By Olaide Omideyi
Every Nigerian must have dreamt, discussed the possibilities of or prayed about the coming of the Nigerian version of Jerry Rawlings. I mean a hungry-looking guy with fiery ideas of ethical standards of behavior for public officers should be and the punishment that should be meted on them when they fail to meet these standards. We, meaning ordinary Nigerians, must have fantasized about waking up one morning and hearing about our oppressors being arrested, interrogated, made to ‘vomit’ all the money they have stolen while in office including the interest payments and then taken before a ‘Peoples’ Tribunal’ for summary trial and then, taken while shitting in their trousers and skirts, to be part of the ‘Bar-Beach Show’. Sorry guys, it is not going to happen anytime soon because the dreams will remain just that; dreams. Most people must have wondered why things have remained the way they are in Nigeria when in other countries, the people have taken things into their own hands to effect positive changes.
Nigeria is a different country and unless you are a Nigerian, you will not understand why we all stand around (160 million mumus?) while a minuscule number of people ride roughshod over us and we smile and wave at them and wish them well in our prayers every Friday and Sundays. Suffering and smiling has become our national character. After a thorough examination of the Nigerian people and their psyche, I have come up with the ten reasons why there will never be a revolution in Nigeria. As a matter of fact, the only revolution most Nigerians will ever witness will be the turning of their car wheels. Most of the reasons are also not original because we all know about them but knowing the Nigerian and the ostrich attitude, we always deny the obvious.
Well, all of us must have had the misfortune to listen to or read Asari-Dokubo’s, Tompolo or Ateke Tom take on this argument. If the person doing the looting of public treasury is from the region perceived to be producing the natural resource and the money, all of you parasites have no reason to accuse him of stealing because it is ‘our’ (the region) money he is stealing. If he is from the region, he cannot be accused of stealing public funds because most of it is coming from his region.
If we accept that the holy books could be used to justify stealing in the name of anointing and not harming God’s prophets, then we should all keep quiet and accept the situation as it is. The basis for this argument is that God anointed the politicians who are stealing from us and they are his Prophets. If they are his ‘prophets’, we have no authority to question them even when we know that their avarice is taking us backwards while other countries are marching forward with a fraction of our resources.
While it is understandable that people like the late Madiba Nelson Mandela come around once in a thousand years, it does not mean that the rest of us have to stomach oppression and bad governance for a thousand years while we wait for our own ‘Mandela’. We will never have a Mandela in Nigeria for the simple reason that no Nigerian wants to be the one at the forefront of the struggle to change things because of the dangers to self and family. We all therefore pray to God to ‘raise’ a Joseph for us to lead us out of Egypt of hopelessness, greedy politicians and collapsing infrastructure. Since none of us is ready to be appointed ‘Joseph’, we can forget about having the elusive change we all continue to dream about.
We hand over our problems to ‘God’ to solve for us because if we believe in ‘Him’ (assuming God is male), why do we need to make any effort? Let us all just wait for His wishes to be manifested in our lives. If it is His wish, our electricity will become stable, our roads will stop being death traps, our schools will become world standard and our public hospitals will stop being mortuaries and ‘mere consulting clinics’.
If the system is not going to change and we are not fighting it because our politicians were anointed by Him and they are His prophets, why not wait for your time to move to the feeding through? (treasury) Pray for those who are there and wait for the time you will also be ‘anointed’ to move to the next level (from petty thievery to stealing billions). The best optimists in the world are Nigerians. Nigerians were adjudged the ‘happiest people on earth’ because of their optimism of ‘E go better’. They live on hope for a perpetually better tomorrow. Promises of a brighter future are postponed time and again by politicians. We all remember Vision 2000, Vision 2010, Vision 2015, Housing for all by Year 2000 and Vision 2020-20. There are other ‘visions’ not mentioned here that you all know about. Nigerians believe in these promises and wait for them but the goalposts are shifted when the promised time is approaching. That was why Vision 2000 turned to Vision 2010 and now to ‘Visionless 2020-20. I am sure most Nigerians will die happy waiting for the ‘better’ future.
Ola Omideyi is on Twitter:@olaomideyi