To conclude this positively provocative article asking President Buhari to think in revolutionary terms and shake up this country in a good manner, I wish to first say thank you to the establishment for doing the right thing by releasing Mr Sowore, Colonel Dasuki and as I understand, dozens of people who had been forgotten in DSS custody, some thought dead. The administration is probably seeing that it has done too much unnecessary damage to its reputation, and that reputations still matter. That said, please read on, as we look at why we must have a revolutionary mindset in Nigeria, so that we can say ‘out with the old, in with the new’. Status quo is never the standard for any progressive people. And we want to be progressive, not rooted in the sins of the past and present.
Today, some people are trying to convince us that history has ended. Like Francis Fukuyama they make the mistake that all that is left is for people to pursue selfish ends and glorify the acquisition of money. No need for protests and agitations in their books. Just parley with government, or do deals, run yahoo-yahoo, get your thieving father to secure you a job in some nice parastatals, get hooked on sports betting, and go show off your stash at the nightclub every night. It is those with this shallow mindset that are trying to hijack our narratives as a people, to create an even shallower, more disconnected, selfish, visionless, narrow-minded new generation who know nothing about history and do not care about anyone but themselves! The war on ground is a big one. Let’s even leave Buhari aside for a minute (even though his government is unfortunately funding these bad guys and therefore actively destroying Nigeria’s future), the issue with Sowore is about how to rescue Nigeria’s future from Shallow Hals and absolute idiots who have no sense of collective development. We must never lose that war. By Jove, even one citizen called Muhammadu Buhari was an agitator. 3 times he lost elections but never gave up. He may have been more focused on getting into position, than advocacy for a better Nigeria, but I still have clips where he criticized subsidies, lambasted sitting governments, and even one where he asked the ailing Yar’Adua to bugger off if he was too sick to lead. He never asked Nigerians to pray for Yar’Adua.
To close, let us remind ourselves of our problems. 800,000 French people are on the streets protesting the attempt by Macron to tamper with pension laws. Perhaps more people are on the streets of Hong Kong today protesting the attempt by China to bring in some of their laws to their city. Egyptians rioted over the price of bread. French people had rioted about increases in petrol prices. All over the world, people are asking for better deals from their government. For some it is about transportation, water, health, what have you. These are countries where our people emigrate to, where our big men train their children and treat their illnesses. We have 20 times the problems these people have. So if we need any reminder, I have listed what I know below; good reasons for us to be on the streets:
- 13 million children out of school
- 90% of Nigerian homes do not have pipe-borne water
- Nigeria is now open-defecation capital of the world. Over 60 million Nigerians do this daily
- Shambolic energy sector. Many rural communities have not had electricity for 10 years
- Unprecedented levels of corruption and impunity – of late we have seen one or two convictions of former politicians but hundreds are running wild
- Governors and state assembly officials awarding themselves hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ money as pension for their pleasure
- Senate insisting on luxury car purchase while ignoring the reality of the people’s suffering
- Terrible state of our roads and general infrastructure. The government is fixing some but they usually last less than a year
- Highest levels of malnutrition among our children
- Highest maternal and infant mortality rates in the world
- Over 90 million people in abject poverty. Nigeria is global headquarters of poverty
- Collapsed public school system with some left in totally decrepit states.
- Youth unemployment approaching 50%
- Debt servicing gulping 50% of our revenues
- Debt burden has more than doubled in the last three years and we want to borrow $30billion more, thereby finally mortgaging the future of our unborn children for the next 200 years. Not like they are not in deep trouble already as a result of existing borrowing
- Worst levels of inequality in the world according to Oxfam
- Lack of unity among our own people, leading to the inefficacy of government policies
- Massive insecurity in the land as seen in kidnapping, robberies, terrorism, etc
- Despicable state of our environment. Desertification. Air, water, physical and visual pollution everywhere.
- Doubling of fuel prices which we acquiesced to, but now they say subsidies have gone up 2000%
- Inadequate budgeting for the Nigerian people. And most of the little budget ends up in people’s pockets. (our budget per capita is the lowest in the world, after DR Congo)
- Shambolic state of our health sector leading every Nigeria to head to tertiary health facilities like teaching hospitals for illnesses that should be treated at primary health centres
- Despicable state of our judiciary where we get no justice but which is being beaten down some more by the ongoing cowing process
- Zero plans for public housing for our poorest in Nigeria. A UN rapporteur on housing wrote a report that we had the worst scenario in the world as 70% of Nigerians live in ghettos while we have hundreds of thousands of unoccupied or underused luxury housing
- A totally damaged image abroad whereby even the children of the rich get branded as criminals until proven innocent. It doesn’t matter that all of them attend foreign schools. It is however a big shame that those leading Nigeria today have NO FAITH in this country.
Many more exist. Add your own. Just know that if any country is meant to be protesting, or needs a revolution, that country is Nigeria. Acquiescing to any and everything government does never lifts a society. Ditto we are not meant to criticize every step of government. When they get some right, let us acknowledge and encourage. It isn’t easy to lead and govern. It is however worse if you struggle to get there and then disappoint everyone by not doing the needful.