FEATURE ARTICLE

Yahaya BalogunTuesday, August 29, 2017
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Arizona, USA

NIGERIA: A WALKING DEAD? RICH NATION, POOR PEOPLE


hen I wrote my pathetic article titled: "Nigeria: A State of Dystopia?" published in The Guardian Newspapers of November 25th, 2016, I knew Nigeria was journeying on a famished road to disintegration or to the unknown. Without any happenstance, it is scary to imagine the direction Nigeria is sauntering through at this period of her nationhood. The present state of the nation can be juxtaposed with "The Walking Dead." The comic book series written by Robert Kirkman. "This gritty drama portrays life in the weeks and months following a zombie apocalypse. Led by police officer Rick Grimes, his family and a group of other survivors find themselves constantly on the move in search of a safe and secure home. But the pressure each day to stay alive sends many in the group to the deepest depths of human cruelty, and Rick discovers that the overwhelming fear of the survivors can be more deadly than the zombies walking among them."

Most of the inhabitants of the space called Nigeria are walking dead or dead alive. Apparently, Nigeria is a confluence of history, it's also a nation with repititious history. Any nation whose chunks of youthful age don't know their complicated and contentious history is irredemably doomed to an unending failure. Appropriately or inappropriately, most Nigerians are truly Zombies living in the secessionist-Nnamdi Kanu's zoo? Nigerian people are alive but not lively. In the current situation, there is a reminiscence of the fact that Nigeria was once a beautiful nation with abundant resources to take care of her citizens, but in recent years, with the deliberate indifference of their leaders, majority of the country's citizens are wallowing in insecurity, misery and squalor. Unfortunately, some people have debunked this, but it is the true reality in Nigeria today. Nigerian leaders have always call spade a jigger in order to cover their deceits and lies. Now, it is a death sentence or political suicide to challenge the authority, political opponent or differ in opinions with the children of corruption.

Law and order in the country is absolutely close to ground zero. Life is extremely and existentially cheap in a country that doesn't care about the welfare of its citizens. There's an intelligent failure in the security apparatus of the country-if at all, there was one. How do you explain the sacrilegious mass murder of worshippers in the "House of God" on a beautiful Sunday? Some people in this Hobbesian state are even justifying this heinous crime! Everyone is dwelling in a state of dystopia. Confusion is breaking the bones and psychology of the strong and the weak inhabitants of Nigeria. No one is immune from the multiplier effects of its social anomie and economic quagmire. The citizens commute to and fro on a famished road, if they are lucky to get home, they are in constant fear of marauders at night; or in danger of a dilapidated houses from collapsing on the heads of the residents.

Meanwhile, all lives (including the lives of the corrupt politicians, enterprenuers, innocent children and adults, students, teachers, chiefs, thieves, kidnappers, pastors, imams, the poor people, honest and affluent members in the society) are in gamble and shamble. Existentially, no one knows what tomorrow portends or will bring for him/her. Repetitiously, everyone is in a chancy situation as the country continues to morph from one strive and uncertainty to another. The song in everyone's mouth is "e go better" or "if my family is OK, 'abushe bushe', (that is alright)." Everyone is very pretentious with palsy-walsy demeanor. We hypocritically prey (pray) for one another as if Nigeria is the only nation under the banner of God. A nation that blasphemously mocks God daily will always reap what she sows with her deliberate indifference and resentment.

Recently, Rwanda conducted another elections in which the incumbent president Paul Kagame overwhelmingly won the confidence of the people of Rwanda. Rwanda is a nation that reinvented itself after her sacrilegious and genocidal war. Many Rwandans admire Kagame as a visionary leader who united a country scarred by the 1994 genocide, in which over 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred by Hutu extremists.

The country came out of hemorrhaged singleton to a vibrant, reconstructed and conciliatory nation. There was a collective resolve to make the internecine, feud and genocidal war in their country their last collective journey to the past. The citizens of Rwanda did not want to gamble with their future. After their transformational and visionary leader, Paul Kagame overwhelmingly won his second term in office. The homo sapien's gene in Rwandans allowed them to predict their future in order to create it. The smart citizens of Rwanda literally saw and authored their tomorrow, they putting the necessary machinery in motion to created it. Paul Kagame is a visionary leader who constantly ruminates over the apocalypticism of the past. He saw Rwanda's prosperous tomorrow, and he is utilizing today's human capital and natural resources to realize its predictable future.

The people of Rwanda also feel the unprecedented transformation of their war-torn country under the leadership of president Paul Kigame, they quickly and smartly made a decision through referendum to fine tune their Constitution to allow the third term presidency of Paul Kigame. Advertently, the evolved youths of Rwanda now see themselves as the magnificent representations of the progress of Rwanda.

In the last election, the youths mobilized all ethnic groups within the geopolitical zones in Rwanda to vote for the incorruptible president Paul Kagame. Rwandans went to the polls and voted again overwhelmingly for the continuation of progress in Rwanda. Paul Kigame won 93% of the total votes. His opponent, Philippe Mpayimana, in the eyes of some voters is seen as a clown. A fresh-faced former journalist who ran against the incumbent president Paul Kagame of Rwanda is an obscured candidate. He is relatively even unknown amongst the vast majority of voters.

Philippe Mpayimana through the spirit of sportsmanship, conceded defeat; congratulated the winner for continued progress of Rwanda. Rwandans have learned a bitter lesson from the ugly past. Presently, Rwanda, one nation under a collective decision is using her past to shape the future. The present and future generation's aspiration is assured. The country is moving at a fast pace as a dissent epitome of democracy, and a prosperous nation in Africa.

As Rwanda takes a quantum leap into the future, Nigeria is unfortunately a crawling giant-for-nothing country in Africa. It has squandered so many opportunities to recoup, re-invent or restructure itself. Nigeria went through similar experience of Rwanda during her internecine, feud and civil war in 1966. A senseless war that claimed more than 2 million Nigerian lives. Nigeria squandered a great opportunity to come together as a united and unified country. A nuance of no victor, no vanquished was misplaced and misappropriated.

Moreover, according to recent report by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, NBS, 95% of Nigerians indulge in bribery and corruption. Bribery and corruption in Nigeria are intertwined. The two hydra-headed monsters are not mutually exclusive. The two are cancerous agents impeding the progress of Nigeria. It is understandable why some people are not happy with Buhari/Osinbajo's administration. It is because the ambient of corruption and loopholes with which the system is drained are wittingly being sealed. Nigeria is circumscribed with the unrepentant corrupt politicians who aren't ready to climb Buhari's herculean mountain. The open or surreptitious resistance to Buhari's person, in spite of his ailing health is unprecedented in the anal history of Nigeria. Religion, ethnicity, youths, individuals and other nuances are being weaponized to fight the anti-corruption stance of Buhari's administration.

Nigeria, with her repititious history has thoroughly embarrassed herself as a bad example of a leader to other African countries. It is a country bedeviled with leadership problem, and the nauseating confusion and contradictory nature of her followership! If Jesus Christ comes to Nigeria tomorrow under the present conundrums, the chances of his success will be very sacredly remote. He might woefully be denied any chance to re-invent, redeem or salvage a nation in distress. Nigerian leaders continue to careen dangerously around their illegal wealth in a rich nation with poor people. A nation in blind search for her true identity. If an honest and incorruptible mind fails to stop our self-inflicted problems this time, who will clean the Aegean stables in Nigeria will remain a mystery question no one can satisfactorily answer in a jiffy.

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