SIR: Nigeria is at a banquet: the table at the centre is gold. Problem is that so few find seat and even fewer tastes the ambrosia served. In a country of bountiful blessings, every sharing formula till date has come up short. There is a constitution which emphasizes federal character but suffers the handicap of a doctor prescribing a drug not in his pharmacy.
Nepotism rages like a wild fire, consuming all in its path. In burning away the last vestiges of meritocracy, it leaves only dust and ashes.
For Ndi Igbo, Biafra is still very much live. The good people of the Niger Delta continue to lament their environment. The southwest is suspicious of Nigeria‘s federalism and the north faces multiple terrors from rampaging marauders.
Nigeria is a big loaf torn between many jostling for a piece of it. Yet, obscurity is the lot of those for whom the loaf should be a lifeline.
Insecurity remains grave. Life and property are at the mercy of ruthless killers. The future has never been bleaker. The past lies naked beneath the gaze of those who want to change it.
In these days of rampant unemployment, 774, 000 jobs are up for grabs between the National Assembly and the Ministry of Labour and Employment. True to form, the squabble has been atrocious.
The National Assembly, exhibiting its entitlement syndrome, has laid claims to a larger number than the ministry is willing to give.
No a few of the slot should end up with the thugs who service their electoral violence.
Nigeria is a banquet many have been invited to but so few are seated. The majority are caught in the mazes of the margins, macerated by the maces of those whose mascot is the ravening beast that injustice is.
In Nigeria, it is not ironical that the jobs meant to placate the plight of people hardest hit by the pandemic would become a problem to them.
Many Nigerians are wondering aloud about what is even in the jobs for them. In the current economic climate, N60,000 does not even begin to scratch the surface of what the average Nigerian needs in a month to survive, and not curse his citizenship of Nigeria. That it has become a source of so much controversy tells a noisy story.
In Nigeria, inequity is a rabid dog that barks and bites to spread its rabies. It is seen in the castration of the federal character principle in the constitution. It is seen in the allocation of resources, especially as it relates to the oil wealth flowing from the Niger Delta. It is seen in appointments into public offices. It is seen in the citing of national infrastructure. It is even sighted in the distribution of the basics that Nigerians need to live and thrive.
So, iniquitously, the country is diseased by the terminal ailment that inequity is. The disease has spread fast, afflicting many, like a pandemic, yet hubris has precluded many from subjecting themselves to curative procedures. Perhaps, they fear the cynicism of the judiciary – that once hallowed temple of justice that has now become a venue where justice is subjected to the humiliating condescension of commerce.
Those who form poverty‘s long queues of privations see their begging bowls spat into and their status re-empasised while the do-nothings feed fat and curse those who have nothing.
Nigeria, long sat on the gunpowder of those turned away, is at the brink with the ticking thickening.
Things must change immediately. The alternative is to risk an actionable anger, one so bloated by many years of epic inequality.
The building of another Nigeria must immediately begin: a different Nigeria; a Nigeria where every Nigerian is invited to the banquet and given a seat of honour fitting for all citizens. There must no longer be those who are treated as second-class citizens; everyone must be allowed a bite of the national bread. Until this is done, failure will continue to dog our every step as a country.
What is obtainable is no longer sustainable. What we have is a butchery where the butcher‘s block is surrounded by pot-bellied gluttons, eyes gleaming with greed and avarice, hands full of gleaming knives, all digging, into the carcass of a country abominably preyed upon by all those who should be praying for it.
Things must change lest we risk the extinction of a great country.
- Kene Obiezu,