• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Can Nigeria survive Tinubu?

Can Nigeria survive Tinubu?

If Nigerians waded through the torment, torture and turmoil of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and still stood their ground, they could virtually survive anything. That administration is an offshoot or the brainchild of the present government which has made citizens on horseshoes feel a piercing pinch.

We are not comparing the two administrations yet, as the latter is just evolving but it appears slightly difficult to believe that the entity called ‘Nigeria’ would continue to exist or develop after several years of Tinubu. It is not a prophecy nor a sadistic impulse but the signs portray vividly that a collapse is imminent. We had the worst insecurity, and worst economy during the Buhari era but what do we call what is taking place in present-day Nigeria? Every seminar, workshop or training teaches nothing but how to survive the conundrum, uncertainties, hardship and eventualities in Nigeria yet nobody considers the country or the nation whose citizens are seeking survival and an escape route.

Interestingly, the backdrops of the previous administration are made pre-eminent by Tinubu. Social evils which the Buhari government forced down the throats of Nigerians are now on the rampage and flying everywhere. Despite all the socio-economic woes and negligence, we know that tough times do not last but tough people do. Therefore, without the slightest hesitation, we weep, cry and moan about the condition of Nigeria which the visionless leadership had brought her to. A High-life musician from the Southeast in the early 2000s derided Nigerian leaders saying; “You postulated (said) that war has ended?” Do we now say that Nigeria is at peace with herself, citizens and foreign threats?

We must not fail to point out that the present government increased and widened the tribal partition, divides and hatred. Few Nigerians could boast of inner peace but social peace and security have eluded the majority of the citizens. Just like the Reggae star sang; people are dying like flies every day, making nonsense of life, living and existence which should have otherwise motivated, inspired and pushed citizens to invent, recreate and adopt the best modalities of doing things. Making Nigeria one was a task some of our military heads of state claimed to be committed to not minding that their actions put Nigerians away and apart on tribal lines. 98% of Nigeria’s revenue is used in servicing debt and there is neither foreign nor domestic investment taking place in the country but the country spent over ₦5 billion on SUVs for legislators. The continuous criminal borrowing showed that something sinister takes place between the lenders and borrowers. It makes a lot of sense to inquire whether Nigeria would survive with the life and blood of her citizens.

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Sadly, the almost 28% inflation rate in Nigeria has made education, housing, water, electricity, health, gas, fuel etc. exorbitant, costly and out of reach for low-income Nigerians. The rise in prices of food has made many angry, hungry and frustrated. Teenagers are now being kidnapped by unscrupulous individuals for a ransom of ₦100,000. Services in restaurants, hotels, and communication giants have added charges without any additional value. The survival of Nigerians depends largely on the longevity, and strength of the nation Nigeria. If Nigeria falls apart today, the citizens will serve strange masters and become perpetual slaves.

Dutifully, we must seek ways to ensure that Nigeria does not go into oblivion. Everyone in Nigeria complains, chatters and bickers because the pride of nationhood is turned to shame. Businesses are failing, dollar exchanges for over a thousand naira, no forex for import and export, sales have drastically dropped and transportation is amongst the costliest ventures in Nigeria. It’s foolhardy to posit or think that one would always find a way, an escape route even when the nation is on the brink of collapse. Do we see any sign that Nigeria will take the lead as an African giant again in the next five years? A rich and naturally-endowed country like Nigeria has 60% of its citizens in a multidimensional poverty situation. If Nigerians are starving, impoverished, begging and immigrating to other countries of the world; do we still consider Nigeria blessed and filled with abundance?

Moreover, ‘Why Nations Fail’ is a book of discovery by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson which discusses rich and poor nations, pointing out that economic and political institutions are crucial for the survival and prosperity of nations. The recent off-type elections in Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi states reveal that the state of the nation is marooned and lampooned. Most federal roads throughout the federation are overgrown by grasses and shrubs signifying that the political institutions are mimicked, and non-functional. Neglect, corruption, and incompetence make a country collapse. If the government avoids necessary choice, practices only defensive politics, and represses the protests with tyranny, Nigeria is likely to implode.

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Eventually, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) embarked on strike from Monday 13th November not minding the court orders and government entreaties. The removal of fuel subsidy and hike in the price of petrol brought about several economic woes which the government does not want to address. And just like every other thing in today’s Nigeria, the Labour Unions foreshadow a smokescreen on the ordinary and struggling Nigerians who could have hoped that relief could be gotten through ‘Aluta Continua’. It’s obvious that managerial incapacity, failing to meet popular needs, causes dissatisfaction even though the present government is not people-oriented. Nigeria is not just weak, she is ailing, sick and dead. Who can resurrect Nigeria? Would Nigeria ever stand on her feet again?

Bizarrely, when citizens in a country cannot save, invest and innovate; do we think that the country still stands? The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of communism has a big lesson for great leaders and why democracy is failing in Africa is another matter of serious concern. From all indications, natural disasters – drought, flooding, earthquake, hurricane, and epidemics have never made any country poor but mismanagement and political instability can make a strong nation weak. A nation can survive failure by learning from mistakes, fostering resilience, and implementing adaptive strategies.

In conclusion, Nigeria can still survive if the leaders and followers are willing and ready to pay a price. She can grow and advance economically if the leaders are willing to make sacrifices. A country where no meaningful venture or enterprise pays except politics is on the brink of collapse. And some of us have paid with our blood as many are killed, kidnapped and mesmerized by the acrimony, bitterness and vested interests amongst different political parties. We learned from history that abuse, corruption, immorality, impunity, neglect, oppression, and tyranny led to the downfall of the great Roman Empire. Nothing goes for nothing and our political leaders must take a bold step and make a decision to rescue Nigeria. Seeking cheap popularity and dancing to the tune of naysayers, world powers will not help Nigeria. Nigeria should focus on diversifying its economy beyond oil, investing in infrastructure, promoting education, addressing corruption, and fostering inclusive governance. Long-term stability and growth will awaken Nigeria’s weak, dead institutions for optimal output and production.