PhD holder to rule us, a minority tribe or a pilot! Ridiculous you may say, but that are Nigerians yardstick for selecting their leader. To add to the odd is that Nigerians are people who hope in things where there is no single hope.
When Nigerian were hoping, and are still hoping, on the current army and her Commander-in-Chicken, sorry, Commander-in-Chief, President Goodluck Jonathan to rescue our abducted sisters, I conclude that Nigerians have not really gotten the message of history. And anyone who pays no attention to history will remain a perpetual failure. This is the essence of literature review in academic research. You review literature to see what others have done or have not done. From there you would know where to start and what need not repeated. But Nigerians continue to do same thing over and over again but they want to get different result. It is like continuously mixing water with salt while you desire a sugar solution. It is only a people with funny sort of hoping that can be this optimistic of getting sugar from salt.
While our Army may have the men to fight, it lacks the necessary motivation to fight a war. Its obsolete equipment is not even enough. Corruption has taken its toll on the Army. How can an Army from whom you cannot differentiate its top Generals from a 9-month pregnant woman fight a war? In an attempt to even wage propaganda war with BokoHaram, you see white lies and inconsistency whenever the Army spokespersons speak. The other day when our Army wanted to demonstrate us they have cleared the Sambisa forest of BokoHaram, their strongest evidence to convince all of us the doubting Thomas were the number of condoms they saw. Then I knew that our army could not even win a propaganda war. In such operation, what one expects to hear and see are number of militants killed or caught, their weapons seized and even showed us that they had taken over the command of the forest, but not spent condoms.
How can Nigeria be hoping on a C-in-C who paid ransom to have his foster father released by kidnappers in the country he governs. Chai! Is this statement not clear and loud enough that the C-in-C himself is useless. So, is this the C-in-C someone should be hoping on to protect him or her. However, Nigerians still believe in him because our level of hoping has no limit.
Obasanjo is another bad president but this level of low cannot be his potion. I remember between 2002 and 2003 when a car snatching syndicate was operating freely in the southwest of Nigeria. It was believed most of the cars they stole were transported to their leader, one Amani Tidjani, residing in Benin. For all the time they operated, the Nigeria security claimed the syndicate was too powerful to be dislodged. However, the day they stole Iyabo Obasanjo’s car in 2003 was when they last existed. The then President Obasanjo threatened his Benin counterpart, President Mathieu Kérékou, closed the border with Benin and in a matter of day, Amani Tidjani was arrested, tried and was promptly sent to Kirikiri prison to languish. He was said to have died in Kirikiri prison in January 2014. The point here is not that the President’s family security should bring the best out of our security operatives, but how do you entrust your safety to a C-in-C who cannot even protect himself.
In another case, Asari had been a boisterous nuisance since when he appeared in 2004 with his fake appellation of a Mujahideen-one who strives in a just course. While he made all his noises, Obasanjo allowed him to live in his air of self-importance. By September of 2005, Obasanjo arrested him. He remained in the gulag until the Late President Umaru Yar’adua released him in June 2014 under the amnesty scheme. Today, that fool even boasts that Nigeria will become a history if he is arrested. Only in a Nigeria where Jonathan is C-in-C
Then why would Nigeria not be a land of wonder when people continue to talk about peaceful revolution even in the face of government harassment. This is the most anomalous combination of noun-adjective relation that I have ever seen, because I tried to look into history there is no revolution that had been peaceful. Please show me one. Even in recent history, from Cuba to Iran, Tunisia to Egypt, etc. While those who want change may want to proceed peacefully, the dictator and oppressor will deploy all his brutality. People who want a change always prepare for any eventuality but not singing the hymn of peaceful revolution as we see in Nigeria every day. There is this wise saying which literally translates that when you chase a dog to a wall, it turns back to fight. But when Nigeria’s oppressing ruling class drives them to a wall, Nigerians would want to penetrate through because they see hope at the other side of the wall which is not even in view.
The hope of a country is her youthful population, especially the supposedly educated ones. Then how hopeful can someone be on a country whose millions of youth were invited for job interview, but what they got instead were deaths and injuries, yet they returned home without asking question hoping that Abba Moro would called them again for another job test.
Things were not this bad when I questioned the level of hope Nigerians have on the current arrangement that has Jonathan as a President to bring about change. I also scrutinize the hope of Nigerians hoping that a state would progress where the likes of Ibrahim Idris, James Ibori, Alao Akala, Lucky Igbinedion, etc were once governors. The links to that piece are here:
While people have the right to hope limitlessly, for me, I put my hope on suspension for now for Nigeria because my optimism is always based on certain parameters. How can I be hoping on a country of over 160 million people where over 200 girls were kidnapped, yet only a few hundreds courageous men and women have kept on asking about the missing girls. As I read elsewhere, in Mexico, thousands of women organized a #BringBackOurGirls campaign. This is simply a case of crying more than the bereaved. People who are supposed to be in the forefront are those claiming no girl is missing. Their current pretense is of no consequence.
The simplest fact is that Nigerians are not yet ready for change. For that, whatever leader we have now, we rightly deserve them while we continue to hope that one day we will wake and see that everything has changed. A people of There is God o!
A.S.M Jimoh. (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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