A NEW CRAZINESS UNDER THE APC LED GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA
“When a leader encourages the culture of impunity, the society is lost and it makes the work harder for the rest of us” (Wole Soyinka).
It is very unfortunate what we are witnessing today as a nation under the APC led government. This government is no more interested in the plights of over a 200million Nigerians many of whom voted it into power. it has resulted to impunity which is now a new craziness under the APC led government of Nigeria.
Faced with untold economic hardships, whereby at the time they came into office a bag of cement that sold for 1500naira is now selling for as high as 4500naira. In a nation that is so blessed with crude oil, a litre of fuel that once sold for 87naira is now selling for 165 to 200 Naira. A bag of rice that once sold for 7,000 Naira, is now selling for as high as 30,000 to 35,000, in a nation whose soil is so fertile for rice and other food items. Also, 150 Naira that once exchanged for a dollar is now 595naira to a dollar.
Given the effects of the crisis, the poverty headcount rate is projected to jump from 40.1 per cent in 2018/19 to 42.0 per cent in 2020 and 42.6 per cent in 2022.. This imply that the number of poor people was 89.0 million in 2020 and would be 95.1 million in 2022″ (“Number of poor people in Nigeria to reach 95 million in 2022- World Bank,” by Oladeinde Olawoyi, Premium Times, March 30th, 2022). Is this the political party that wants to take 10million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 7yrs as claimed during its inaugural reelected speech on May 29th 2019?
Yet very sadly, about 25 aspirants have picked APC nomination ticket worth a whooping 100million naira each. In a presidential race where a president in four years earns 56million naira. How else can one describe impunity and corruption in a government that claims to be fighting corruption? Indeed, it is a tragedy of the highest proportion!
On the May 9th, 2022, I watched and listened to one of the presidential aspirants under the ruling APC, on a popular television station, Television Continental (TVC), during the famous Journalists Hangout program. He noted three important factors (While reacting to the glorified mess), possibly playing out in the height of insensitivity and financial recklessness being displayed in his political party.
According to him, there are three categories of aspirants.
The first category of aspirants are those who have used their resources and would remain in the race until the primaries are conducted because they regard themselves as candidates of the masses.. The second are those who see themselves as anointed candidates by the president, with the hope that the president would make them consensus candidates. And the third are those who likely may be standing in for others who likely are the preferred candidates by the president so that in the end, they can get political appointments (cf. Rochas Okorocha, TVC Journalists Hangout, May 9th, 2022).
A well analysed possible factor by Rochas Okorocha as noted above, but is that a justification for such financial recklessness amid a decaying economy? Does that justify the increasing insecurity that bedevils us as a nation, where nowhere is safe anymore in the country?
Terrorism and banditry in the North with no end in view. Kidnapping, rituals, and IPOB menace in the West, South and East, with no end in sight. Yet, we have so-called politicians recklessly spending 100million naira each to get a nomination form. Resources which if put together would go a long way, to make every Nigerian go to bed with two eyes closed. Indeed, this is a madness that cannot be overlooked.
In the last two months, our universities have been on strike for legitimate demands. Demands that would help to enhance the standard of our education system for a better future. Yet, our politicians who think they have nothing to lose since their children are in the best institutions abroad, are going about purchasing a nomination ticket worth 100million naira each. Worse still, a dishonourable junior minister of education is amongst those who have so far picked the nomination form amidst the ongoing strike in a system under his watch.
A few days ago, I was surprised and disappointed to see a post credited to President Muhammadu Buhari in which he was quoted as saying that he is unaware of the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). Is he also unaware that in his political party, so far about 25 reckless and insensitive individuals have picked a nomination form worth a 100million naira each?
Going forward, fellow Nigerians, we must wake up from this long sleep characterized by long-suffering, and collectively define a better future for ourselves and our generation unborn. Or is it not obvious to us all that these so-called politicians, do not mean well to us? If they do, how come, we can’t sleep with our two eyes closed for fear of being killed or kidnapped? Yet, they have security personnel guiding them and their families 24hrs. How come our universities are still on strike, with 12 weeks extension? Yet, they fly on a private jet to go attend their children’s school graduation abroad. Fellow Nigerians, how come many struggles each day for a single meal due to economic hardships, while our so-called politicians still drive in convoys for various selfish political meetings and reckless spending?
Wole Soyinka, a renowned man, once said “When a leader encourages the culture of impunity, the society is lost and it makes the work harder for the rest of us.” But we must stand up together and fight for our legitimate rights to vote and be voted for, in order to define a better future for ourselves and our generation yet unborn. This is the only way, we can save this nation from total collapse, and ease the hardship brought upon us through a culture of impunity.
Therefore, arise fellow Nigerians, for enough of this craziness. May the labours of our heroes’ past, never be in vain. Let us not participate in a new craziness under the APC led government of Nigeria.
Written by, Israel GodsPower ANAWEOKHAI
Israel GodsPower ANAWEOKHAI, is a Catholic Priest of the Missionary Society of St Paul of Nigeria. At the time of writing this piece, he is a postgraduate student in the Department of Biblical Theology.