Monday, February 4, 2013
In 1979, Bamanga Tukur was the Governor of the defunct Gongola State (now Adamawa & Taraba) and today, 33 years after, he is the Chairman of the ruling Party, The PDP. In 1979 too, Dr. Bello Halliru was a commissioner in the Old Sokoto State (now Sokoto, Kebbi & Zamfara) and today, 33 years after, he served as the Minister of Defence. General David Mark (rtd) was the military governor of Niger State in 1984 and today, 28 years after, he is the Senate President. Murtala Nyako was the military Governor of Niger State in 1976 and today, 36 years after, he is the Governor of Adamawa State. Ogbonnaya Onu was governor of Abia State in 1992 and today, 20 years after, he is the National Chairman of ANPP. Group Captain David Jonah Jang (Rtd), was the governor of Benue State in 1985 and 27 years after, he is today the governor of plateau state. Martins Elechi the Ebonyi State Governor is over 80 years old and still "too young" to retire! Only in Nigeria is this possible!! Where then lies the hope of the youth of today and where does their future begin? Where do we go from here?
In 1985 at the age of 44, IBB became president of Nigeria and our teachers told us that Buhari then became "former" Head of State. Our teachers also called us the leaders of tomorrow. 27 years after, IBB and Buhari are still contesting for President of Nigeria. Its either our teachers lied to us about being the leaders of tomorrow or tomorrow is yet to come. The question then is: who's fooling who?. Whatever your answer is, one thing is certain: If we don't rise up and fight for our rights we must be sure that this suppression and oppression will continue in perpetuity. If we are the "leaders of tomorrow" then we must today define what that tomorrow means and when it should begin. We must take cognisance of the fact that in life you don't get what you deserve, you only get what you NEGOTIATE. And negotiation takes various forms and is subject to anyone's definition.
Ronald Reagan, former US President once said "Freedom has no grandchildren; every generation fights for its liberty." The liberty we seek will NEVER be given voluntarily to us unless we "NEGOTIATE" it! Today they accuse the youth of not being "prepared" for leadership; of not being "knowledgeable" enough for the complexities of leadership. They enjoyed the very best of education that this nation ever had to offer, but today they've killed it and turned around to accuse us of not learning. They had the best of Nigeria's healthcare system but today there is no Panadol in our cemetery-like General Hospitals. Jobs awaited them as they exited the Ivory Towers after an all-expenses-paid learning. Today we wait Ten Years plus after a tortuous, self-sponsored, hard earned P.hd to be considered for the job of a Truck driver in Dangote.
Fellow Citizens, you don't push a man down and then accuse him of living in dirt; you don't strip a man of his clothes and accuse him of being naked. But that is what our country and its present crop of lying and thieving leaders are doing to us. In 2008 in Lokoja, Kogi State - and this I witnessed personally, a young man of about 22 Years stole a loaf of bread from a stand on the street. He tore off the nylon casing and was biting and swallowing the bread as he was being pursued, knowing he would be caught and beaten, but such beating would be better endured with "something in his stomach". Sure enough he was caught, and beaten, and handed over to the Police. As I write this, that young man is still in Lokoja Prisons, AWAITING TRIAL!!! But a man steals 27 BILLION NAIRA of pension funds, pleads guilty and is given a two year jail term or an OPTION of N750,000 fine which he pays from his back pocket. Simply put, the man is told, "go and enjoy your loot." But that boy who stole a loaf of bread in 2008 is still awaiting trial, Five years after!
This week, the president and his Governors shared ONE BILLION DOLLARS of the Excess Crude Account to enable them "consolidate on vital projects for the benefit of the people." But note this, and note carefully, by next week when the money hits their accounts, you will notice an upsurge in foreign trips by the governors and other Government officials.
For how long shall we continue like this? My answer? For as long as we the people remain docile, complacent, mediocre and silent. And here I again recall the words of another US President, one of the world's greatest men, Abraham Lincoln, who once said "to sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men." Obviously, a great number of us reading this feel oppressed but helpless, not knowing what we have. But I tell you, the greatest weapon in the hand of the oppressed is the MIND of the oppressed. Use it. Without this, we won't have the Nigeria of our dreams.
BY DAPSEA:A CONCERNED CITIZEN/YOUTH