THE future will have no pity for those men who possessing the exceptional privilege of being able to speak words of truth to their oppressors, have taken refuge in an attitude of passivity, of mute indifference, and sometimes of cold complicity,” so said Frantz Fanon.
Edmund Burke in support of Fanon said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. We have integrity when what people see is the same as who we say we are. It is a matter of common of common sense that the values we hold and remain true to are intertwined with the well-being of ourselves as both individuals and as communities.
I pray that most of our ancestors will not turn in their graves over our iniquities and curse our nation with venom. According to a proverbial saying: “When you are down, the only way out is up”. Nigeria will never go down again. I pray that most of our ancestors will not turn in their graves over our iniquities and curse our nation with venom.
The recent declaration of the former military leader, General Babangida at the Eagle Square in Abuja of his intention to contest the 2011 presidency should not be seen as a surprise to all Nigerians. I think, we should no longer be surprised at what a man can do. Man is the only animal that eats when he is not hungry and the only creature that drinks when he is not thirsty.
Babangida’s first attempt after stepping aside was on November 8, 2006, when he picked a nomination from the Peoples Democratic Party Headquarters in Abuja. He was later shown the way out. Firstly, as a citizen of Nigeria who has not been found guilty of any criminal offence by the court of the land, he is eligible to contest in any national election.
He is definitely exercising his political right. Even, the late General Sani Abacha would have done the same thing by now had it not been “a coup from heaven” that took his life. The whole world is watching the recycling of our past leaders and administrators with disgust.
Secondly, we should not be surprised about his declaration as we are living in one of the most corrupt nations of the world.
The corruption that has robs Nigeria’s children of a better future. The corruption which he, himself, institutionalised; “the kick-backs” and “ten-percentages”. Is IBB exposing himself to ridicule or he wants to empower people following him?
Do you think that this can happen in a developed and civilized world? His family and kinsmen must call him to order and ask him what he wants to do in office again! He was there for eight years and he had no solutions to any of all the problems that brought this country into crisis as contained in his declaration speech: “Today, the reality of our present circumstances is that our country is in a crisis.
We cry over the economy; and we agonise over the state of our educational system as well as organised crime. Our infrastructure has collapsed and we continue to live with epileptic supply of electricity. We bicker over the never-ending issue of subsidy”.
By the time he stepped aside on August 27, 1993, Africa’s leading oil producer, one of the potentially richest nations in the world, the land of food basket was in ruin, crumbling on its knees and at the brink of disintegration. Who is know fooling who?
According to one of America’s greatest statesmen, Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool some of the people some of the time; you can fool all the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”.
Moreover, we should not be surprised that this is happening in a country where over 70 percent of Nigerians live below poverty level. Poverty is the condition of being poor, in need, indigent and lack means of substance. This is as a result of lack of consistency and effective implementations of government policies to the letter. The traces of poverty is seen everywhere, even some of our so-called rich men are affected.
Poverty leads to corruption, disruption of family relations and social life; it causes rising crime rate such as the new trend in crime like kidnapping, sophisticated armed-robbery, advance fee fraud (419), internet scams, among other vices.
In this situation, people are very desperate to survive by all means. If IBB wants to help the masses, he should first embark on building public libraries to all States capital. After all, 42 billion naira was wasted on his endless transition programme. They should give other people a chance.
Nigeria has a pool of men who are blessed with leadership qualities and who can stand the acid test of honour and integrity. I believe that very soon a true servant of people and a genuine lover of humanity will emerge as our President. God bless the good people of Nigeria.
By Adewale Akande,a commentator on national issues , writes from Spain.