By Talemoh Wycliffe Dah.
Truth be told, every patriotic Nigerian is pained by many things. We sure are experiencing insecurity on many fronts and the pain is deepened by both those who should be directly responsible and those in the opposition.
The former make light of serious issues and create a false sense of safety while the latter exaggerate things and cause unnecessary fear.
We are left to unsolicited social media posts that have blurred the lines between truth and alternate or non-truth.
The economic downturn bites and we are told it is a necessary pain as seen in a fracture that is being reduced but this fixing process is seeming to last forever.
The opposition tells us the fracture is only being compounded. We can write on similar observations about corruption. All these have made us get used to weeping. It is bad enough to suffer but it is worse when you are made to be confused as well.
No thanks to the political class.
The 2019 budget presentation by His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari to the joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday 19th, 2018 should further wring out tears from tear glands of all Nigerians. Events leading to this day had created heightened expectations, anxiety and even anger among stakeholders, especially the Legislators.
But the rowdiness was both unprecedented and revealing of many things deeper than what we see; and these are the things that should make us weep more. We must weep on because that day’s event at the National Assembly has shown how divided the country is and to what extent the social values we hold sacred have dwindled in their influences on us.
It is common for the assembly to be rowdy but not down to the level of booing and calling our President names. This was disrespect for the president, for the legislators themselves and for the country’s image.
Even after the caution that the world was watching us, the show of shame continued. To counter this, the President’s supporters joined in the show. They hailed the President after every phrase to pre-empt and overshadow any booing. It was difficult to follow the President’s speech.
This was also a show of shame, even if to a lesser extent. Being the same crop of people, we know that each side could play either role. No one needs to tell us that the same attitude will be at play when they go into committees to scrutinize the budget. They will put on lenses of tribal, party and religious biases to look at the all-important document. Your guess is as good as mine as to what the result will be.
Commenting on their shameful behavior, APC members said it showed how degenerate the PDP members have become and PDP members said it showed how unpopular the APC government has become.
Okay, good. The respect of all citizens for them is no more and for us the two sides are both degenerate and infamous. One can now see that the unsavory comments on social media are not products of spontaneous generation but may depict reality, only that we don’t want them posted. And when that dreaded unpopular music fills our airwaves, all the political class will understand the import of their actions.
The political class has crippled and crumbled Nigeria. Whether in Suit, Khaki or Agbada, they have set wrong foundations for the country from the beginning; that everything should be looked at through sectional lens. They looted the economy, they made sure no project gets completed fully. They turned our values upside down and have taught the youth that that is the right thing.
Wrong things will be glaring but they will describe and defend it as right in the name of party loyalty. They buy weapons for their constituents and hire foreigners to kill others. Life is no longer sacred in Nigeria. They have established a fact in the country that you have to have some nuisance value to be valued. They have elevated ostentation so that even the hamlet dweller wants to own the most expensive car and wear gold overnight without working for it.
In doing all these they have wounded each of us and the wounds now exude an odium that affects us at airports, shops, hotels and everywhere we go in other countries.
The political class will not allow a fair electoral process. They use under age voters, rig, create fear by using dangerous thugs and military/paramilitary men and still insist we go to vote. To go and queue in the sun all day with the risk of fighting and shooting and all that. Only to get your vote not counted.
For us now, the electioneering period is seen as a troubled period. They pass comments as if they were God or they own even my PVC. They will keep our children from school from now till April next year, creating the impression that there will be violence and mortgaging the future of these innocent ones.
They have caused us to lose every hitherto easy and helpful thing. For example, we are now deprived of subsidy for the oil produced in our country because they abused the subsidy. Whatever the explanation you give to remove subsidy, it is just saying that you must purchase yam from your father’s farm at the market price.
They get contracts and contract privileges but never execute them. They have arrogated to themselves the right to violence and have to sign peace accords before election if not we will be doomed on Election Day and after.
Compatriots, weep on so long this crop of Nigerians are here, the political class. Whatever explanations are given, the rest of us are pained by their actions on a daily basis and wish we could wish for alternatives.
But we hope they know that all their actions and inactions are part of evolutionary processes that will lead Nigeria to the Promised Land. As such, it is better they advise themselves and change since they have the constitution, the policy apparatus and at least some self-preservation instincts that their actions may be preceding some doom as a necessary path to our Promised Land.
▪Dah, an Abuja-based medical practitioner, sent this via email@example.com.