The hypocrisy era
had come to expect only the worst from Nigeria…”
“Cooperate.” a powerful word. Especially when your contribution was to collect.
Buhari admitted that never had Nigeria enjoyed such goodwill internationally. “The messages I received from East and West, from powerful and small countries are indicative of international expectations on us. at home the newly elected government is basking in a reservoir of goodwill and high expectations. Nigeria therefore has a window of opportunity to fulfill our long – standing potential of pulling ourselves together and realizing our mission as a great nation…
“We have an opportunity,” Buhari concluded. Let us take it.”
The moment was so powerful you could almost see him leaping off the podium to get started.
In that light, and nearly five years later, what word or image best summarizes the Buhari era in terms of example-setting and doing the right thing and seizing the opportunity to fulfill Nigeria’s potential?
sadly, none. at best, Nigeria has drifted into the realm of hidden agendas and hesitant leaps off the podium. We are the land of limited vision and tokenism, but even more limited goodwill and selfrespect.
Think about it: over the next two weeks, Christmas, Boxing day and January 1 are to be observed as holidays in Nigeria.
This was contained in an announcement made last Thursday by the Minister of Interior, ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, in a statement signed by Georgina Ehuriah.
She is the Permanent Secretary of that Ministry. Which means that the statement was laboriously crafted by one or two or three junior officers, and then meticulously edited for substance and language and nuance and political correctness by an Information Officer or two or three before it was gingerly placed on the desk of a deputy director. It would then have been sent to a director, who would have laboured over it before it reached Ms. Ehuriah.
And the objective? Simply to remind the public of three work-free days coming their way. But in a country supposedly seizing an “opportunity” to “do what is right,” it takes a Minister to announce a holiday—indeed the full Ministry in something that is conducted like a Baba sala stage production—to publish the “reminder.”
The problem is this: those three days were already known as far back as eleven and a half months ago—on January 1—to be holidays on the Nigerian calendar. Never since independence in october 1960 has any of them NOT been a holiday, but it still takes the teeth of the political and professional manpower of a Ministry to “declare” them to be holidays.
Why? Because despite our proclamations of CHANGE, nothing has changed, and that Ministry demonstrates its joblessness. sadly, productivity and performance have no definition in Nigeria’s public service: pretentiousness is the operative currency.
Think about it: the previous day, aregbesola’s counterpart at Labour and Employment had another potent announcement: nearly 110 million youths have no jobs!
Chris Ngige, a former doctor, made the declaration at the National Migration dialogue in abuja.
The former governor laid out the picture this way: youths comprise 60 percent of Nigeria’s population of 200 million, but only 10 per cent of them have decent jobs.
What he was really saying was startling: that of Nigeria’s youths bulge of 120 million people, only 12 million are employed.
Ngige, who is in his fifth year at the helm of the Ministry, said of his APC government, “We are working that they get job (sic) so that they can have a roof over their heads, feed and enjoy life.”
Ngige spoke as though this is a problem that has just been discovered, forgetting that when APC auditioned for power, employment was the first bribe it flaunted before the youths.
In its “Road map to a New Nigeria” in 2014, the party described its priority: “The lack of jobs is the most critical challenge facing Nigeria today, hurting every community and preventing us from being the truly vibrant and prosperous nation we deserve.”
To that end, it said it would, among others, “create 20,000 jobs per state immediately…”
Sadly, APC has demonstrated neither inclination nor capacity on this or any other subject, and unemployment has worsened, rhetoric often replacing commitment. As APC’S arrogance has grown, so has the evidence that available jobs often go to relatives and friends of top government and party officials.
and consider that in april 2019, Ngige demonstrated this arrogance when he publicly said Nigerian doctors should feel free to leave the country. “We have more than enough (of them)” he said. you can quote me. There is nothing wrong in them travelling out. When they go abroad, they earn money and send them back home here.”
We could go on forever, but the point is that while Nigeria was bad under Mr. Jonathan, it now positively stinks. The epithet “clueless” has been replaced by “hypocrisy.”
This is the hypocrisy era. and because hypocrisy is a smell, only performance—not a microphone and not words—can clear the air.
at 5:15pm on March 31, 2015, Jonathan earned his claim to statesmanship with one remarkable performance: a patriotic phone call.
Merry Christmas, Nigeria.