Even these trying times shall pass

Sat, Mar 2, 2024
By editor


IT is difficult for any compatriot, including myself, not to feel the pain the average Nigerian is passing through at this moment of the nation’s political history. Hence I am in as much pain as any other compatriot.

Yet as an incurable optimist, I see pleasure beyond the present pain, if we permit this promising ‘baby room to grow’.

The truth is that the issues that culminated in the pain we are all bearing now did not begin with the advent of the Tinubu administration. It is a development that began many years ago, and neither the Jonathan presidency nor the administration led by the immediate past President, Muhammadu Buhari can exonerate itself. Both are guilty of laying the foundation for the rot in which we are all enmeshed. Like cancer, it does not manifest in one day. It begins gradually and grows for years before it envelopes the entire body and stifles life out of the affected individual.

In fact, there exists a kind of cancer that suddenly invades the systems of people with otherwise strong resistance to pain or discomfort, and within a few months, the body is ravaged to death. Not much warning signal to the carrier or the physician looking after him.

But thankfully, not all cancer patients are consumed. There are survivors who later live to tell their stories, and this is the class to which I liken the Nigerian situation. I am really optimistic that we shall survive these trying times if only we are sincere, honest and patriotic.

The economic throes we are in at the moment do not discriminate between any ethnic groups. We went through the pain together in Jonathan’s time without anyone in the South South or South East joining the rest of the country in calling for his ouster. Ditto, when Buhari assumed power and things degenerated from bad to worse, as it is now being revealed and his Northern kindred were not joined by the rest of the country to ask for his head.

Why then are Tinubu’s Yoruba kinsmen becoming the most vocal in the agitation by some people for an end to a regime that is barely nine months old? Do they not know that their cacophony of voices could steer some over-ambitious lads in the military to insurrection as we are currently witnessing across Africa? If that happens, do some of these negative-thinking and selfish Yoruba know when next they will have the opportunity to have access to the nation’s presidency?

The malfeasance in the running of the country had been on for years. Ending it in so short a time is both unthinkable and unrealìsable.

The Tinubu Administration is unique in several ways, hence the expectations of the Nigerian people on it are very high. You do not nurse a malnourished baby or adult to buoyancy within weeks, as is being literally expected.

I believe Nigerians expect to see a miracle worker in Tinubu, but he can only achieve something magical if he is given some breathing space to carry through the reforms he has embarked upon.

I strongly believe that some of the vociferous voices are sponsored by vested interests who believe their political future will be badly hurt if Tinubu is allowed to see his reforms through.

I plead for a little more time for him to remove the rot and corruption in the public sector as well as the banking and other private sectors.

Fiscal discipline and ostentatious living must be curtailed within government, contrary to what is being seen around.

There should be a deliberate policy to discourage the type of insensitivity exhibited in the purchase of official vehicles for the National Assembly.

While on this, I cannot but commend the Lagos State example to several other state and national institutions.

At the commencement of the Sanwo-Olu administration, he veered away from the norm by jettisoning the purchase of expensive vehicles for its officials, up to commissioners level. In cutting costs, he went for cheaper and durable Chinese vehicles, such that he was able to buy three of such vehicles, for example, for the price of one Japanese SUV or car.

Looking within, the system that gave so much latitude to executive governors like a former governor of a South-East state in whose private custody a sum of $800 million was found by the anti-graft agency, must be jettisoned. I’m talking here of the overly expensive presidential system which, if this nation must survive, must give way to a reversal to the parliamentary system, which is by far less expensive to operate.

While we condemn acts of bare-faced malfeasance by some people in governments at all levels, we must also be honest with ourselves that a lot of ordinary citizens are their own enemies. They come in various shapes and colours – hoarders of goods, commodities, bank workers, scammers, kidnappers, and money extorting touts.

If we all resolve to make Nigeria better and to be of our dreams, and give this government a little more time to fully calibrate the chassis of our severely battered national engine, we may be on a sure way to enviable national recovery and redemption. It is a plea worth considering.


2nd March, 2024.