The Real Problem With Nigeria: Where Reno Omokri Erred By Jude Feranmi
After I read your piece, I decided to reserve my comments and then proceeded to your tweets. After reading those too, I created through my imagination and the facts that I had with me a likely job description that must have been handed over to you when you resumed work. I am starting to have the impression that President GEJ must really possess some reasonable level of choleric content; something that will look like, ‘You do your job, or you get fired’. I am still yet to read your book which I think would try to convince me that you are a man of God! I really look forward to that experience.
Now, my rejoinder begins.
“The voice of the people is the voice of God.” I want to assume this quote is not alien to you as you got a political office in a DEMOCRATIC setting. For the point of emphasis, this is DEMOCRACY and what people think matter a lot. If we think our problem is leadership and you think it’s not or if we think our problem is corruption and our president thinks it’s not, Then I think it is the duty of the leaders who supposedly sees the problem as it is from a closer perspective to enlighten the ‘led’ as to what exactly the problem is which I think you tried to do in your piece. However, a sizeable chunk of us ,the ‘led’ are ‘educated’ in the real sense of the word and we wouldn’t take a line of inconsistent and fallacious arguments as good enough in trying to convince us as to what exactly the problem is in Nigeria.
Your piece did not comprehensively say exactly what the problem is in Nigeria except that we should go back to 1966, which looks like an abstract solution to me especially in an age where time travel is still being researched. Oh! I read that part where you said
“ I propose that our problem in Nigeria is that we lack a sense of history and we live only in the present moment which means that we are always reacting and hardly ever pro-acting”
It just doesn’t seem to me as a problem, maybe more of an observation. So, I concluded that you set out to do one thing which was obvious from the scratch: “beg us to stop talking about GEJ’s woes” which I think is your job description and which I also think would not cease to happen except we transit to a fascist form of government. Again, I say, this is DEMOCRACY. Your article identifies our problem in Nigeria as the mentality of having to believe that ‘where you come from is much more important that what is in your head or the solution you have to offer’ as opposed to your quote above and this you carefully highlighted by your story of an average post-1966 civil servant would have experienced since the age of nine till he was 30 and then you carefully justified why he would be corrupt. Even though that would have qualified as a good enough job, it failed to explain why not going back to 1966 was the major problem of this average Nigerian you talked about.
Whatever happened to this average Nigerian, like you carefully highlighted with scattered references, started in 1966 and it remains till today. “The government of the day” has done things that have never been done since this 1966 or 1982 when they commissioned a project that was initiated in 1978 and you mentioned an August 2010 date. Whatever happened to focusing on the present and leaving history which you said was our problem. You ended up comparing the last three years and the last 47 years! That I would say is “WOWsome”! Permit my use of words. You might want to find out where Brazil, india, Indonesia and those you mentioned were in the last 47 years, where they are now and compare. Nobody said Nigeria’s woes started during GEJ’s administration and nobody is saying it didn’t start in 1966 as you mentioned, The question is what are you doing about it. When I switched on my TV to find NTAi show the commissioning of the 434MW plant in Geregu II, it was at least good enough news for the week before the plane crash returned us back to normalcy.
Less I get distracted, The problem you should have highlighted, which I expect President Goodluck Jonathan and his team to be trying to solve if we decide to follow your story is “what happened in 1966 that caused the change of events, the change of mentality, the change of the system, from what it was to what it became” I think I now have an idea of why exactly Nigeria is the way it is now. The GEJ led administration doesn’t even know what problem to solve. If we were headed for Canaan land before and we suddenly find ourselves on the path to the land of the Amalekites, then something must have gone wrong. If you have been able to identify when it went wrong as 1966, Excellent!! But we must also find what changed.
I’ll leave you to do your research. But, if in the case that you have been blindfolded by the prejudices of working with GEJ, permit me to leave you a clue. Study the crop of leaders we had pre-1966, their motivations, their manifestations, the results they produced and that of leaders of the post-1966 era. It will save you a lot of time. I now agree however, with the President’s resolve that corruption is not our problem, Of course, corruption is not our problem as corruption in itself is a noun. Corruption doesn’t fly in the air and and it’s not a disease like malaria that we can’t do without, it’s in fact not abstract. It is some people that are corrupt and those people SINCE 1966, Reno and my people, are the problem of this country and it so happens to be All of US. Leaders first, followers second.
Say me Hi to your 5 year old son. I hope he grows up to find a Nigeria that’s a better place for him to live and not a Nigeria you helped draw backward because of your lack of admittance as to what the problem is.
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