FEATURE ARTICLE

Babs AjayiFriday, May 16, 2014
Babsajayi@yahoo.com
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada

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THE VALUE ATTACHED TO PEOPLE'S LIVES IS ZERO

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here is every reason to worry about the drift Nigeria is experiencing and the steady disintegration into anomy. One major issue is very worrisome, and that is the value attached to life by those who pretend to rule and run (more like run down) the affairs of the nation. It is very strange that lives are lost daily due to the inaction, action and lack of foresight by the government; sometimes due to the recklessness and abuse by the same government, and yet the people in power continue to act and behave like nothing is amiss; they continue to travel, continue to laugh and make merry, continue to drink and even attend church, and generally go on without showing any concern, or remorse for their misdeeds, inactions and do-nothing approach to every single thing that affects the people of Nigeria, but the plight of about 300 daughters of our nation easily gave them away; it exposed them for what they are: the grabber who came to fend for themselves, and themselves only. The first week of the abduction saga went by so quickly, but nothing was done and nobody at the seat of power cared. Nobody at the seat of power worried about the lives of 300 young girls as they ate, drank and enjoyed life as usual in Aso Rock, in Abuja. It was alright by them that the girls were kidnaped, or even killed, for as long as they can continue to do what they do best, which was pretending to be running a government and making assurances with words only about everything from Boko Haram to electricity, unemployment, the murder in the stadia across the nation during the Nigeria Immigration Service employment interviews, the bombing at Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja, and several other disasters that have cost hundreds of lives in the last five years.

It got to that point that one has to begin to ask if those who hold power are human - and wonder if blood flow through their veins. And then you also wonder if they are sane and normal; you want to be sure that they are not going through some psychiatric problems and do not suffer delusion. It is possible for any leader holed up inside Aso Rock with the likes of Doyin Okupe providing media consulting to be confused and carried away by the huge delivery and overdose of misinformation, but when the leader is interviewed by the CNN and other international media and his expressions and thoughts are still very far away from truth and reality then you have to accept that the situation is truly bad and must not be blamed on media-mongers alone. This is a pathetic disdain for life and for everything normal and natural to man.

The first week of abduction (April 14 to 19) came and went, the second week followed and the third week stepped in, but still no action, except the lies from the armed forces, the armed forces that is nothing but a contraption with men who are generals and admirals in name only. They did not realize that we now live in a global village and any lie or deception will fall flat within hours. We must note that the liar-in-chief, Major General Chris Olukolade is yet to tender his letter of resignation. He does not have to because that is how they all are and it is in their character to hang in there, to hold on to position and power. What was the lie to avail this general and his boss in Aso Rock? Was it to make the commander-in-chief (or is it in-thief?) look good? Where are our 300 highly treasured daughters? Why hasn't the armed forces done something since the very first day? Why didn't the armed forces act quickly and run after the spineless Islamists who took our daughters in the dead of night and retrieve them? It is because they attach no value to the lives of the girls since the girls are not their own daughters. That is how Nigeria is - their own sons and daughters are sent to private schools or colleges in Europe because the situation of state schools are colleges in Nigeria are deplorable, but the millions of our sons and daughters have no choice beside those same deplorable state schools. The lives of the people and their families are considered worthless and unimportant that the same people who manage and control state schools prefer to send their own children to high-brow private schools or ship their children to schools overseas. For issues relating to health care and medical emergency, the Jonathans and their co-travellers prefer and attend German hospitals where health care is reliable and hospitals well maintained rather than go to state-owned teaching hospitals such as LUTH, UCH or General Hospital that their government operate and control. They placed very high premium on their own lives and they don't want to die, but they do not care if citizens die due to the poor state of health care in the nation. They want to be alive to enjoy their loot and their stolen wealth and as such are not prepared to risk their lives for the nation or its people. Like the commander-in-chief, the leaders of the armed forces placed more value on money, what they can get and grab, what will accrue to them, and the other material things that position and power will bring to them, so why risk their lives to secure the freedom of some girls who are unrelated to them.

Why did Jonathan turn down the help offered by the British government the day after the mass abduction on April 15? The British made the offer to the Jonathan Administration formal and firmer on April 18, but got no response. And where was Jonathan in those crucial days and weeks following the abduction? Jonathan was in Kano on April 15 where he sang, danced and laughed with his party men. He even had the time to trade words, insults and accusations with Kano State governor, accusing him of embezzling his campaign funds. It was on Wednesday, April 16 that Major General Chris Olukolade made his unsubstantiated and stupid statement claiming that only eight of the girls were still missing after a military operation. Military operation? What military operation and where? The abduction of our girls took place on Monday, April 14, the same day as the bomb blast that killed more than 75 people at the Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja. The Easter weekend came and went, and it was business as usual at Aso Rock. All schools and government offices were ordered closed the week of May 5 by Jonathan in order to host the World Economic Forum on Africa (May 7 - 9) in Abuja. 6,000 police and troops, the government told the world, have been deployed to secure the event and an assurance came from Jonathan to the delegates of their safety, and this was at a time that Jonathan knew nothing about the where about of our daughters and has done nothing to ensure their safe return home! Is this life? Is this what leadership in Nigeria has come to?

The plight of the girls did not feature in the first three weeks and no report was filed about what the armed forces is doing or has done to locate them in those 3 weeks. It was one week after this that Jonathan came out to say that his government has no clue about where the girls are and how many of them have actually been kidnapped. Till date, Jonathan has not been to Chibok from where the girls were abducted. He just cancelled his much anticipated visit, which is more than a month overdue, at the last minute. Here is the best Ojelu at work, now we need a true Oselu. May the Lord continue to uphold the family of Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo for the true and selfless leadership (seeking the greatest good of the greatest number of our people) and example he provided in a short time. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIXLM_ezptU). Jonathan admitted for the first time that his administration has no idea where the girls are but still made spurious claims about the situation. The habit of speaking from both sides of the mouth has become the trade mark of Goodluck Jonathan and that is a clear indication that he is bereft of ideas, lack imagination, confused and uncertain of things, clueless and does not know what he is doing. It even leaves you to wonder if he truly has a degree let alone a doctorate degree. Thank God his degrees are not from the premier university in Ibadan.

You know why it is possible to see people suffer health problems and sicknesses that are preventable and they cannot find help? Do we know why it is possible for people to work for 30 years and won't be paid pension and retirement benefits? Or why children are starving and left malnourished in our society where a billion naira was voted for food in one year at the seat of power? It is all because those at the helm in the nation attach no value to the lives of others. The Jonathans of this world are not bothered about just any life; it has to be theirs or it is worthless; they do not care about the lives of the ordinary people, the common man. Even Patience Jonathan told the world that no girl was missing? And that is true; it is a fact because no daughter of Patience Jonathan was missing. They only want to make sure that they live well and secure their own future at the expense of the majority, hence massive corruption in the land. But what is their future without the protection and sustenance of the majority of our people? The clinic at Aso Rock has medical equipment and facilities that are not available in most teaching and national hospitals in Nigeria. Why should there be anything like the Aso Rock Clinic if the life of every citizen is considered valuable and equal? Despite the heavy concentration and steady procurement of medical equipment for the presidential clinic, its budget allocation for 2014 ran into hundreds of millions of Naira in supplies including mammography machine (N41,083,102), x-ray machine (N34,132,630), embalming machine (N1,650,000), massage bed (N2,100,000) and medical expenses of N29,414,258. The message is obvious - our lives are more valuable than the lives of the people and the nation. In fact, we are the nation and we matter most while the rest of you do not matter - your lives are worthless with no value attached.

When Hillary Clinton spoke twice on Saturday, May 10, 2014 at two different events in New York about the abduction of our daughters, she spoke with motherly concern, anxiety, love and care for the children way more than Goodluck or his wife Patience have ever demonstrated. Mark you; we must not fall for her eventual and dramatic crocodile tears. Mrs. Clinton was angry that the Jonathan administration was "somewhat derelict" and said the government in Abuja "needs to get serious about protecting all of its citizens," and she demanded that Nigerians should hold their leaders accountable. Michelle Obama said she saw her daughters in our girls and her husband was equally unhappy with the nonchalant attitude and indifference demonstrated by Jonathan and his government. The truth is that Jonathan is not committed to the wellbeing of the Nigerian people; he is not interested in them. He came to Aso Rock for himself, not to serve anyone. I have written extensively about this in the past. I have pointed out so many times that we lack leadership and that Nigeria is yet to find a leader who is passionate about the people and who will put the interests of the people above his own. What we have today are here-to-chop-and-out-to-loot leaders. The personal interests and wellbeing of Jonathan and his family are supreme, and you can see that in the national budget and the obscene allocations to the State House and Aso Rock. It is no wonder that the plight of our girls touched leaders and people in faraway nations and continents than they touched those who are in authority in Nigeria. Authority and power/position for them is simply an opportunity, an opportunity to fend for themselves and to enjoy the good life at the expense of the people.

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