By Rev. Fr. Gerald Nwafor
The Nigerian state is suffering from the people who could have enjoyed it. The South wanted a bite, the North wanted, the South wanted, and the East wanted also. The bite is hurting the Nigerian state and the amalgamation that could have been a blessing is now hurting the nation and everyone (north, south, east, and west) all are suffering because no one is thinking about the welfare of the Nigerian state.
The whole tribe in the Nigerian state contributed in one way or the other to the greatness of the country of Nigeria. The people who created the Nigerian state saw the capability of the Nigerian state where the north would produce the agricultural products and the south would provide the waterways and the logistics for the processing and exportation of the food.
The population of the Nigerian state was a plus because it has been from day one the most populous black nation in the world. So many things were going well for the creation of the Nigerian state. In 1958 oil was discovered in the south which would help the Nigerian state to become a superpower in the world economy and politics. Many nations believed in 1958 that in 30 years Nigeria would be a power to reckon with. Today every part of Nigeria is fighting over what they could grab from the Nigerian state.
The bandits have bastardized the agriculture, the crude oil has been hijacked by the cabals and the political class has been dominated by hoodlums.The battle for the throne is destroying the common nation. The west gave us Obasanjo in 1999 and the idea was that each geo-political zone would have an opportunity to have a taste of what the number one citizen feels like.
The desire was never to give us a qualified president but to give us a tribal bigot or a nepotic diehard. So, after the reign of Obasanjo, the North was not ready to take anybody from the South even if that person was Mohamed, peace be upon him, or Jesus Christ the savior of the world who is the son of God. But the North is ready to accept anything from their region even if it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt that the person would not do well as a president because of his past behavior in the position of power.
The Nigerian state went into an unhealthy leadership tussle and Peter Odili from the south was rejected and Yaradua was anointed by the president. Yaradua was sincere and promising but died only two years in the office and a southern vice president took over in the person of Goodluck Jonathan. The North started crying that it was the turn of the North to produce the president for 8 years. They did not want Jonathan to continue, even when it was clear that Jonathan was doing well.
The climax was that even the northerners in the same political party as Jonathan worked against him to make sure that a northern president was elected, even when everyone knew that the northerner was incompetent. Who suffered? The common Nigerian state.The resources found in the Nigerian state have become a tragedy. The level of oil bunkering and theft going on in Nigeria has never been witnessed anywhere in the world. The battle for goldmines going on in Zamfara state is a source of worry even to the international community.
All the boundaries (borders) of the Nigerian territory are porous because the customs officials believed that the people in the executive positions were corrupt and feeding fat on the resources of the nation. Therefore, the only way to survive was to receive bribes from unscrupulous businessmen who would import contraband goods and export our subsidized petroleum products to our neighbors to make ill-gotten gains. The professors in the university are not well paid and, in some cases, not paid at all because the politicians withheld their salaries for a campaign. So, the university professors engage in handouts and marks for money and many other corrupt activities within the university environment. In this common tragedy, we have our youths engaging in all kinds of activity to make a living.
I remember the guy who bought petrol at a very high cost and after a few miles, the car stopped. People encouraged him to go back to the fuel station and confront the fuel seller since it had been discovered that the fuel was mixed with water. He refused to go back because he knew that he bought the fuel with counterfeit money. Everyone is suffering in this Nigerian state created for our good.Finally, in the recent dispensation, the political class has failed woefully to manage the Nigerian state.
A person was given over 400 billion Naira, I mean a billion with a ‘B’, to organize an election and transmit the result electronically. He promised us heaven on earth and the hope of the Nigerian public was uplifted to the highest heavens. Many people who have not voted in donkey’s years decided to come out and vote. There were three leading candidates, one from the North, and two from the South. The one from the North was a political heavyweight and the two from the South were one heavyweight and one super heavy weight.
The heavyweights did not want the super heavy weight because he would change the trajectory at which they have placed Nigeria and may end up in prison. The masses and the public wanted the super heavy weight and voted for him even without any known political structures. But the man who took 400 billion Naira decided to rig the election in favor of the southern heavyweight. Now the tragedy has increased because the Nigerian people are now buying fuel at 615 Naira a liter of fuel from 185 Naira on May 29th, 2023. I cannot go to Onitsha, Awka, or Ekwuluobia to visit my friends and family in the Nigerian state. The greed of the political class has become a cancer within the Nigerian state.