Journalism in the service of society

63 years of wandering, wondering, wallowing in excuses

ONE of my most confounding moments is when it is time to review Nigeria’s years of independence. So much has changed without the country making discernible progress in improving her people.

We have built on faulty foundations. When it is pointed out to us, we dig in with excuses, and more excuses. We confirm it with the other excuse that “Nigeria is finished”.

Some think it is their role to finish up what has not been done yet – finishing Nigeria completely.

Nigeria is peculiar in everything she decides to do. Elections are a good example. They rule us, they ruin us. Every election we budget money, more money than the previous season – put this down not to inflation – we make new laws, we invent meaningless catalogue of promises to assure the people that it would be the freest and fairest election in the country. Nigeria would be better.

The laws change depending on who must win. Nothing is left to chance in ensuring that the same laws we had hailed as the decapitation for electoral frauds dissolve to nothingness when tested with infractions against them.
Judiciary is no longer the hope of anyone unless the person can pay. Empty words like “lacking in merit”, decide cases that wrestle truth and technicalities to the ground. Law and order have died many times. We are deceived by the residues, mere glittering symbols of their existence.

What are laws if they are not implemented? What use are they when their makers place enough impediments on them? Would it not be better if we had no laws?
October 2023, could mark the beginning of the journey to the end of a lawful Nigeria. The start of Nigeria’s 64th year as a nation is filled with types of helplessness that make people give up trying.

The muted celebration of Independence Day would still be filled with the trite, tattered, prattles about how far we have come, how much we have done together as a people, how we are on the way to becoming a great country. Of course, lies adorn with seeming patriotic flair.

Bolder patriots swell in pride when they call ours a great country. They never fail to remind us that every country has its challenges. We are peculiar. Our country has every challenge. It is not about to change.

Leadership has become a platform for adding to the challenges with an aplomb that drains more hope out of the system.
October would see more of those distressing decisions from the courts. We are left with no options than to echo, “as the court pleases”. We are not happy. The laws that we made, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, that we funded with billions of Naira for the elections, and the judiciary that we just hoped would understand the call of the moment, have united in behaviours that have no thoughts for Nigeria, not the present, not the future.

Why were the 2023 elections so important? There could be many important answers to this question but they find nexus on the imperative of rescuing Nigerians from the most unrestrained, tortuous, tormenting, and tumultuous eight years of their lives.
The chaos of the unbridled Buhari years would be felt for more years. Buhari was enthroned as President as if his eight years would have no consequences. The Buhari years have left us consternated though we are only in partial realisation of the hammered harms he did.

Buhari delighted in his devastations. Belated efforts to praise how he erected steady paths to Nigeria’s future are alarming as they are the latest indications that the unrepentant utterances of our former rulers point to their determination to do more harm than they succeeded in executing.

The pictures of a future Nigeria are hazy from several angles. The foundations for Nigeria’s thriving trajectory, different from what we know, have not been laid.

Power is debased and limited if its essence is to add an extra line in one’s biodata. Many leading Nigeria, at different levels, are happy with logging titles that add nothing to improving our society. Power is the end for them.

Much of our 63 years were frittered in this manner. Resources, especially time, were wantonly wasted, leaving us decades behind other societies. Each year raises new issues. They are usually worse than the ones we refused to confront in our understanding that we occupy positions to amass public resources for personal gains.

As anger, hunger, poverty, diseases, acute illiteracy, and the sharp divisions the Buhari years accentuated sweep through the land, it is harder to sustain attention on more than immediate survival.

No statistics capture the depth of the poverty, the stretch of despondency it has created, the unemployment, the hopelessness of millions not knowing if there would be another meal, and the dent they make on the few, who in their struggles, keep many others alive.

It will be expensive to take Nigeria, in a good shape, to the next anniversary if everywhere the people turn, they discover that those who should serve them are increasingly not interested in how Nigerians survive.

Nigeria in 63 years changed without improving our communities and the people.  Uncaring leaderships have harmed us to a point that wishing us happy independence anniversary is like adding another nail to the ones fastening us to endless sufferings.


GOVERNOR Hope Uzodinma of Imo State has a reputation for getting things done once he puts his mind to it. He has promised that “4,000 Imo youths will be employed in Europe” by December 2023. He has discussed with some countries and the European Union. Once he gets the letters, Governor Uzodinma said, he will pay for the air tickets. At an average cost of N400, 000 a ticket, Governor Uzodinma will need N160 billion for tickets alone. Congratulations Imo youths. There is no time to discuss other things N160 billion can do for Imo State. The Governor should not forget Imo Elders.

PUBLIC primary school teachers in Abuja have suspended their two-week strike, “over non-payment of their 40 percent peculiar allowance and 25 months’ minimum wage arrears for 2019 by the six local government council chairmen”. To those criticising the trending video of FCT Minister Nyesom Wike cooking for Femi Gbajabiamila, Chief of Staff to the President, did it strike you that Wike could be cooking the solutions to his travails in Abuja? How many Ministers have discovered the route to Gbajabiamila’s attention? Isn’t it time to give Wike some credit for being strategic?

NOBODY will draw me into speculating the whereabouts of the President. He went to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. Did he say how long he would be away? What have you missed in his absence? Another fuel price increase?
IT was a relief to learn that Lola Ade-John, Minister of Tourism, was not as gravely ill as publications alleged earlier on Friday. I wish her quick recovery.

Isiguzo is a major commentator on minor issues

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