By Lolu Akinwunmi
It’s got nothing to do with this government. To blame this government totally will amount to scapegoatism. Our leaders have never cared about Nigerians. Utterly selfish. Now we see the repercussion!
Everywhere you look, and for many years, people who should serve and build people are being served and are weakening the people. It’s embarrassing what leaders do with resources. What they earn. Leakages. Wastage. All. Inevitably this has produced intensely poor people.
What happened in the last three weeks was inevitable. And I am surprised that we are surprised. And let’s perish all these tribal sentiments of some people trying to destroy some people. Yoruba assets are not restricted to Lagos. And for many other non Yoruba people they have their major assets in the South and in Lagos. Aliko is Hausa. His biggest investment is in Lagos. It could have been attacked if it was in central Lagos.
Indeed as I write, massive destruction is going on in Calabar and other states. They are not Yoruba states. Household items and food are being carted away. The people are simply revolting.
This is a wake up call. A trillion Naira in destruction in three weeks? Casualties. All. Thankfully it looks like we have been pulled from the brink. Just.
Let every leader go back into your conscience. National and State Assemblies. Is what you are earning morally justified in a country like this? What values are you bringing to the people? The Executives. Are you using the people’s resources judiciously? Responsibly? Even Local Governments? Are you touching the people?
Clergy. Pastors. Imams. Are you speaking the truth to the authorities in boldness as we read in your holy books? Are you playing your role or gate keepers? Or have you like Esau sold your souls and the people for a mess of pottage?
Private sectors. Banks. No financial crime can be completed without your involvement. Many of you receive the stolen goods… the loot! Banks are supposed to be catalysts of Development. Are you serving this role? Or with the connivance of the CBN ripping the people off?
Security services. Are you in good conscience discharging the oath you swore to protect? Are you more committed to the billions that come to you and not the welfare of your men?
Justice. Are you discharging honestly or is your judgement for sale to the highest bidder? Can the average man still hope for justice from you as the last destination?
Journalists. Have you been bought? Brown. Green. Blue. Colourless envelopes? Do you still speak for the people? Are you still the 4th estate or you are there to be used by corrupt people to launder their images and sell lies?
And politicians who are not in service. Where are you getting this endless money you are spending? Are you an instrument for good and effective governance or you have become a god they must worship?
Higher institutions. VCs that are contractors working with Bursars appropriating what should help develop the institutions. The morass is deep. We could go on.
It’s a big issue. That’s why when the PMB government came in with CHANGE we felt they would follow through with the necessary social mobilization programme that would lead to the restructuring of civic responsibilities, gradually weaning Nigeria from years of odium and decay. Unfortunately the party and the government lost the initiative. Shame.
So much is wrong. So much needs to be done. The fruits manifest in Boko Haram. Kidnapping. Ethnic conflicts like Fulani Herdsmen and natives. Decayed infrastructure. And this last demonstration where the weak needed to finally rebel against an oppressive police system. If you take corruption and profligacy away, we earn enough to weather any economic downturn.
This government MUST initiate a revival programme. And it has to be long term. And it must be NOW. It will be handed from this administration to another and to another. A continuum. We must review our values. We were not always like this. Religious people without a spirituality. We are like beautiful burial grounds. Good to look at from outside but containing rotten, dead bones.
We cannot continue this way. The pressure will build again and we will sometimes have the kind of destruction we just had. The weak have seen they can get their version of justice by coming out enmass and wreaking havoc. And if you need any proof: didn’t you see policemen and soldiers joining in the looting? It’s an economic issue. Buhari’s government can initiate true Change. If he cares.
A REBRANDING NIGERIA PROJECT was initiated under Jonathan. It held promises. There’s no point in reinventing the wheel. It can be reviewed and relaunched. It is not time restricted.
If we do something we may succeed. If we don’t we have already failed.
Mr Akinwunmi is an Adjunct Lecturer at the School of Media and Communication, Pan Atlantic University, Lagos, and former Chairman of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON).
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