• Friday, May 24, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

2015: How to rescue Nigeria from PDP’s inept leadership (1)

businessday-icon

The current state of Nigeria

The wise King Solomon rightly posits that, “When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan” (Proverb 29:2). It goes without saying that Nigerians are groaning day and night under the wicked rule they are being subjected to through a government that has abdicated its responsibility to the people, and in every way possible shows the wickedness of its reign.

To say that Nigeria is currently at the cross roads – confused and not knowing what tomorrow portends, occasioned by the visionless and misguided leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the centre – is to say that appropriate words to describe the state of our nation under an uncaring and corrupt government can’t be found. Today, we have a government that cannot protect or guarantee our security as contained in the Constitution. Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka recently stated that Nigeria practices ‘Government of Impunity.’ And, according to Dr Peregrino Brimah, Nigeria occupies the first position in the ranking of nations with the worst governments in history. He pointed to a report from the World Bank in April which listed Nigeria among the five poorest countries in the world, with the largest number of people said to live on less than $1.25 a day. The others are India, China, Bangladesh and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

President Goodluck Jonathan instead of addressing the issue on poverty as raised casually dismissed the report by saying: “Nigeria is not a poor country.”

The rebasing of Nigeria’s economy, setting Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa, while revealing the true economic position of Africa’s largest nation, simultaneously re-certified Nigeria as the nation in the top position for worst leadership in social welfare and opportunities for the people. With 70 per cent of the nation’s population living under a-dollar-a-day; economically factored, Nigeria has the poorest people of any nation in the world today. With the rebased economy rating, Nigeria has unparalleled HDI (Human Development Index) to revenue and economy ratio of all nations. Poorest people, in the case of Nigeria, are derived from or correlate with poorest leadership.

Is it not surprising that Nigeria, at the end of 2013, surpassed Mexico in kidnapping, recording the cruelest and second highest single abduction events in recent history? By the end of 2013 and the first quarter of 2014, Nigeria surpassed Syria, Libya, Iraq and Central Africa Republic (CAR) in deadly acts of terrorism and sectarian violence. The Nyanya bombing was ranked the fifth worst bombing of its kind in world history, post-1970, by the Mineta Transportation Institute (MTI). The Jos bombing, with over 200 reported dead in one attack, is second only to 9/11 and the disputed Syria chemical weapons attack.

According to the report, “In combined values, with about 80,000 people killed in four years of largely unchecked Boko Haram violence, and with over 4,000 killed in the first quarter of 2014 alone, Nigeria has fast outpaced other nations of the world in deadly terror. Nigeria’s leadership in December 2013 secured the world’s top position rating in insecurity and failure to protect life, and discourage terror. Current rankings put Nigeria’s leadership second only to Hitler, after surpassing Saddam Hussein, in the current century, in terms of deliberate internal wastage of life.”

A recent report on global life expectancy by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has rated Nigeria low in its report titled, “World Health Statistics 2014”, and published few months ago. According to that publication, life expectancy for both men and women is less than 55 years in nine sub-Saharan African countries, namely: Nigeria, Angola, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique and Sierra Leone. The yearly report is the definitive source of information on the health of the world’s people. It contains data from 194 countries on a range of mortality, disease and health system indicators, including life expectancy, illnesses and deaths from key diseases, health services and treatments; financial investment in health, as well as risk factors and behaviours that affect health.

Speaking at an event in New York City, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State, said the Nigerian government under President Goodluck Jonathan squandered its oil resources, and indirectly helps corruption to fester in the troubled country. Her words: “They have squandered their oil wealth; they have allowed corruption to fester, and now they are losing control of parts of their (own) territory because they would not make hard choices.” The former U.S. Secretary of State at the function organised by the International Crisis Group also noted: “The Nigerian government has failed to confront the threat, or to address the underlying challenges. Most of all, the government of Nigeria needs to get serious about protecting all of its citizens, and ensuring that every child has the right and opportunity to go to school.”

That is not all, according to Sarah Seawall, U.S. Under Secretary of State, “Corruption prevents supplies as basic as bullets and transport vehicles from reaching the front lines of the struggle against Boko Haram.” Back home, former president, Gen Olusegun Obasanjo, in his assessment of Jonathan’s performance in office posited: “I don’t believe he has performed to the expectation of many Nigerians, not just me.” While U.S. Senator John McCain, in his view, submits that Nigerians don’t even have a government in the right sense: “We shouldn’t have waited for a practically non-existent government to give us the go-ahead before mounting a humanitarian effort to rescue those girls. Mr. Jonathan, who leads a corrupt government that has little credibility, initially played down the group’s threat and claimed security forces were in control. It wasn’t until Sunday, more than two weeks after the kidnappings, that he called a meeting of government officials.” (New York Times).

To worsen the nation’s situation, President Jonathan has proven himself as incapable of running this country as his six years of administration have been most disastrous to the country. Our hospitals have become more of a consulting and mortuary centres; our federal roads are now death traps, after billions of naira had been budged and wasted and looted. We have an elected Government that hates democracy, but prefers ‘lootcracy’! Under this administration, the civil war years can be described as haven, as Nigerians are killed in droves today, without any solution at sight! Under this administration, Nigerians are so divided in both tribal and religious matters! Salaries of civil servants are not paid! Graduates are produced in millions yearly without any plan of employment for them. Instead of allowing these unfortunate graduates to live in peace, they are being defrauded by government agencies, while a good number has lost their lives in their search for nonexistent jobs! We now have a government of deceit, which major achievement is making our nation a laughing stock before the international community.

A government that has succeeded in making us a mockery before the international community and African leaders; which major achievements are traumatizing and transforming the nation into darkness as well as digitalizing corruption to such a level where a whopping sum of $10 million can be said to have developed wings, and unaccounted for.

The latest in the series of global ridicule to which the scandal-prone Jonathan Administration has subjected Nigeria to is the recent impounding of a whopping sum of $9.3 million cash, against every norm of international transaction; allegedly for the purchase of arms by the President Jonathan government. The South Africa Government is currently investigating the shameful act, alleging that this is just a monetary laundering exercise.

EZE CHUKWUEMEKA EZE