The average Nigerian lives a below–average life. The standard of living is fast declining and it is sad that the people who were meant to protect and serve our interest have unanimously decided that subsidy be removed from the sustenance of the average Nigerian. They claim that over #3.8trillion was spent on fuel subsidy in 5years. Retracting that would help provide the government with more revenue, with which the Nigerian dream of quality education, better health-care system, infrastructures and job creation would be funded. I laugh
If making things worse temporarily, to permanently make it better is what it takes to get out of the doldrums, why not? But in Nigeria, there are no such guarantees. Given our track record (with the oil boom squandered revenue among others), the billions of # saved -from fuel subsidy removal- at the expense of the entire nation will find its way into the private accounts of a few unscrupulous Nigerians in leadership positions. To add salt to a festering injury, this same set of vision-less leaders reportedly used several millions of Naira to make legislation more comfortable in state of the art bullet proof cars and crazy allowances. The deregulation move would be another classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Only this time, Peter is some 120million souls.
It was interesting to learn that the Gaddaffi led Libya credited each Libyan’s account with 500 dollars every month! And a newly married Libyan couple gets 16000 dollars for their trouble. Among other things, the country enjoys a constant supply of electricity. True, some things were fundamentally wrong with that government too, but we (Nigerians) put our mouth when the country’s leadership is being condemned and I wonder why we left the forest in our eyes to tend to the toothpick in theirs: I laugh.
The scales of justice was badly tilted with the recently amended Nigerian Constitution (section 137) which has now thrown open public offices for individuals with criminal records, ex convicts and the likes. This is the piper-payer hogging the pipe to himself. Now, even if they defraud the country; are charged with and convicted of the offense, they can still come back into power. It is heart rending that what was meant to be an improvement on our judicial system has turned out to be a ‘‘de-provement’. When eyebrows were raised, the chairman of the committee on the amendment claimed that the copies in town are mostly pirated and thus contain some false piece of information! I laugh
A miffed lawyer friend summarily posits that lady justice as we know her (balancing the scales of truth and fairness) is now officially handicapped. The hand that bears the double-edged sword has been amputated and her stump now bears a blunt knife. The blindfold (representing objectivity) has been removed from her eyes. In Nigeria, she picks and chooses who the gravel comes down upon, while merrily winking at the ‘powers that be’. The justice system is been manipulated to oppress the people it meant to protect.
I laugh but without mirth. I laugh but my heart bleeds. Identifying the ills in this country is not rocket science. It is fundamentally in the people’s attitude. Ask the new crop of young leaders and you’ll know what I mean. Very few have the passion to make things better, and many are just too jaded to give a hoot. Lazy and disillusioned, many Nigerian youth watch, helpless.
I strongly believe that if we would all just do the little we can to make our immediate environment better, not minding who is making mockery of our efforts, not looking for compensations: if we would together hold the rope of change, each man at his end, we will make it taut enough to walk on… What good are you doing,not just for yourself and family but for the benefit of other people around you? …How can you do it better?
Afterall, when you let your light shine, you unconsciously give other people permission to shine too