How Politicians Cause People’s Frustration With Their Teases By Odusote Oluwakayode
What is the biggest story of the moment? Attempted jail break by suspected terrorists at the “fortified” Directorate of State Department popularly called the “Yellow House” in Abuja.
The porch event of the moment? 100 Years of Nigeria’s unity tagged “Centenary Celebration”, no matter what some of you feel against the said unity, to the president, Nigeria’s 100 years is worth celebrating. In case you must have forgotten, it was during the period of champagne pumping that kids were slaughtered in their school by insurgents.
They were kids like Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani school pupil and education activist from Pakistan who was shot by the Taliban. These kids believed in the importance of education, a notion that negates those of the men who are blindly thirsty for blood in the northern part of Nigeria in the name of faith and against western education. Those innocent kids had visions of becoming doctors, lawyers, business administrators and not militants, kidnappers and insurgents. The only offence that sent some of them to their early grave was their belief in education. Unfortunately, the government never protected them – the centenary was paramount.
Annoying story of the moment? The Immigration recruitment saga! Now, unlike some developed countries where level of employment generation is monthly measured, what we are used to reading and listening to are news of misfortunes. Nigeria has a high rate of unemployment despite government’s vague boast of figures showing growth in the economy. Ironically, the said growth has not reduced poverty; neither has it created jobs or aided entrepreneurs. If the stories of growth are indeed true, the sad story of deaths of young Nigerian job seekers struggling to make a living with such determination and zeal would not have occurred in the first place.
Some of you may appear to be worried about what happens even before 2015, which party is going to win to take control of the nation’s central power. If my thoughts are true, then you should stop for a while. Think! Do we have the leadership capable of leading Nigeria out of its present predicament? What type of “air” will the president promise in his second-term agenda? Who’ll win in 2015? Who are the people to watch? Who will the people’s choice and not Jega’s choice be?
I must say that as corny as our politicians are, I’m always entertained their comic display. In fact, “entertained” may be too mild a word. I’m enthralled by it, mostly because when they fail, the tone of campaign still remains the same. No remorse; no shame and they will still boast of achieving the first in the history of the nation.
The profound failures in meeting up with promises – teases and the desire by the people to celebrate such failures are surprisingly alarming. We pretend that all is well and treat failed politicians like God sent who have accomplished giant strides in the game of politics. We forget to demand stewardship. We fail to remember that we taxes are being paid – part of the resource expectedly generated to provide good amenities that we hugely lack.
We forget to question policies made. We fail to discern that every life hangs in the balance of the decisions made or not made by those in positions of authority. They are just quick to tender excuses for failure while the gullible and marginalized masses accept a fate.
What has been the reward of the deaths of many innocent Nigerians in the hands of the Boko Haram insurgents? Sympathies to the families of the bereaved with monetary gifts as a palliative for the loss- unfortunately, that does not remind them of the need to correct the system.
Our politicians bend in the presence of power. They believe that seeking after political power gives you everything – fame, influence and money. They have totally forgotten that it is the people who elected them that possess power.
I think our politicians and leaders alike have to think deeply from the tragedies befalling the nation, they are not natural tragedies, they are man-made. If the statistics of unemployment soars; kidnapping, rape, robberies, insurgency, tribal and religious clashes and militancy will just be the tip of an iceberg to the near law less state the nation may be driven to. The level of frustration is high.
The attempted jail break by some insurgents at the DSS head quarters – that is, if the report so painted to the public is not fabricated – is a dangerous signal which indicates that the system of government and its security is porous. Instead of running away from our shadows just as Rudolf Okonkwo succinctly put, we need to confront our failures and put things right.
Whilst some politicians and elites collaborators of corruption incorporated fly in jets, flaunt flashy cars and amass state funds; they need to realize that such acts work against the greater good of the nation. The essence of governance is an overwhelming need to see others treated fairly and dealt with honestly.
Our national state should not be left to fate, regardless of their politics, the vast majority of the people need to speak and act of their own accord and not in concert with a group driven by blind sentiment and stipends that meets only immediate thirst for money.
Nigerians are hard working irrespective of the hardship being faced, they are happy people who take their burdens to places of worship, they are prayerful and celebrate the little they have while hoping the almighty will touch the hearts of leaders for good, they are patient while struggling to get a bit from their sweats, they are simply real in accommodating their fate. Unfortunately, their simplicity is most often taken for stupidity and the story of teases by government has always remained the same.
The surge of government’s carelessness is heavy and what should not be allowed to further set in before corrections are sought is what had so far given birth to the most dangerous Boko Haram insurgency – Frustration.
Sam Omatseye wrote that “…they say they are giving us subsidy on petrol, the price goes up. They say they are giving us subsidy on kerosene, we don’t see the product. If they do roads, schools, and hospitals we don’t enjoy, why should we enjoy subsidies executed on our behalf? All these they do on our behalf led to the mass hysteria over jobs last week. They are our time bomb, and our political leaders must do something before the kidnappings, Boko Harams, militancy take new dimensions around the country.
He simply wrote about the frustrations in the minds of the people. They talk about it in small groups and meetings. It took just an individual’s sacrifice of suicide for Tunisia to demand a change. Such gatherings of complainants may be small now but the massive turn out of a protest someday may be overwhelming and daring for the politicians and government to handle.
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