OPINION

The Crisis Within A Nation That Is In Conflict Of Competition With Itself By Jimi Bickersteth

The gap between the”no crisis,” between a Senate, bitten by the anti corruption bug as they get rough-and-tumble,creating a boiling cauldron, daring the Executive;spoiling for confrontation, and unbecoming in its use of uncouth language, as it  cast aspersions on the person of a minister and by inference, the people and their president.The Yorubas will say “Kí ló kù ,léhìin yíó bà ìyáà e”,-once vanity is raised one should expect the gauntlet to be raised.

Aso rock from the look of things,  appears to smother things,could be a mind game or politics, but going by what our egbon and my boss ,the Hon minister of information said, about”no crisis”,not only draws a wide grin but also multiple thumbs down. The spark, one of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood otherwise, there will be no love lost no love found. But with the zero-tolerance of Aso rock, that is not allowing any inch of space for any flaws at all,the stage appears set for a conflict of resolution.

The nation’s been plodding on through life with blinkers on.The truth and the fact is that the nation is competing against a battalion of buffed-up hunks at its legislative chambers looking good enough to turn the nation upside down;and watching these ‘poor guys’ with their scrawny and punchy figures and oddly distributed body compete for a nation and its president, is clearly out of their league, depth and grasp.

Yet, they expect the Cassius Clay taunts to engender sympathy in the people,most of whom at the risk of sounding rather brut-al are sweating like they’re out there in a Turkish prison. The nation has lined up behind its president. Nigerians want to hawk on the floor at this ‘good’ way to distract Mr president. The mirror is good but too many people have a warped view.

The NASS is overstating its abilities and overselling itself, but should note that Nigerians are experienced and perceptive people, they’re getting bored already and will spot the boasting.  ‘Why can’t the nation see us?” our poor heroes seem to be saying. To which I might respond,’Why can’t you skip amendments for a freaking change. ‘ All of these average Jones become masters of self-delusion :simply because they are reverred honourables,they consider themselves worthy of our affections. In a way,they’re perfect representatives of the Nigerian people and could contribute to society, without threats, threat so condescending and emasculating. You think riding the executive hard is actually more polite than be polite.

Every one of us wants to be considered above average. But we’re not. We are a generation most of whom have escaped the hardships of the military, where they have beat our egos to submission. We are out growing the permissiveness, and the nation is saying to the lawmakers spoiling for immunity clause, that it is one thing to break rules and extant laws because you don’t know any better. Quite another to scoff at regulations of which you are fully aware. Know that you know them, and feel free to break them. If it works, it works. Stylish and smart men never get hung up on a bunch of rules,go defend this thistle.

In between the steaming relationship between the Senate and Aso rock, is a nation who was with them at their lowest and still with them when they were both looking not very lovable, and for this teeming mass of people,it is appearing as if it is better to leave the relationship broken than either side of the divide hurting itself to fix it, and especially now that the fire has gone out of the Senate ,because of the compromise of integrity.

If the nation must rise from the ashes of yesterday’s maladministration,and a nation that could be likened to a bird with iridescent feathers, displaying a spectrum of colours that shimmer and change due to interference and scattering as the participants and stakeholders and observers changes, there must as of necessity be a tug of war, not of  armed struggle or attrition, but one of an alliance forged in the crucible of war and on the table of democracy, ojú bòrò ò gbomo lówó
Èkùró-figuratively,no faint heart wins a fair lady.

The president’s health challenges,{never mind, he has wilfully challenged any of us to a bout of wrestling, and he sounds like he’ll win the contest,} in this season of “Change” has portrayed what the system have made of our institutions, and one hopes that the past state governors, now senators and some in the president’s cabinet, are watching the decay they have bequeathed on the nation, in the failure, neglect and negligence in developing our hospitals and medicare practices and in fact all facets of our national life, psyche and character in revolutionary ways that should have shaped the course of health sciences, corporeal needs and health care delivery right down to the next generation.

Whether the president’s ailments necessitates that extensive treatment or was it borne out of sheer force of habit and simply a gold standard, as we ship our leaders  abroad and turned them to medical tourists, to receive “quality” medical care, often at a fraction of the price they would have to pay at home and what their conditions of service stipulates is a matter of conjecture and commentary for another day.

But back to the present. When the people voted”Change,”the big call is for PMB to turn all the past, with its sad hours,weakness, stupidity and shallowness of thought, its wasted opportunities as light in confidence and hope upon the future. To turn it all in fuller truth and light, light literally and figuratively, so as to make each trifle of this present a new past;it will be joy to look back to;each trifle a grander, nobler and more perfect preparation for the future.
The president should uncommons the house, even as he assumes more air of authority, {notice the difference between that and dictatorship, }if he wants to get anything done. It’s far better, if he takes the initiative,be circumspect and take full responsibility for his outlook. This will put him in control and will empower him to do something,even as he continues to work to display humility, insight, patience, it’s worth it. As he inspires the people and make them passionate about fulfilling dreams.

Although so far so good PMB is reacting to the numerous crisis with characteristic sang-froid, that has enabled him simmer and calm the heat in the polity, and complementary therapies to the damage control ,conflict and crisis management maturity of the information minister,even as he for all its worth confirms that there is no crisis. The present and the future we can make from it, is ours, the past has gone back,with all its messages, all its records to the people who loaned you this golden moments.

PMB should note that happiness is the greatest paradox in nature, it can grow in any soil, live under any conditions, it defies environment. Happiness may coexist with poverty, suffering and sorrow, and consists not  of having but of being,not of possessing, but of enjoying. Of the people enjoying the fruits of their labour and eating of the good,the goodness and food of the land.

But what we have today because of the state of hopeless helplessness, is contented spirit masquerading as a greatly overrated virtue. It is a kind of diluted despair;it is the feeling with which the nation continues to accept substitute,without striving for the realities of the great circuses all around us;making trained individuals swallow vinegar and try to smack lips as if it were wine. A mental and moral chloroform that deaden the activities of the individuals to rise to higher planes of life and growth-a death knell to the people’s peace,progress and wellbeing.

The Nigeria nation confronted with the daemons of statehood and the dilemma of federalism, should no more be contented with anything less than the best efforts of its leaders can possibly secure for it. The nation could only be contented with each step of progress under PMB merely as a station, discontented with it as a destination. The nation should merely be contented with what he has,but never with what we are .

The ability to change is critical to success, however, change really does worry people, as things tend to go bad before they get better. There was a survey of 1999 people where their greatest fear was not death{that came about 5th on the list}, but change. Change is the most frightening word in the English language for most people. The key is for government to through an agency or directorate of change with the mandate to redirect the fear of change into a new adventure,

The tension gripping all of our ‘polithievecians,’ ‘legislatheives’ and ‘executhieves’ on account of the change regimen is understandable,in this power must change hand era. They are bound to loose their hold on power. There is the power of change-change brings power with it . Change is the lesson of our age, and we have to learn to anticipate change either as leaders or the led or from the position of disadvantage or advantage and move with it.

Although certain core values certainly do not change;gravity says what goes up must come down. However, the wind is constantly moving and changing without which Man cannot live. The same with the sea, with its tides and currents, so the birds, animals and fish all adapt to suit. The creative intelligence has designed the phenomenon change as the only thing that is permanent in nature, it was not PMB or APC.

But the NASS and PMB do not need to change the world to improve our lives, wasted efforts that would be. If only they will improve on living conditions, good health care system, good housing scheme, qualitative education producing employable graduates and entrepreneurs. Improve agricultural policies that would lead to increase and improved yields in food production,the people would be better off and so would the nation.

The people have heard and seen enough and suffered from the surfeit of classical ‘May Your Roads Be Rough,’that they desire leaders who are sufficiently motivated themselves to be able to turn problems into possibilities. This tough times can teach us to grow,to learn and to overcome overwhelming odds and to get back on the path to progress.

On this score, it has become imperative to recover all the loots and filthy lucre at home, be it in soakaway, abandoned landed property or and abroad. There is no victory at bargain prices,leaders are just to learn that apart from being firm,  strong and thorough,they need to further deepen their appreciation of their responsiveness to enhance their performance.

The nation and PMB in particular should not be disillusioned nor despair, with all the goings on . Timbers that are firm do not warp, literally in yoruba ,”Ako igi ò gbodò soje” ,twist or pull apart under pressure,the strength of timber lies in a tightly woven grain. The frigid winds of those perpetrators of illegality and faux pas and looters and padding, may at times whip up choppy waves and distraction.;it is the duty of the government to garner people into the mode that the road to success is always under construction, even as they demolished the augean stable of graft, fleece and corruption.

It would enable the people to change from a life and feeling of misguided action they have been subjected to as violent storms release their fury on sailors traversing the sea to one of purpose and hope. This being the case, intelligence, honesty and transparency should continue to be the leaders oars and centrepiece of their purview, as they attempt to minimise the sad countenance, tension and oppression of most vulnerable. A nation can only be blessed only if its leaders treat the lowly and the poor with kindness and consideration;ever wondered how the USA, UK, France and Germany lately Japan and Korea and China remains blessed even with their colossal investment in capital expenditures and monumental debts. #
Jimi Bickersteth
Jimi Bickersteth is a super blogger and writer.
He can be reached on Twitter
@bickerstethjimi
@alabaemanuel

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