Mixed Signals of Cracks in the Citadel – By Prof. Emmanuel Omoh EsiemokhaiArticles, Columnists, Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai, NNP Columnists Monday, February 20th, 2012
By Professor Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai, Abuja, Nigeria, Feb. 20, 2012 - During the ill-conceived deregulation fiasco in Nigeria, a new English word came into regular use. The word “palliatives” gained currency as a password to future prosperity.
Palliatives are tokenism in content and cannot add value to a transformation process. It was and remains a poor public relations nightmare!
It will soon fade away like other slogans like “ the dividends of democracy”, “ challenges”, “learning period”, appellations like “ Chief”, or better “High Chief”“Doctor honoris causa”, “Nze,” “Eze” “ Alhaji”etc,
In Nigeria, people love to be highly regarded as BIG MEN, but only very few deserve to be so regarded. There are many fake people strutting the land in full agbada. Even some well-schooled people parrot prevailing clichés, because they have lost the capacity for deep reflection
By both national and international assessments, Nigeria’s misery index has increased inexorably. Poverty, both spiritual and material has reached unacceptable standards. Food security is minimal. Philanthropy is noble but is grossly inadequate stem the tide.
Investing in arms and ammunition is counter-productive. Remedial measures are not forth-coming. Amidst these interlocking circles of misery, there should be bold imaginative initiatives and not palliatives.
The enormity of the problems is staggering. We have politicians, who do not sem to manifest the cultured sensitivities evinced at such periods of national crisis. Those, who have volunteered to handle national affairs, do not exude the capabilities, which the challenges demand. The political mobility index of our politicians is average.
When the seven-point agenda of the Yar’ardua government was discarded and a transformation agenda was announced last year, we all cheered.
As a patriot, I made rational suggestions on how we can transform the country, both in the field of diplomacy and economic policies and I published my views in some national dailies.
In the transformation process, the first concrete action of government was the clever by half strategy of announcing a unilateral increase in petroleum price, in which we were to realize N1.3 trillion Naira.
In the political melee that ensued, the nation lost inestimable wealth, and above all, many lives were lost.
Pray, what has been transformed?
Recently, the government admitted that there were flaws in the subsidy politics. I applaud this acknowledgment. If any other person had told the government that it was running on the wrong road and that there was no use running, that would have been greeted with sycophantic erudition by those, who have been commissioned to defend the indefensible.
I had observed that the nation was cash-strapped, but could not say so with certainty, until the government announced that it would cut the budget to size. Good! Then the government went a borrowing. It will not go a sorrowing, if the borrowed funds are judiciously used.
The hike in electricity tariffs must lead to the provision of regular supplies. Industrialization and local manufacturing suffer as a result of lack of regular power. The call on investors to come to do business and the parlous state of electricity, seem hard to reconcile.
Governance is an intricate business. It requires national consensus after consultations with those, who know and not those, who guess or those, who resort to old formulas that no longer work.
Often, the government sets up committees but it always makes the mistake of looking for old names of the very people , who failed the Republic. It is not surprising that they often proffer old solutions that rarely address the core issues. When shall we learn?
Only the truth shall set us free. There is despondency in the land and our old patriots are psychologically reacting to this despondency and are dying!
To remain in power is desirable, but one does damage both to oneself and the nation, when there appears to be visible cracks in the national citadel.
There is a dog in the manger situation, whereby the dog does not eat grass but barks at the cow that wants to eat grass.
Many compatriots have been clamouring for a national conference, where holistic, rational suggestions will be proffered by those, who are not given to noise-making, but who know better. They are everywhere. We must “fish them out”.
The appeals for a national conference have reached
a crescendo, and evidentially, we cannot go forward without it.
The transformation agenda, which permitted hopes of a future of certainty, has not been seen to bear fruit.
There are crying issues to be discussed. How do we reconcile with those, who are desperately poor and are harassing everyone? How do we create social justice conditions of existence for those, who are not in politics? How do we ensure food security? There is hunger in the land. How do we create employment for new graduates, who have finished their studies?
How do we get our diplomats to attract investments and not sit around in our embassies attending cocktail parties? Can the states not be mandated to effectively carry out the assignments the Federal government seems too distant to execute? What is our national policy on the current financial crisis that has created problems for Europe? What impact has the crisis on our national currency? Even Gambia has a better exchange rate!
The health sector, the education sector and the decaying infrastructure need urgent rehabilitation. Of course, we are good in talking a lot but we do little.
There are citizens in Nigeria, who choose to adopt the ostrich approach until crisis break out. Then, they become very wise and prayerful; only to carry on business as usual, until another group of political mal-contents hold the nation to ration.
Many Nigerians have a short attention span. They easily forgive and forget.
We should empower the local governments, strictly supervise how they disburse funds and call on their Chairmen to report their progress to their states and the Federal Government. A situation, where the only imposing buildings in the villages belong to local government Chairmen point to lack of Federal and State government audit.
The government of the Federal Republic has too many issues that need resolutions. Unfortunately, only the President is saddled with all these problems. He has good intentions, but that is a far cry from effective governance.
The PDP, seems to have abandoned its primary responsibility in working out guidelines for the government, assisting the President with policy formulation and robust implementation, supervising the efficacy of its governors’ mandates.
A leading political organization that has failed to appoint a Chairman for so long, does not possess an illusion of strength. Its cadres look for political appointments and not how to help the party to organize state governance. This is sad.
Actually, any success or failure in the government of Nigeria, is the failure of the government party, the PDP. If members think that belonging to the PDP is only for the purpose of ministerial and other appointments, they are ill-advised. Every political party member constitutes part and parcel of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
For example, the current Vice President of China Mr. XI has been working for the party, since he was young. In political leadership, ideological commitment, not financial opportunism counts. Failure is assured, when a politician emerges unprepared. When shall we lear
My people, we have been in the school of statecraft for so long. When shall we graduate?
Those, who kill in God’s name are not doing the will of God. Pastors, who exacerbate the crisis by making inflammatory speeches from the pulpit, are only embarking on tithes collection enhancement strategies. Criticizing the Governor of the Central Bank for giving money to save people in desperation, should attract praise not misplaced criticism.
Yet, these “Men of God” hobnob with government officials, whose acts of omission and commission are the sources of our national stagnation.
Some pastors claim to be children of Abraham, but they do not have Abraham’s blessings.“ For God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham.”
My people love power and fame but there is nothing there beyond the protocol and appointments to lofty offices. Nigeria is hurting. How long can this state of affairs subsist?
Only the TRUTH shall set us free. “The lip of truth shall be established forever, but the lying tongue is but for a moment”
The voice of the people represents the accumulated wisdom of the age and they must be heard, before the cracks deteriorate further.
In every situation, we must give thanks. Nigeria will overcome.
Praise Him, praise Him
Praise Him, praise Him
Praise the Everlasting King.
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