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Published On: Fri, Dec 12th, 2014

Much of followership, less of leadership

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By Iroha Solomon

It’s true that we have got the best deal we had hoped for from Goodluck, but if we are sincere to ourselves and not be led like people without a mind of our own, we’d see that we’ve moved forward even in the midst of myriad of challenges. I’m not a campaigner for anybody, so, I’d leave the achievements for the paid agents to do so; but I’d just list one or two things I think should indicate that we’re going forward.

Before now, we never believed that train services could be possible in Nigeria again. To put it mildly, many of us (especially we the youths) actually thought that the train is a kind of fairy-tale that existed in the world of fiction. Well, maybe except for few of us who’re well informed about the happenings in other worlds -the first and second worlds, the developed worlds -not this hellish African continent, especially this ‘underworld’ called Nigeria. But it happened, and it’s happening right before us. Call it whatever -locomotive, old -truths is, we’re starting somewhere and going somewhere. Today, people can now go on train from Lagos to Kano. Lots of efforts are now on modernizing our rail services. Modern air-conditioned trains have been acquired with lots of grounds been covered on construction of railways. We’re certainly moving forward!

The second thing I think we’re getting right is the automobile industry (car assembling and manufacturing). Like I said, the citizens must get enlightened; our lives would get better with such policies not government subsidized living. We should say no to government’s fish and demand for hook to fish. Today, Innoson manufactures it’s own brand of cars. Many other car manufacturers are on ground doing business. A lot of them would, of course, be assembling. But that’s a good step in the right direction. In doing so in Nigeria, they’d definitely require the services of many Nigerian skilled and non -skilled workers. These things definitely would seem like insignificant, and their impacts might not immediately be felt, but with time, just a matter, the impacts would be felt by everyone. Let’s not forget that these were the things that had been deliberately or otherwise grounded for over fifteen years. There isn’t any magic that would build a Rome for us in a day, even with all the monies in the world. It’s our duty to look beyond what we’re being told; let’s look beyond the obvious and look a little closer

As I speak today, no one queues to buy petrol unlike our previous experiences. Yes, it was increased to #97 (when the subsidy should’ve been removed have we the followers been enlightened followers), but we know the politics of petrol when it was allegedly sold for #65; where in the northern part of Nigeria, petrol sold for less than that, and in many places in the south, it sold for way above the official price. The worst was, people most times slept in petrol stations queuing to get petrol. When you got lucky, you get to buy after spending the whole day in the petrol station while other who weren’t that lucky go home disappointed. Today, all those are history, and you could go from the creek of Bayelsa to the Sambisa forest of Borno, yet the prices are the same. We no longer wait for petrol at the petrol stations, it is now abundant that no one finds it difficult getting petrol.

Though, the issue of power has eluded all solutions in Nigeria, but a critical look at the situation now, one has a reason to be optimistic. We all know how a powerful few are making all efforts to make sure we stay in perpetual darkness for the continuous fattening of their pockets. Be that as it may, lots of progress are being made and we could see improvements. The generator importing cabals are trying all they could including the use of unorthodox methods to thwart the efforts of government in making things work, all in a bid to keep their business empire flowing with milk and honey. The problem is, many Nigerians knowingly or unknowingly-aid them through various forms. When you’re given money to burst the gas pipeline in your area, or you see someone doing it and say what’s my business; you’re part of the problem. We must take our future into our own hands. Expose the wicked people who’re hell bent on making sure we don’t get a better future.

Finally, we should stop celebrating failures; stop following the bandwagon. Ask questions about what they intend to do, what they’ve done in the past. Ask them about their past actions and utterances. Don’t believe in ‘them say them say’ news, find out yourself the truth and the lies. Listen to both sides and don’t let your emotions over your senses. Be an enlightened citizen and not a brainwashed one; be the solution , not the problem.

Iroha Solomon is on Facebook: Iroha Solomon.


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