FEATURE ARTICLE

Sunday, June 16, 2024
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Ireland
ONE YEAR AFTER: HOPELESSNESS PERVADES THE LAND

t has been one year since the Tinubu administration came into existence through an election fraught with the cocktail of thuggery, intimidation, bald faced scare mongering and ethnic jingoism. The election that precedes this administration disenfranchised the citizens by depriving them of the one thing that the constitution grants them, the right to cast their votes in a manner that reflects their wishes. The molestation and harassment of citizens from lawfully and safely casting their votes in many polling booths across the states forebodes a dangerous precedence in an already fractious nation. Many people came out excitedly to demonstrate their civic responsibility only to be greeted by hoodlums and hooligans hired by politicians to create mayhem.

One year on and the Tinubu government have unmasked itself as a government of megalomaniacs, not only in its utterances but also in its brazenness. The president not only cut across as a man suffering from Messianic complex but also one with an acute sense of the need for validation-- a neediness for recognition and relevance. This often cuts across in his speeches and deportment. The many times have listened to him, he never uses the collective pronoun "We" to describe the government's achievement in any sector but rather "I." "I removed subsidy", I will turn Nigeria around, "I will revamp the economy", etc. prolific leaders talk about collectiveness as a means of giving a sense of belonging to and buy in. Mr Tinubu's admittance of deviating from the script in announcing the end of subsidy speaks volume of a man in dire need of acknowledgement. Not only does he think himself a messiah but portrays himself as having all the answers to Nigeria's many plights.

Megalomaniacs are delusional and live in a bubble apart from everybody, a trait often depicted by Tinubu. He appears on international platforms touting his ingenuity by cataloguing his tales of economic misdirection as economic miracles. What the international community didn't tell him is that no one makes decisions of such magnitude on a whim without long term planning and simulations to mitigate the effects of such decisions. By one fell swoop Mr Tinubu pauperised Nigerians by his unthought of and unplanned for removal of oil subsidy. He by one move plunged the country into palpable suffering.

One year on and the situations have only become worse. Foreign companies are moving out of the country in droves due to diminished purchasing capability of the citizens. Entities that had once stayed in the country due to the sheer number of the population despite the many shortcomings in the system have now come to the end of their tether. With the departure of some of these companies the once employed Nigerians have now joined the already saturated unemployment market further worsening a very bad situation all because of unproven and hasty decisions on crucial policies that determines the success or failure of a country.

What informed Tinubu's precipitous decision to unilaterally remove fuel subsidy without empiricism? I cannot think of anything else but plain and simple delusion of power and an acute sense of megalomania. Tinubu's incompetence is becoming glaring at an alarming rate. The economy is on a free fall, people are living by the fringes, still his government plays the ostrich. It's hard to see how the Nigerian economy will rebound with the erosion of the purchasing power and the continued departure of foreign companies with increased insecurity and mindless borrowing.

If there are doubts that Tinubu suffers an acute sense of grandiosity, look at the ill-advised commencement of the coastal road to nowhere. Not only is the project ill-timed the purpose of it is to glorify the ambition of one man, even when the means of executing the project is not available. and if available there are other pressing needs with quick gains that would have catalysed the revamping of the economy. If anyone epitomises the need for Tinubu to be eulogised even when it looks ludicrous to do so is Dave Umahi, the Works Minister who on a whim sings Tinubu's praise perpetually to the dismay of discerning minds.

One year after and this administration is still groping in the dark. Tinubu cannot feel his way out of the quagmire he has brought the economy into. The factors necessary to revamp an economy are right now in reversals. You cannot tax your way out of a comatose economy because the resources of the taxpayers are limited. Ingenuity and financial sagacity are needed to bolster this flailing economy. Tinubu's inaugural speech would have been to cut the size of government by making it agile and lean. What we have seen since he took office is the mindless display of prodigality, from the humongous travel train to endless retinue of aides with duplicated portfolios, from his son bumping into FEC meetings, to his open abrading of the lad in public indicating a lack of control of the young man.

Nigeria is in dire need of first aid, and it is glaring Tinubu does not have the perspicacity nor the propriety to revitalise Nigeria. This government is out to settle the boys hanging around the corridors of power. The folks at the National Assembly are neither cerebral nor principled to hold Tinubu responsibly for the mayhem he has unleashed since May 29, 2023. The pack of wolfs at the National Assembly milking the nation dry are all too glad to revel in the spoils than to worry about the helpless masses dying by instalment. Nigeria is currently in the hands of a pack of hyenas who are bent on eating everything including the carcase.

The National Assembly acting as the theatre of the ridiculous and mental diminution aligns itself with the presidency however absurd the presidential policies are; so laughable has the Assembly become that the last senate president openly and boldly said, he was going to rubber stamp anything the presidency wants. The national assembly have become home for retired governors who see appointment to the senate as a furtherance of their political life. So bereft are this people that a secondary school debate will ginger more verve than the jejune assembly of rubber stampers.

One year on and the masses are witnessing absolute deprivation and complete loss of their dignity. Many more people are becoming beggars in their own country while Tinubu splurges on foreign trips to exotic places and has the temerity to tell Nigerians he feels their pain. How can someone feel your pain when he lives in a different world a world of opulence and extravagance? Nigerians are hungry and dying while Tinubu tells them to hope, hope for tomorrow that has become a mirage. The hypocrisy stinks, one that could be liken to the pope telling us to fast, while he splurges on caviar and sauvignon.

One year on and the people are in agony from a corrupt and mindless government, unleashing waves of draconian laws, demolishing homes, and livelihoods at the most inauspicious of times, under the guise of remodelling the city. This is a thoughtless government that values the misery of the people than their wellbeing. It is befuddling to see a government formulating extreme policies to strangulate the people. Delirium and hysteria have become part of the Nigerian narrative. No reasonable leader except one that is delusional will make policies consistently without some level of succour. The Hobbesian dystopia finds expression in Nigeria; where life has become solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

Nigeria is tethering towards the precipice, the prognosis is ominous, the people ululate, and we think they celebrate, they dance but it is macabre. The pang of hunger debilitates. The nights have become very dark because the stars refuse to shine. We are afraid of the morning because of the terror of the oppressor. Where do we go from here? See what we have become, beggars in our own land and strangers to our neighbours. Once we loved each other and ate together, now they tell us we are enemies, and we must fight for our survival. Our patrimony they have stolen and oppress us with it. We no more hear the mellifluous sound of the morning birds; they have been overtaken by the gong of war. Where did all our food go? What happened to our abundant oil? Where is the glorious pride we once had? Marauders strut the land with impunity and the citizens cower in fear. When shall we awake from this nightmare and behold the splendour that once permeated our existence?