By Sunday Oyinloye
Some months back, I did a piece which I titled “This is not my country”. In that article, I mirrored how a once prosperous nation has been systematically made” poor” by her leaders in collaboration with few greedy Nigerians, how the envy of the black race suddenly turned to a laughing stock with little or no respect from even countries with worse records. The story of Nigeria could be likened to that of the Biblical prodigal son who after squandering his inheritance came back to his senses and went straight to his father to seek for forgiveness, but while the prodigal son went back to his father haven realised his folly, Nigeria seems to be a country which never learns from history, little wonder, only a few percentage of students now take history as a subject in secondary schools.
For a country that survived a bloody civil war from 1967-1970, the wise thing would have been unity, peace and development. Interestingly, many Nigerians have turned Rwanda to their song, telling the world how a country that went through a similar experience has healed her wounds making progress on all fronts while the soil of Nigeria still “drinks” blood on daily basis. For Rwanda, there is nothing like Hutu or Tutsi again, it’s one united country, but in Nigeria, you are identified by your tribe and religion. Never in the history of Nigeria since the end of civil war has the country been so divided along ethnic and religion lines. It’s either; you are Hausa, Ibo or Yoruba and lately Fulani. People are also more interested in your religion than your intellectual ability. This is the paradox of a country reputed to be the giant of Africa.
This is not to say that we don’t have good people in Nigeria, we have them in millions, but all you hear and read on daily basis is about evil. Nigerians celebrate bad news than good news. People swim wine and dine in bad news which appears to me as a pool of water that may never dry. Why did I see it as a pool of water that may never dry? The answer is simple, there is so much mistrust in the land, many innocent souls have paid for what they never stole and the blood of the innocents is crying for justice from the North to South, West to the East.
Not only that, there is too much mistrust and suspicion among agencies of government and even within the political class. The ruling party wants to destroy the opposition at all cost and the opposition has also been working for the destruction of the party in power that is how rotten the political space has become. Many Nigerians don’t even trust the Military and the police again. Do you blame them? How will you trust an institution that told the world that a huge six-foot tall man sitting in-between two police officers jumped down through the window of a moving vehicle, does that makes sense? Well, to the sane mind, it doesn’t, but this and similar stories are what we read and hear every day from the politicians and their collaborators in some government agencies.
There is too much lies and pull him down syndrome from both the ruling party and the opposition that it is becoming too difficult to establish the truth on any issue. I must say that there are many statements coming from the ruling party, the opposition and the police that don’t make sense.
The attention of most Nigerians is now on Ekiti State which holds gubernatorial election on Saturday. I don’t like discussing Nigerian politics or talking about the parties because I believe whatever they call their names, most of them have personal interests and not national interest. To me, whether you call it All Progressives Congress, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or Accord party, the players are all the same except few ones who have conscience and fear of God.
I have not stopped asking myself why the police would deploy 30,000 of their officers and men to Ekiti State for just one day election in a small state. This is different from the military and paramilitary agencies also deployed for the same purpose. If you are wondering why Nigeria is where it is today, this is one of the reasons. We don’t apply wisdom in most of the things we do as a nation. Whether it is PDP or APC that wins the election, the winner will still be an indigene of Ekiti State, so why wasting scarce resources if there is no vested interest? We are all aware of the daily killings in Zamfara, Benue,Kaduna, Yobe, Taraba, Borno and Plateau states, yet such large number of policemen were not deployed to those states to stop the killings.
The ruling party in Ekiti State under Governor Ayodele Fayose is desperate to retain power and the ruling party at the Federal is also desperate to have its candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi wins the election. This is the madness going on in my beloved country. More time and resources are spent on managing crisis than building the economy both by the ruling party and the opposition, little wonder our vast natural and human resources have not translated to economic prosperity. The sad aspect of the Ekiti saga is the alleged manhandling of Governor Fayose, a bitter experience Senator Dino Malaye was alleged to have also gone through in the hands of the police. If the allegation of manhandling of Fayose is true, Nigeria is gradually heading to a point of no return. I wish it was just a drama.
Now that Senator Dino Malaye and Governor Ayo Fayose have seen the bad side of Nigeria police, I will say, weep not Dino Malaye, weep not Ayo Fayose and I hope and pray that Nigerians will not say weep not Muhammadu Buhari someday. After all, if a Governor who has immunity could be “beaten” what is the guarantee that a sitting President will also not be beaten?