By Adekoya Boladale
In Central Africa and predominately Cameroon, there is a specie of frog called: Hairy frog. Like every other frog, it is amphibian in nature and carnivorous in diet; it feeds on slugs, spiders, beetles and grasshoppers. But one thing that is profound about the hairy frog is the mechanism it uses in times of danger. Whenever Hairy frog is faced with a foe far beyond its capacity, it intentionally breaks the bones of its toes and turn them into very sharp claws. This it uses to strike down the adversary, earning it the nickname: wolverine frog.
Nigeria is at a perilous time, our will is not only being tried but our resilience has been battered, smacked and spitted on by those who sworn to high heaven to defend the dignity of this country and cloth her shame with blazing garment.
To say we have never had it this bad is merely playing it mildly. Right in the full glare of our conciousness, the President defended an open genocide on members of the Shiite group because they had the audacity to “tap the chest” of an Army General. As if that was not enough, peaceful demonstrators in the South East demanding for referendum- a legal exercise backed by the United Nations- were massacred in an act described by Amnesty International as an “outrageous use of unnecessary and excessive force”. The lives of an average Nigerian now measure less than an ounce of tissue paper with unending massacre of farmers and defenceless residents of the North Central, so much that former Head of States, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida described it as a “pogrom”- an organized massacre of helpless people authorized by the authorities. General Theophilus Danjuma also share this view. Putting it in the right perspective, we are at a doomsday.
Away from the decay of human dignity and life, the Buhari-led administration in a show of ‘Petersm’ has denied every promises it made to Nigerians while seeking election and for the little it managed to admit, it has done a woeful job in its execution. The anti-corruption crusade which the administration continue to portrait as its flagship has been made mockery of with selective prosecution of individuals who do not align with the aspiration of the President and recently, the new arm called “Presidency”.
Nigeria must activate the doomsday protocol, a mechanism targeted at getting us out of this bedevilling moments no matter what. We must sit down and agree on a singular mission, one which will determine our continuous existence as a people. After all, it is only when there is life that humans can have dreams.
The 2019 mission should be straight forward, getting President Buhari out and electing an individual with the right template to get us out of this wilderness. Not necessarily a Joshua but someone who will stand for something, believe in it and posses the needed will to execute it. Not an “I will, I will” but rather an “I must, I must”. We need someone to put Nigeria on the path of progress, on a new order that will ensure significant growth in every spheres of our nation’s life and most importantly, his empathetic enough to understand the sacredness of human lives. We need a Moses!
For our country to develop, we need to forgo some idle infinitesimal excuses such as age-grade. The argument around age is suiting but there has never been any correlation between the age of a leader or president and the level of development of a country, rather the convincing indicators have always bother on health status of such leader/president and the level of such leader’s intelligence and receptive mind. The 72 year-old President of the United States, Donald Trump, who in spite of his controversial procedure has continued to excel in every index of governance and the 65 year-old President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, whose policy is moving China into world dominance, are clear examples of this argumentative abnormally.
Our urgent need as a country is to create an avenue or policy to create massive jobs immediately. With an estimated 11 million jobs lost during the administration of President Buhari and the new slide of Nigeria to the number one position of the extreme poverty index in the world, we are on a ticking bomb.
Our economy also needs urgent policies that will enable foreign investors operate with ease albeit with rules and regulations. Something similar to what is obtained in Dubai Emirate. We have to open up our sky, land and sea for business driven initiatives and not the usual talking shop that is presently going on. If you have money to invest and it will translate to employment and better life for Nigerians, Nigeria should be home for you.
Technology and innovations are the integral part of the future before us. If you have seen the documentary titled “A day made of glass” you will marvel at what is to come and also raise concern about our place in this future. We have to create an Executive bill to prioritize innovation and technology. This is only achievable by a commander-in-chief who is receptive to new ideas. Not a vice-president with little or no real power to make things happen visiting silicon valley for showmanship but a President that understands the dynamism of this new world.
Atiku represents these and more. He understands business having built many from scratch as well. His policy paper on his vision for Nigeria is simple and precise. We do not need eighty-one promises as done by this administration while seeking for office. If we have learnt anything in the past three years, it is that the empty heads make the loudest promises. A serious mind only makes few and achieve them. We have gone pass the era of promises of roads and water. If our institutions are allowed and structured to be independent and perform, these basic amenities will stop being an instrument of deceit to attain political offices. This is one of the reasons why we need to restructure. We need to create stronger institutions that are accessible and answerable to the people with little or no external influence.
Having created over 50,000 direct jobs and around 250,000 indirect ones, Atiku understands better the procedure to bring the job drive for Nigerians more than a man who has only employed maximum of ten people all through his life to manage his 150 cattle.
The unity of Nigeria is also sacrosanct. While the agitation of some for secession may be needless the fact remains that in the midst of this agitation lies salient national issues that should be given utmost consideration and with the realization by the secessionists that restructuring Nigeria will create an ambience of collective responsibility, we can no longer allow those who are hell bent on maintaining the failing status quo that threatens our unity continue to hold on to power. Atiku has reiterated time and time again that we must restructure Nigeria and he will make it happen.
2019 is not just another electioneering year, it is the moment for the biggest battle of our lives. As it is the dream of our founding fathers, it is time to get Nigeria working again.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Boladale is on social media as @adekoyabee
Adekoya Boladale is based in Lagos, Nigeria. He is a public affairs analyst and political commentator. His contributions have been featured on BBC, The Africa Report (Paris), The Star (South Africa), Ouestaf (Senegal), Islam Channel (UK), Punch, Guardian, Vanguard Newspapers (Lagos) amongst many others.