NIGERIA @ 60: MOTION WITHOUT MOVEMENT! By Tolu Babaleye
I listened to the Independent Day National broadcast of President Muhammadu Buhari this morning, he talks about our past and the progress made so far in our 60 years of journey as a Nation. Our President spoke about the future and gave hope of a better tomorrow. In my opinion, at 60, there is nothing to write home about Nigeria. This is a 60 years motion without movement.
From what I read in History books, pre-independence and shortly after independence up till 1980 was a very good time in Nigeria. That was a period when Yakubu Gowon was said to have said “the problem of Nigeria is not money but that of how to spend it”.
That was the period that United Arab Emirate (Dubai) was still a desert and when the King of that Emirate sent emissary to Nigeria to borrow money from us to develop that desert to what it is today and Nigeria Leaders then was said to have turned down the request on the ground that Dubai project was not viable but what do we have today? The same Nigerian Leaders who turned down that request have now made Dubai their second home, what an irony!
In the said same speech, President Buhari did a comparative analysis of fuel price in the world and concluded that it makes no sense for fuel to be cheaper in Saudi Arabia than Nigeria, what a comparison.
The meaning of that statement is that it makes sense for Nigerians to continue their suffering and continue to buy fuel through their noses in the midst of other sufferings from insecurity, Boko Haram, hunger, unemployment, lack of power and energy to mention a few!
Our President is comparing fuel price in Nigeria to Saudi Arabia without considering the other side of power and energy stability, abundant empowerment opportunities, flourishing Agriculture and Tourism that makes sense and abound in Saudi Arabia.
Let someone tell the President that the followings too do not make sense in Nigeria compare to Saudi Arabia!
1. It does not make sense for Saudi Arabia to be more secured than Nigeria.
2. It does not make sense for Nigeria to be bedevilled with insurgents like Boko Haram, Fulani Herdsmen, Kidnappers, Bandits and Cattle Rustlers while Saudi Arabia and its people have continued to live in peace.
3. It doesn’t make sense for Nigerians to be in hunger and to become the poverty headquarters of the World at 60 and for the basic amenities to be out of reach of an ordinary Nigerian, for instance, what sense does it make for rice which is a common staple in Nigeria to be sold for 30k or thereabouts than in Saudi Arabia where same commodity is sold for less than 10k.
4. It doesn’t make sense for Nepotism and one sided appointment and recruitment to favour one section of the country than another and for the security apparatus to be high jacked by a section of the country against the other in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia.
5. It doesn’t make sense for unemployed youths to be roaming the streets in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia where they are fully engaged and where not immediately engaged after graduating are captured by social security services.
6. It doesn’t make sense for corruption to take over in Nigeria to the extent that a whooping 30BN is said to have been spent on COVID 19 with a bogus and unreasonable claim of feeding School children who are at home with their parents during the lock down only for the billions involved to be traced to bank accounts of individuals in Nigeria than in Saudi Arabia where their resources are channelled towards their economy.
7. What sense does it make for minimum wage in Nigeria to be 30k while it is over 200k in Saudi Arabia.
8. It doesn’t make any sense for Nigerians not to have alternative to fuel energy at the moment as there is no gas energy and electricity unlike in Saudi Arabia where the Citizens have many alternatives and can choose not to buy fuel for one year.
Before I end this post, I wish to ask this question “who wrote the Independent Day Speech of Mr. President”? That person did a great disservice with the sentence that “it does not make sense for fuel to be cheaper in Nigeria than Saudi Arabia”.
That clause is provocative, senseless and annoying and should not have been said to Nigerians on occasion of Independent day celebration as there is no basis for comparison between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia! The two countries are hundred of poles apart.
Happy Independence Nigeria, let’s continue to have hope, It shall be well with us!
TOLU BABALEYE ESQ writes from Akungba-Akoko!
(Ondo State born Lawyer)