Opinion: Time to Wake Up, Quit the Slumber

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By Olufuyi Edmund-Otudeko

Dearest Nigerians, I’d like to draw your attention to the recent happenings in the world right now. Syria has almost been torn to shreds, Philippines are following suit and both countries are by far developed and richer than Nigeria. Today, death, destruction, degradation, displacement of humans, loss of assets, wealth among others, have ravaged the land. This will be our fate if we continue heating up the polity with secessionist clamoring and marginalisation and religious sentiments until the first shot is fired and anarchy takes over. We will see the greatest displacement of humans this century. You will kiss all you have worked for from Dangote refinery to your houses in banana island, Maitama, Iyangaku, Awka, Ihiala goodbye. Even your churches and mosques will be shelter for dangerous men to regroup, strategize and continue their mission of doom.

War isn’t the best option to peace. This takes me back to the Biafran era when soldiers raided our streets in search of the Igbos. They used pronunciation as a way of detecting those whom they searched for. For example 3 pence in Yoruba was the popular bait in catching the Igbos. The Igbo man would pronounce it as tolo instead of tooro and immediately he was carted away from us. Many friends, families and domestic workers went missing and were never found. What about the casino cinema Yaba bombing or the one I remember personally as a pupil at St Mary’s Private school, Ajele. The convent sisters will lock us up in a room and start praying when the shooting and bombing starts. It was a traumatizing and chilling experience for us in Lagos talkless of our counterparts in Ondo, Onitsha, Port-Harcourt or Owerri.

Where were the so-called Rotimi Amaechi and Elder Nnamdi Kanu, who I hear wants to be a senator now? I was a witness to the crisis which ravaged Nigeria completely. These were the experiences of me and my brothers who lived in Nnewi, Umunede, Umuahia, Enugu and Ore. My advice to the Federal Government? If you want peace, prepare for war.

The crime and war perpetrators, especially those with some form of religious or ethnic backing, should be rounded up using some law and incarcerated for long periods. Our great country needs to work on moving forward rather than allowing some ill minded individuals fuel our divide to destabilize a growing government. We are a nation of united and hardworking people and this is why there is still peace in spite of intense provocation from different sectors, groups and tribes. I still wonder what offence the Kanuris committed that led to the north east insurgency which is still raving.

However, the Government of our country, in my opinion, lacks focus as they are now puppets who dance about playing to the whims and caprices of disgruntled elements that cry and shout foul. Where is the foul in a constitutional democracy that has the rule of law and a judiciary? A country that has a law making Constituted Assembly. Why are their hands are always “tied”? Who ties these hands? Where they not elected and sworn in? Has the election process lost its meaning?

Who is lurking in their window ledge giving instructions to our government? Our dear Osinbajo, please do your work! There is no cabal anywhere if it is not a part of government that wishes not to function as a government of the people. For us to survive this blitz of useless and corrupt leaders, we must participate in the process. Very few people are involved in the process. We must all register to vote in 2019.  If the likes of Ibikunle Amosun, Ambode and other governors were elected with less than 1 million votes then we are responsible for the government we have. For crying out loud, it took half of the population of Lagos to get Buhari elected nationwide in 2015.

The national orientation agency will never take on this battle, and this is because they know the mood of Nigerians. They know we speak with one voice. A systemic disenfranchisement program to scheme us out to keep the wrong people in power has succeeded because Nigerians are aloof, disgruntled, paralyzed and poor. Poor in spirit, zeal and drive. This has been done deliberately. We are like mules going round in circles and pointing at the wrong things to justify the pain and hardship we suffer.

My people, let us register to vote so our voice can be heard . The more people who register, the more difficult it becomes to rig. Only if we register and participate will this nonsense end. We must also seek electoral office. If Barkin Zuwo could be elected in kano, we also can be in Ilorin, Ogbomosho, Ibadan, Zaria, Funtua, Gusau, Odogbolu, Asaba or Ore.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo once opined that if we don’t participate in the process, fools will get elected and make laws that wise men will have to obey. You see now. Government today have neglected the people. The people are the most important reason for the existence of government. The people must be addressed. FOOD, SHELTER, EDUCATION and HEALTH must rank highest in its catalogue of agendas for the poor that they must fund. Why can’t they at least cater for the poor. Why is it only the rich they are concerned about yet they themselves are poor since that is how they are looked at by the international community .

Osinbajo represents a poor country called Nigeria so he is poor . The more poor people we have, the poorer Nigeria gets. They must be provided for before we look at other areas to plough resources . Adeosun will find money from anywhere to fund that and she will get from inside and outside Nigeria like she is getting now to fund white elephant projects that will never take off or be sustained because her people are poor. Investing in people is profitable for government ……Will they do it or will the N7.1 trillion budget line their pockets.

2019 is knocking, brethren let us chase those crazy bald heads out of our barn ……register to vote and participate in the democratic process.

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