Alexander Thandi Ubani
The numerous protests going on in different states of Nigeria today have summarised the state of the nation. As I write today, survival in most homes is by the grace of God as many things have turned upside down in my country. From prices of foodstuffs to pathetic unemployment figures, rampant folding of businesses, and lame economy – the country Nigeria is a total mess.
In all honesty, there is nothing to celebrate as Nigeria marks its 60th anniversary today. From every corner of the country you look at, you will see Nigerians lamenting one thing or the other about the country. It is only the rich and famous who have all the resources to buy happiness that can beat their chest and celebrate the country. Millions of Nigerians languish in poverty and many have not eaten today after losing their jobs as a result of the crippling pandemic and the blind leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari. His government has been consistent with its resolve to punish the masses by imposing hikes and taxes without consideration to the pains the pandemic has already brought on them.
If Nigerians had a hint that Buhari would come to oppress and punish them in 2020, I swear they would have sent him to Daura without transport money. They were warned anyway. Nigerians just don’t listen! They forgot easily that a leopard never changes its spots.
It has been five years of hell under President Muhammadu Buhari and worst still, Labour seems to have taken a sip from his weed and refused to help Nigerians call him to order. Those who take to the streets to protest are rounded up, arrested, and bundled into police vans. Some journalists are locked up for months without their families even realizing that they have been arrested by state police. It is like we are still under military dictatorship.
It has always been the same story of betrayal from one government to the other after making promises it cannot fulfill when voted into power. This regime of Buhari has intentionally brought punishment and suffering on the people. While governments of other climes find means to provide palliatives for citizens rendered homeless and jobless by the pandemic, Buhari and his officials look for opportunities to exploit people and businesses by imposing new taxes, tariffs, and all manner of levies just to make sure they extort money from the masses to fund their privileged lifestyles.
Worst still, the government thinks it is a sin for Nigerians to enjoy a lower petrol price than Saudi Arabia, that is why it hiked petrol to N161/liter. It forgot easily that a country like Angola sells petrol at a mere N97/litre. The recent hike in petrol price and electricity tariff by the government of Buhari at a time businesses have completely shut down and many have lost their jobs shows how heartless and wicked the president and his advisers have become in recent times. This new policy is coming at a time the government just increased the Value Added Tax. Imagine the crisis going on in many homes where fathers and mothers cannot even afford to feed their children, then being forced to pay more for petrol and electricity. Of course, the ruthlessness of Buhari’s government is not new, as he is a former military dictator who seems to be detached from the everyday happenings around him. He feigns ignorance as people continue to suffer and commit suicide. He charges the police, army, and the DSS to clamp down on protesters who come out to register their displeasure because of the devastating hunger caused by the devilish policies of the government. In Buhari’s Nigeria, many people are chased away from their homes by terrorists. Bandits storm villages, rape, massacre and destroy homes. Fulani herdsmen go crazy at will, murder and slaughter people as if they are animals. Government officials appointed by Buhari are accused of being busy sharing cars and recovered loot among themselves, re-looting and embezzling public funds at will. Monies meant for school feeding programme are diverted into private accounts. Nigeria is in disarray!!
At 60, after being manhandled by several dishonest, greedy, and selfish looters and leaders, Nigeria has nothing good to show for as it marks its independence. It has been stories of corruption, electoral fraud, infrastructural decay, bad leadership and many more. It is obvious the country is rattled by curses placed on it by the millions of innocent souls wasted during the civil war.
Nigeria is 60 today, but it is the politicians that have benefitted. They have for the past 60 years willfully left the country in a state of quagmire in order to continue to enrich themselves. They have successfully planted their children in positions of authority to continue their devilish legacies. Their children head top government agencies, parastatals, and ministries. When the poor masses cry about the crippling condition of the nation, the elite class and their children laugh at them.
From all indication, it is obvious that Nigeria is a God-forsaken country gifted with heartless politicians and the evil-minded elite class who get serious orgasms by watching the masses suffer. Sadly, this same masses will disgrace and lynch a petty thief for stealing N50, but will praise and worship a politician who stole billions of naira. They will go on social media to hail and support him as the country’s next president even when a pending court case how he stole billions from his state is there for all to see. When you ask them to tell their master to do the right thing by clearing his name first before contesting for such an elevated position, they call you names. A faulty society of goons.
The masses are their own enemies. They prefer to take N1000 at polling units to vote for the wrong candidates and after cry and starve to death because the same person they took money from to vote for has refused to bring development to the people. Nigerian masses suffer and smile because they prefer to cry on social media but refuse to come out during protests. Fools!
As we mark 5 years of Buhari in power and Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary, it has been very sad years of lamentation, poverty, suffering, pain, and sorrow. The common man has been forced to wallow in abject poverty as promises made before the 2015 elections have all been abandoned. In 2020, many Nigerian homes do not have steady electricity and cannot afford a common one square meal. Electricity and petrol tariffs have tripled. Massive loss of jobs and disturbing unemployment figures have continued to haunt us. We are in hellfire right now.
So when you get the opportunity to elect new leaders come 2023, remember that when the suffering begins, it will affect you, your family, and community. Taking money to vote for tyrannical dullards whose only achievement in life is grabbing power through a coup, will bring us nothing but total regret and suffering.
Alexander Thandi Ubani writes from Lagos