By YAYA ADEMOLA
NIGERIA is located in the tropics with five classified temperature: hot-dry, temperate-dry, hot-humid, temperature-humid and temperature-dry with good climate that could grow all kind of crops all year round. The country covers an area of 923,769 square kilometres (356,669sq mi) with population of over 211 million and over 525 languages. It is uniquely covered with plains and savannas and has one of the largest river systems in the world. This country is home to stupendous deposits of numerous natural endowments – Oil and gas, Limestone, Lead, Zinc, Niobium, Iron Ore, Coal, Metal, Stone, Sand and arable land. In addition, the country is peopled with very industrious and creative creatures in virtually all areas of life. They have severally exhibited outstanding outings anytime opportunities beckon to serve outside the country.
Ordinarily, citizens of any country with these stupendous milk and honey flow, combined with wonderfully creative citizens, should have guaranteed decent working and living condition that will be enviable of citizens of other nations around the world. However, impoverished and debased living of the mass majority of Nigerians has shown that having resources is one thing, capacity to utilise and translate them into real wealth and development for the uplift of the majority of the people is another. The disconnect of a political structure with required ideology and committed leadership that can organise these assets and galvanise people to transform them into development and modernity since the country independence has been the challenge, and unless it is confronted and smashed, the country is doomed.
Already, the ever recycled ruling elite have completely alienated the poor working people from holding political office that may bring them close to effecting policies that could turn around their pathetic conditions. For instance, only the moneybags and their parties could fulfil conditions laid down by their organ – INEC – to register political parties. Some of the poor people political parties that did everything to get registered sometimes ago have been deregistered with the affirmation of the Supreme Court.
For some poor people who think they could have their way in the ruling APC and opposition PDP, the humongous price of intention and nomination forms has shown them that they are not wanted and that the political game is big business of politics for the big boys – not any more deceptive call to service. Despite the exorbitant price tag on nomination form, there is litany of presidential aspirants whose “friends and associates” procured them forms. At the close of work on Tuesday, 10th May, 2022, no fewer than 25 aspirants jostling for APC presidential ticket have bought the form, aside 105 governorship aspirants and more than 1,500 aspirants for states Houses of Assembly. The ruling elite mobilised to buy the forms like a child buying ‘TomTom’ on a street. Interestingly, none of these ruling elite has slightest idea of how to turn around the economy and bring peace to the land based on their interactions and engagement with the people in the course of their so-called consultations with the people. All they want is acquisition of political power to fulfil their “life-long personal ambition.”
As WAEC commences examinations on Monday, 16th May, 2022, Zamfarawa and Sokoto states would not present students. Meanwhile, Sokoto Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, wants to become President under the platform of the PDP while his counterpart, Governor Bello Matawalle, last month of April, bought 260 utility vehicles, including Cadillac 2019 model for Emirs and District Heads in Zanfarawa. As ASUU has continued with the strike, so has Emeka Nwajiuba and Dr. Chris Ngige, the Minister of State for Education and the Minister for Labour and Employment respectively, bought APC’s N100m nomination form to become Nigeria President. Already, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) has, through its Chairman in Kano State, Bashir Danmalam, warned of another looming fuel scarcity which has begun to manifest in Abuja. This is another misery in the pipeline for the poor people.
The most annoying thing is that the present crops of politicians are very reckless and don’t mind pulling down the system. Anyway, they have laid the country prostrate by stealing more than enough for them to easily relocate to another country; only the poor have no place to go. All the signs the military always take as excuses to take over power from the civilians like mass dissatisfaction with bad incumbent government policies and programmes, mass protests, insecurity, etc are already living with us. At present, the Army are not in the barracks. There is virtually no state in Nigeria where the military are not engaged one way or the other to maintain normalcy in fighting kidnappers, bandits and terrorists, amongst other criminalities. The Generals, especially those being retired, have acquired enough resources to sponsor any funny military incursion into politics. It has happened in Chad, Mali and Guinea.
The only way out is for the poor in their huge number to be prepared to making sacrifices of using their sweat and blood to build their own political party that will be so viable to contest and win elections; alternatively, they could align with other smaller parties which have manifestoes closer to their yearnings and aspiration for a better life; they must be prepared to refuse selling their votes on elections day; they must sacrifice today’s stomach infrastructure for a better tomorrow where stomach and real infrastructures will be guaranteed for their permanent decent life. As long as the majority of the poor people remain stubborn slaves to their ruling elite masters while privately groaning in pain, Nigeria may not survive this terminal ailment.