Our Elites Have Eluded Us By Karo Orovboni
It is no longer news and cannot be clearer that there is a wider divide between the elites and the ordinary Nigerian. The elites can afford to hop around the country in their private jets, while the ordinary Nigerian can hardly afford his daily bread.
I watched with disbelief what ensued at the Eagle square, Abuja on Saturday, the 31st of August, when the ruling PDP party had what they called a Special National Convention. According to reports, the city was virtually shut down. Some members of the PDP stormed out of the convention to form their own fractional New PDP party. To my greatest surprise, by Monday, the 2nd of September, a reconciliation meeting (with the Commander-in-chief of the armed forces in attendance) was already in progress. The Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after the meeting addressed the media saying, “I believe some of them have genuine grievances; but I have hope that once the grievances are addressed, they will come back. I am happy that the PDP has an internal mechanism for effective conflict resolution, and at the end of the day, the problems will be addressed and the PDP will come out of the crisis stronger.”
The speed at which the PDP called for reconciliation meeting tells you what their priorities are. ASUU is still on strike, months later. I still cannot fathom why on earth, two months and counting, universities are not in session and the government is sitting comfortably while tens of millions of young and eligible Nigerian students are sitting idle at home. In the words of Gilbert Chesterton, Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. But the elites do not care about that. No one can convince me to believe that a government that neglects education as this administration does means well for the nation.
You do not need a prophet to tell you that these elites do not care about you, all they care about is themselves, they do not care whether you are aggrieved, they only care about when their co-elites within the corridors of power are aggrieved. They do not care whether your children are in schools, their children are scattered in the best universities around the world. They can easily jet out of the country to receive proper medical attention; they do not care if you can receive such medical care in Nigeria. Their pregnant wives and children can travel abroad to deliver their babies, you stand a slim chance of surviving child birth complications in Nigerian hospitals.
If you think the PDP crisis or the members that broke out have the best interest of Nigerians at heart, then you are of all men laughable. Very soon, ‘Ghana must go’ bags will change hands amongst the elites, over bloated contracts will be signed and alas, we are back to ‘business as usual’. Your roads will still be impassable, hospitals are still ill-equipped, security of lives and properties is already history, three-square meal will still be a herculean task for millions of families, portable water is still in the wildest dreams of millions.
When the time for elections comes, they give you crumbs from the masters table in exchange for your vote; obfuscate you with mediocre oratory, you run around killing yourselves for them, but they have their ulterior motives.
They divide you along ethnic and religious lines, you fall for their antics by joining in to abuse the Northerners or Southerners, but when they get to their caucus meeting, these elites are all united (whether Northerner or Southerner) to share out of the ‘National cake’. They trick you to believe that a Northerner or a Southerner is your problem but that is a lie. Nigeria’s problem is not Northerners, nor Southerners, not Christians or Muslims; it is corruption in high places.
I will like to end with a quote that was evident on placards during the January 2012 Fuel subsidy protest, “One day, the poor will have nothing to eat but the rich”.
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