Friday, April 30, 2010


For many years Babangida became the poster child of Nigeria politics. So many Nigeria politicians had bounced him around left and right to serve their narrow interests; assumed the seat of power without anything to show for it.

IBB, the man, left the seat of power precisely seventeen years ago, and what have we achieved since the memorable ‘step aside’ saga? Nothing in particular. Our roads are not better; they only continue to consume hundreds of prime lives. Our cities don’t look better either, other than occasional edifices of building springing up in shanty enclaves without well constructed access roads, water supply or street lights.

The level of education both in primary, secondary and tertiary schools are in sorry state. Specialized tools, Infrastructures and much needed books are no where to be found. Visit where Nigerian children are being taught and you will be shocked to your bones. Sometimes one wonders what will become of these children when they finish their education. You wonderfully wondered how you expect children taught in these schools not to turn 419(ers), gangsters, drug pushers, assassins and knuckle headed looters of treasury all across the Nation.

When you read that a pastor’s wife is kidnapped, killed and dumped on a haystacks or a pastor is accosted in his office, dragged outside, castrated with one eye plugged out of its socket, you paused and wonder whether people are talking about the country you grew up or another planet across the galaxies.

When an Imam of a Mosque challenges his congregations to go out, draw their daggers and rip open innocent children belly all in the name of Allah or a Pastor of the church preaching revenge and asking for no forgiveness, then, you fall of your knees and thank God that wherever you are the Lord protects His Own.

With accusations galore and without any substantiated evidence that IBB stole millions, Nigerians rushed to publication tarnishing and character assassinating him day in day out. If it were true that he committed so much embezzlement while in office, how come we can not confront him with documents in the Court of Law? Can a man be so smart that no single trail of atrocities can be traced back to him?

The congressman of United States, William Jefferson, couldn’t evade the prying eyes of the FBI; hence he is now cooling his heels in prison. Those who collaborated with him to commit money laundering are now been watched 24/7 and they will not escape their days of Judgment.

It is true that Nigerians are still so mad over June 12th imbroglio, but give me a break; those opportunistic inheritors of aftermath of June 12th are nothing to write home about. Do we all belong to the extreme end of intelligent quotient (I.Q) that we can not see that these people crying foul are the worst within our teaming population of 150 million? If the young and the olds that took over from him for so many years were the saints that Nigerians were looking for, how come the expected transformation of all aspects of our lives are not better than those pre and after IBB’s era.

The man had decided not to spill any more beans since some Nigerians never believed that any human is beyond reproach and above mistakes. As a practical individual, he accepted responsibility for all that were committed during his tenure and said he was sorry in all languages.

Military men were trained to die while defending their country and could never have fair better under the environment of war and hatred. IBB was a military man when he assumed power but he demonstrated very rare democratic ideals of leadership years back. He brought respect to the seat of power and earned Nigeria the respect our Nation deserved. Under him Nigerians realized that certain policies and institutions, if well orchestrated, could serve the good interest of our teaming population.

Everyone who participated privately or publicly in Nigeria politics could not actually fault him for not trying during his tenure. DEFFRIL, MAMSER, the new breed politicians minus those who had turned into con artists and killers, the rural development; i.e. better life for rural women by his late wife were some of the IBB’s creations. Is anyone afraid of what more he can do for Nigeria with his second coming or is it just an outright hatred for those of my generation?

When institution is created or legislated, it becomes the responsibility of everyone to sustain or fine tune it for the betterment of everyone. When narrow interests become the bane of any society, institutions die easily. EFCC can serve Nigerians well if only they can nib corruption in the bud and never wait for China or America to point out the names of corrupt officials.

During IBB presidency, my family invested hard earned millions in agriculture, we asked only for assistance to rehabilitate roads and bridges linking our hectares of farm lands to the main access hub of roads in other that our goods and crops could be delivered or carried to towns and cities without too much hassles. Papa Awolowo popularized rural development during his political life and asked that every nook and cranny of western region be opened up for transportation of kola nuts and cocoa beans to town. IBB picked up this idea, and enforced it through his policies.

As a good strategist and consultant for my family agriculture ventures, I came up with a project write-up, submitted it to Eruwa local council, and through the state, the federal government obliged. With our efforts many along those roads and villages benefitted immensely, hence we all dubbed IBB as ‘Awoist’.

No sooner had the government of Babangida seized to exist than all the laudable policies collapsed. Lack of maintenance culture and continuity of institutions couple with non-challant attitudes of the ‘New Breed’ politicians reversed gains of years of government efforts in Nigeria. Only in Nigeria can you invest your hard earned money on business ventures, infrastructures and at the end of the day becomes frustrated, disappointed and even lost hope in your country.

Perhaps we need to have courage, sieve through those clamoring for our votes and trust; scrutinize everyone and not just play to the galleries of gluttonies. Ask everyone to present to us what they stand for, how they will take care of incessant killings in the name of religions. Without painstakingly recording their promises we will be drown with shouts of kill them all. Create a level playing ground for both olds and young to contest for the higher offices.

The whole world, fortunately, has become a small village and those who refused to be civil in conducting elections will end up loosing innocent lives of the people we are all fighting for. When you push the masses to the edge of the cliff, they will turn around three hundred and sixty degrees and chase you out of your enclaves. For 2011, we should all be vigilant and be vigilantè.

By O.R. Almaroof, DDS
NY, NY, U.S.A.

1 comment:

  1. I guess we can all assume that Nigeria is devoid of young intelligent people to run the country better than those who have been running the country since independence. That is the only logical conclusion available since we tend to 'recycle' those old 'military-turned politicians' who could not effect any cure for our malady when they were military authoritarians but some how think they can do it in a democratic system which requires validation from the congress. God help, save and bless Nigeria. Good article though.