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Some topical national issues

THE almighty attitude of some governments in this country is amazing. It appears they feel that  governments have absolute and unquestionable powers over those they govern. And their decision or pronouncements must always be final.

Hence, the usual ‘no going back’ stance they take. It is heartening, however, that not all the governments adopt this posture.

It is not hereby being suggested that a government should submit or succumb to every protestation or protest demonstration by the people; for no weak government will be respected. This is beside the fact that a weak government will be unable to execute and accomplish the objectives for which it was voted into office.

A government is expected to be firm and will not lose its power and prestige if it will sometimes bend a little and go back once in a while on its decisions, where it is an unpopular one. It will bring about a cordial relationship between the government and the people.

The people still know that the government is not a weak one and they will still respect it, knowing that it is a listening government. The Lagos State government must have re-absorbed all the sacked doctors after  the flexing of muscles on both sides. A welcome development.

There is no doubt  that Moshood Abiola is a national hero after all he had done for this country; but why is his name being immortalised only in the South Western part of the country.

If efforts have been made to name institutions or parks or whatever after him in other parts of  the country, they must have been on a very small scale. Nevertheless, the Federal Government seems to have picked on the wrong institution, for several reasons, for a for a change name. I am not an alumnus of the University of  Lagos but the reaction and indignation of the present and past students of that university are righteous.

There are so many universities and other institutions in this country to name after him. It is gratifying that the decision is not final yet because the matter is now before  the National Assembly.

Many ethnic groups in this country declare that they are nations. We are still involved in nation-building; when eventually a true nation emerges, it is going to be a nation of many nations. That will be unique, isn’t it?

Successive administrations have been unable, so far, to tackle successfully  the problem of the lack of constant electricity supply in this country. Constant electricity supply, inter alia, is  the nucleus of a strong and vibrant econmy which we desire to make our dream of being counted in 2020 as one of the top 20 economically strong nations on this planet.

But as things are at present, including the woeful state of electricity supply, unreliable and unpredictable, it seems it will be a miracle if the 20 – 20-20 dream comes true. Anyway, fanciful optimism is not harmful, it may soothe the feeling and wish.

The common denominator of the problems and ills which plague this country is corruption. Like the very tiny threats of the mould which infests your piece of bread or other food items, it has invaded and permeated all levels and sections of life in this country. Revelations that have been made in connection with the oil subsidy matter will be troubled by one of the tentacles or aspects of corruption, and all or most of the offenders will go unpunished in spite of all they are saying that there will be no sacred cows.

There are always sacred cows and they will get away with impunity. Their offences are always swept under the carpet like other previous offences and revelations before the one concerning the oil subsidy revelations. Let’s hope that the Press, the media and people’s watchdog will ensure that offenders, thieves, robbers and embezzlers are all punished this time in accordance with the law.

Ever heard of the crashing of planes operated and managed by British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa and KLM? If there are any then perhaps they occur once in half a century and it cannot be attributed to inefficiency or human error. Nigerian airline operators and other relevant authorities should learn from them. Some African airlines, such as Ethiopian Airlines are not doing badly.

If Nigerian airlines, domestic and international, want to cut corners, operate cheaply, give excuses for their incompetence and endanger human lives they should not expect Nigerians to patronize them just because they are Nigerian airlines, their own airlines, at the risk to their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Mr. GIDEON EFETIE, a retired career diplomat, wrote from Lagos.


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