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Nigeria: when is the relieve coming? (2)

Posted by Abuja on 8/14/2009 6:12:01 AM | Views: 219 |

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EMOTIONS AND LOVE AFFAIRS cry of help THE NEW AFRICAN ORDER - The times, they are a-changing We must Stop the Government The Iran Question and Nigeria DISCUSS IN DETAILS THE HISTORY OF AGRICULTURE IN NIGERIA FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO THE PRESENT DAY, POINTING OUT CLEARLY ALL AGRICULTURAL PROGRAMMES. The worrisome Lagos-Ibadan traffic Hope for Niger Delta Conference on CURBING YOUTH RESTIVENESS IN THE NIGER DELTA Held on the 29th April 2006 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. 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Written by: Abuja


Nigeria: when is the relieve coming?  (2)


By Ahmed Dodo


 


 


 


 


Political parties


 The  current political parties in the country  many analysts have argued are lacking internal democracy, and true to their position the president Umaru Yar’adua  confirmed this when he recently said quoting a famous Nigerian Professor “ To have democracy we must have democrats. Our political elites at all level must subject themselves to the rule of the game and embrace the democratic political structure”


The Nigeria political terrain lacks a democratic competitive spirit as rightly observed by the president whose party the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has the highest majority in both the lower and upper chamber of the country’s legislative arm and virtually hold the highest number of elected politicians across the six political region, cutting across the wards level, local and state arms of government. It pride itself as the largest political party in Africa, but yet not in the good books of the rest political parties in the country who have accused it of political fraud, election manipulation policies,  poor political focus and desperate hold on to power. 


 Another major challenge confronting democracy in the country is the almost none existence of serious political oppositions. Almost all the other political parties are enmeshed in different internal political wrangling and lack enough muzzle and political will to challenge the ruling Peoples Democratic Party whose leadership have boldly vowed to rule the country for the next fifty years.


 Again corruption a revenging monster in the country’s push for a true democracy had since find it way to the political terrain, where politics is seen as an avenue to make quick money and steal freely from the government coffers. Most Politicians in the country have demonstrated a number of times that they aspired to rule to make money and other material gains, than there to serve the people, part of the reason why for almost ten years since the country return to democracy no meaningful laws or policies have been felt by the average citizen.


The issue of money and financial expenditures has taken over almost all the debates in the local, state and federal legislature, and opposition parties like the All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP), and the Action Congress (AC), the two visible oppositions with minority in some of the states and the Federal House of Assemblies have not been able to bring about any change in that direction. Instead the electorates are betrayed by different anti party activities from their leaders, who have either crossed over to the ruling party or steal their way into a not too viable Unity Government., a situation that has seen the country being snubbed by the International Community and potential foreign investors.


 


Poverty


 


Poverty has been defined or described as the shortage of common things such as food, clothing, shelter and safe drinking water, all of which determine our quality of life. It may also include the lack of access to opportunities such as education and employment which aid the escape from poverty and or allow one to enjoy the respect of fellow citizens. According to Mollie Orshansky who developed the poverty measurements used by the U.S. government, "to be poor is to be deprived of those goods and services and pleasures which others around us take for granted."


In Nigeria today poverty could be said without contraction to be so visible in almost all aspect of the social, political and economic lives of the people, something many analysts attributed to the poor management of the country’s resources and maladministration over the decades.


 


 


 


 


 


Economically


Surprisingly  Nigeria despite all the treasure looting perpetrated by different government since independent has still remained one of the world richest economy, with  verse natural resources in oil and gas, rich agricultural endowment, and other prosperous mineral deposit, coupled with a large human resources.


But despite all this the country has still remained stagnant in the distribution of economic gain to its citizenry, who are rated as one of the lowest economic viable people in the world.  According to an article written by Dr Gbegele “ Given the indices currently used by international organizations, Nigeria’s current GNP per capita of about $260 is below that of less affluent countries such as Bangladesh with a per capita income of $370. Nigeria’s low per capita income compares with those of smaller African countries with less endowment in natural resources, such as Tanzania with a per capita income of $260 and Mozambique of about $220. African countries that enjoy impressive standard of living are South Africa with a per capita income of $3, 170, and Botswana with a per capita income of $3, 240 (The Commonwealth Yearbook, 2002; The Guardian Online, March 17, 2002). Nigeria’s poor per capita income becomes more frightening when compared with those of some western nations. For instance, the GNP per capita United States was about $27,086 in 1996 (USAID 2002); and recently that of Britain was put at $23, 590 (The Commonwealth Yearbook, 2002)”


It is thus frightening and a shame that despite all the economic prosperity in the country the citizenry who are supposed top rightfully enjoy this gain are left to seek alternatives in  other foreign countries with  impressive standard of living. 


 


Socially


Nigeria no doubt is one of the most popular Africa country in the world, with creative, social and entrepreneurship people. They are noticed in all facet of human endeavor and are classified as people who can adapt easily in anywhere they find themselves at any given situation. The country has produced some of African greatest writers, scientists, engineers, movie stars, musicians, politicians and international business moguls.


But despite all this recognitions and collections of  this intellectual capital,  nepotism , poverty and lack of development is still  visible everywhere from the promising Nigerian movie industry to the other socially endowed sector of the country., where  true merits and  recognition, including supports are not given to those who deserved and required them.


 


 


Religion


 


Almost all families in Nigerian are religious, they either came from a Christian home or belongs to a Muslim home, with others subscribing to core traditional believe.


Predominantly the verse majority of the estimated 145 million people belongs to the Christian and Muslim faiths. Two religions that has fallen victims to the cheap political reasoning of some of its selfish leaders, who have been using the two world popular religions to exploit and suppress the mass majority of ignorant citizens who are always left to suffer the sad consequences of religion crisis across the geo political zones, but more prevalent in the northern part of the country.


The Nigerian politician for selfish reasons have been able to instigate the youths in the country to perpetrate some of the worst religion crimes, were many innocents lives are lost.  “The issue of religion crisis is a sad part of our history, as we have allowed few ungodly politicians to continue to use of intelligence to perpetrate some of the worst religion crisis and sectionalism in this continent” said Mr aAbayomi a public affair commentator. And true to his position this is part of what is obtainable across the country today, a religion political division, militating against the proper development of democracy, including social and infrastructural development in the country.


 


 


 


The representatives


 


Most of the elected or selected members representing the people have not been able to put smiles on the face of the electorates ten years after returning to full fledge democracy. The mass majority of  Nigerians, mostly in the rural areas are still left they way they were more than forty years after independence with no proper development or change in their economic, political or social lives.


 The so called representative of the people have betrayed and abandoned those that voted him, especially the few trusted ones they thought would help propel a good standard of living for them and their families. Instead the country has been enmeshed in different corrupt controversies and probes that make no significant meaning to the lives of the ordinary man at the end of the day.


Some analyst have even argued that Nigeria practiced one of the most expensive democracy in the world, with millions of naira spent on political sittings, launching, voting, inauguration and other unnecessary political jamborees.


 


 


 


Education


One of the saddest stories in the Nigeria project is the declining fortune of a hitherto vibrant educational sector. Education has been made so expensive almost out of the way of the mass majority of Nigerians who are daily finding it difficult to send their wards to the various public and private schools across the country.


Another pitiable sight is the dilapidating conditions of most of the government run public schools from primary to tertiary institutions. Funnily most of those implementing policies in the educational sector went to school almost free, during the pre colonial and colonial era, where they had good standard of teaching and reasonable infrastructures and educational tools to guide them in the quest for western education. But today graduates in the country are churned out yearly, unqualified to search for white collar jobs in the competitive Nigeria unemployed market. It takes a strong collection or godfatherism somewhere for an average Nigerian graduate to get employed and earn a rightful wage.  


The rich elites given their poor oversights see nothing wrong in sending their kids to various international schools abroad, sometime stealing public funds to sponsor their over pampered kids, with the illusion that they would come back home as graduate of foreign universities to take over the mantle of leadership from them, greedily forgetting that power anywhere in the world still comes from God.


 


 


 


Corruption


Corruption the towering monster has not only eaten deep into almost all facet of the system, but has become a celebrated issues in the polity, despite the various anti graft agencies  like the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Due process Office and Independence Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC )set up to checkmate this monstrous challenge. The daily unveiling and reports of massive corruption in the power sector, oil sector, including some other various government agencies in the country, has made nonsense of the so called anti corruption crusade of the past and present government.


 Though probes and other expensive funded committees have over the years been set up to tackled the fiend, but nothing encouraging has so far emerged to show that the country is ready and willing to defeat one of the greatest factor depriving it of its rightful position in the world political stage. Corruption though not only limited to Nigeria is more opened and prevalent in the rich Africa  country , with stories of bribery and contract inflation rampant , making it almost impossible to do things right and bring out positive results.


 


 


Nepotism


Nigerians despite their celebrated names and statues across the globe are still finding it very hard to tackle an internal feud in the polity – nepotism.


A bias attitude prevalent in almost all part of the country, where preferential treatment has been accepted and practiced as the best form of doing things in country, where getting into school, renting a house or buying a land or even marrying a wife must past through the stage of favoritism.


The discriminative attitude of an average Nigerian to his fellow citizen no doubt has been one contributing negative factor that has rendered one of the most viable and vibrant people in the world handicap in terms of development and economic growth.


 The colloquial issue of citizens and settlers among the various tribes, long discarded by other developed and developing democracy across the globe, is still raging and burning shamelessly across the various states that made up the federal republic of Nigeria, and those elected or selected to discard this long expired way of reasoning are still capitalizing on the ignorant of the people to stay put in power, using all forms of nepotism for cheap political gain.  


 


 The Niger Delta &other crisis


The Niger Delta issue is one issue that the country has come to faced unexpectedly. Many analysts pointed out that the Niger Delta struggle was a long overdue process that the self busy leaders in the country have long ignored. According to Mr. Gabriel a public commentator” The Niger Delta struggle was a catastrophic our selfish leaders have long closed their eyes to, and today they are reaping what they sore. For God sake if not for the lack of fear of God, which other country would tolerate what is happening to the people of the Niger Delta. How can someone come to your house, steals from you and that same person want to deprive you of shouting and crying loud for help? Though am not in support of criminality the Niger Delta agitation like many other agitations by other zones across the country is long overdue. These are people who naturally have the source of wealth for the whole country, but yet are still left in a penury state, with bad roads, poor healthcare facilities and massive unemployment of its youths. So how can you expect peace, when there is injustice?”


 Unfortunate as the Niger Delta situation might be, other analysts are of the opinions that the Niger Delta militants should have hold their various internal leaders responsible for the decay in the region. They argued that what the agitators are failing to comprehend is the issue of federalism in the country and the millions of other ethnic Nigerians who are now naturally part of the Niger Delta region, either through inter marriages or cross border trade that has come a long way. Just


  The Nigerian government  under the present administration of Musa Yar’adua despite its resolve to tackled the Niger Delta issue, establishing  Niger Delta ministry the first of its kind since the agitation began more than thirty years ago, and granting amnesty to the militants, the country was forced to announced a fight to finish with the militants recently when the federal troops sent to guard the volatile region lost some of its men, comprising officers and under ranks in the hands of the unrepentant militants, who are insisting on a total resource control of the wealth from the region. A position one analyst said was unreasonable given the fact that Nigeria is a federal country and the Niger Delta is part of this agreement and beneficiary of some of the wealth of the other region that made up the Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Again the current sectarian crisis witnessed across the country with the fatal Boko Haram sect and the elimination of its leaders analysts posit is showing a sign of dangerous things to come if the government failed to sit up and discharged its responsibilities with patriotism and nationalism and importantly with the fear of God for the betterment of its citizenry. More of these crises they pointed out should be expected unless proactive measures are taken. Education and proper assimilation of the majority poor across the rural north and other parts of the country is fast needed to curtain this dangerous trend.


 


Diaspora


Nigeria has some of the highest number of African Diaspora, scattered across almost all the corners of the globe. Professional men and women, who have cut a niche in various area of life endeavor and recognized world wide, have not really help matters.


 These analysts posit is as a result of the lukewarm attitudes of the leaders in the country, who are still yet to get things right and move the country in the right direction.


 Most of these celebrated men and women, including their siblings and associates now find it very difficult to return back to their fatherland and resettle for fear of economy, political and social crisis. Again others blamed the Nigerian in Diaspora for not showing true nationalist feelings for their country, preferring to remain and help developed their new found economic buoyant countries where many of them are now citizens and rich individuals. “The Nigerians in Diaspora have not really shown a sincere interest to help restore sanity back in their country and developed their fatherland, like others nationals in other foreign land are doing. We have seen what India in Diaspora are doing for their country in terms of Information Technology and the Movie Industry. How many Nigerians abroad are willing and ready to come back home and help restored sanity back into the system?” inquired Solomon Aguda  a journalist  with a mischievous grin.


 “All what these group of fleeing Nigerians are conversing for is the safety of their families and wealth scattered within the federal capital and the other big cities across the country.  I think they need to show more genuine commitment to the Nigeria project for people like me and others to take them serious”.


 


 


The Media


The Nigerian Media have over the years been accused of sectionalism and over celebrated of politicians and their antics in glamorous ways. Sectionalism in the media has also been attributed to the politicians who have brought corruption and nepotism into news reporting and feature writing.


 Again the Nigerian media are credited with exposing and disclaiming some of the negative attitudes of the country’s leaders, who over the years had held the mass populace under their propaganda, feeding them with what they want them to hear and showing them what they want them to see. But the coming of journalistic freedom and incursion of the private media in the country’s hitherto rigid media sector has help exposed some of the heels in the society and placing the leaders in the eyes of a  more watchful  and enlightened citizens. But analysts are of the opinion that   until the much awaited Freedom of Information Bill is passed by the legislatures , the issue of freedom of the press would continue to be a mere lip saying, depriving  the country of a real fourth realm of the estate. Where investigative reportage of those in power and would be felt positively by the citizenry.


 


 


 


 


Conclusion


Presently there are ongoing debates among various analysts including yours sincerely on the best and effective ways of finding a lasting solutions to some of these mirage of problems and challenges confronting this giant of Africa that has remained dwarfed and asleep while its younger smaller neighbors are fast developing and catching up with the trend in a now globalize world.  It is also very important to ensure that measures are put in place to formulate and implement poverty reduction programs design to favor and impact more positively on the lives of the ordinary Nigerians who are always the victims of poor government policies.


 It is therefore no exaggeration  that many Nigerians  have since lost hope in their leaders, praying and waiting for the day a long awaited ease would come their way, but the big question is when is this relieve coming?


 


 


 


Ahmed Dodo


dodpens@yahoo.coms


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