By Jude Atupulazi
There are not many people who are proud of being Nigerians. The reason is not far-fetched. Nothing works here. This is a country where merit is a joke and mediocrity elevated to a national policy. This is a country where the dullards lead the intelligent because of some warped national policy. It is a country where those who don't know are forever trying to hang on to power, even when they know they don't know.
Yet, despite not measuring up to others, they get admission into our universities ahead of those who scored well above them but who are unlucky not to have come from a particularly favoured zone of the country. Those people that get admissions based on where they come from despite scoring low marks, still end up getting the plummest jobs. They also eventually end up as our leaders. That is why we are where we are today as a country; a country where the blind lead those who can see.
But the amazing thing is that despite the years of leadership of these people, it is their own people that are still living below poverty level more than other sections of the country. A trip to villages up north of Nigeria will reveal a people still living in huts. These villages are nothing more than hamlets down south; yet they are classified as local governments by their brothers in the corridors of power in Abuja in order to get more allocations which, rather than deploy such to the people, they channel to their private pockets.
One therefore begins to wonder at the motive of those who perennially cling on to power. Is it to help their people or to help themselves? They seem to relish the idea of impoverishing their own folks in order to control them and get them to carry out their whims and caprices.
With what I have gleaned as a Nigerian living in Nigeria, the problem of Nigeria has been the north; northern leaders. Oburo onye kwue agba ya awalu. Why cling on to power when you have not justified your long years of doing such?
For sure, there are some intelligent, good and worthy men and women from the north. Indeed, there are many of them. But the problem is that such people, or most of them, are not given a look in by the power brokers in their enclave. There seems to exist a cabal that profits from the misery of their own people up there. But if they had restricted it to the north, perhaps things would have been better for us all across Nigeria. But they have also extended same treatment to everyone.
This cabal is so powerful that it is even suspected that they control the current president like a robot. Many believe this may be true, given that the man at the helm may not have the capacity to successfully annex Nigeria the way Nigeria has been annexed, left on his own. But these men behind the mask do not care about what their actions can precipitate. And we have just seen their latest action, the Court of Appeal judgement on the petition brought by Atiku Abubakar against President Muhammadu Buhari.
Nigerians are still dazed and reeling from shock days after the judgement in which the judges turned lead counsels for the defendants, granting them what they did not plead and wasting the time of Nigerians in the long rigmarole they called judgement. A major fall out of the judgement is the mockery they made in the area of presenting academic certificates. It now means that anyone who wants to prove to that they attended a school needs to do is to show a picture where they are wearing a gown. Certificates no longer need to be attached.
Laughable as this is, the incalculable harm it will do to the country can only be imagined. But those who gave the judgement in an apparent bid to save Buhari do not worry about that. What matters is the present and that present is that Buhari remains in charge of our affairs.
Some may be hoping that the Supreme Court would be different; that it would right the wrongs of the appellate court. But they forget that the forces behind the appellate court ruling may very well still be behind that of the apex court. And unless God decides to save Nigeria then, we had better begin girding our loins for another harrowing four years.
Perhaps, Buhari is God's punishment for Nigerians who could not recognize a good thing when they saw it. I've toyed with the notion that we are suffering for what we threw away. That thing thrown away is Good Luck Jonathan, former president. Here was a man who tried to be human, accessible and simple. But Nigerians hounded him out of office, calling him a weakling and a clueless leader.
Today, many of those who threw him to the dogs and brought in Buhari whom they described as the next thing to a living saint, are gnashing their teeth in regret and anguish; and that is those who have survived being killed by either the Boko Haram terrorists or the almighty herdsmen of Fulani stock.
Whereas they ''yabbed'' Jonathan and went scot free, they have only to sneeze today for them to be arrested under trumped up charges. If they resort to the courts, the orders of those courts are flouted by Buhari.
Among such people suffering for their ''sins'' today are Atiku Abubakar himself; Dino Melaye; Olusegun Obasanjo; Oby Ezekwesili and others. Together, they created a monster they could no longer control and have today joined the rest of us to moan and that is if they are not moaning loudest.
But it does appear as if lessons have not been learned. Some people, out of spite for Peter Obi, are supporting Buhari. But they forget that they are not immune from the same sad experiences others are going through. The other day on the social media, I saw how one of them was complaining about the sorry state of federal roads. I smiled when I read him and said silently that he ain't seen nothing yet.
They should ask the people of Benue, Nasarawa and Plateau how they fared after supporting Buhari in his first term election. Many of them did not live to tell their story.
Those who are jubilant now; even if in a muted manner, should do well by asking those now regretting, what they experienced.
But while they do that, I regard those who have managed to leave the shores of this yeye country as lucky. They are lucky because wherever they are, things can never be as bad as they are here.
The Nigerian judiciary has killed the last vestiges of hope her people had of seeing the last of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC. We had thought and prayed that something in the court would make them disappear but we have been proved wrong, very wrong.
This means that the yoke around our neck will keep growing heavier under the rudderless leadership of one whose academic qualification was the gown that the Court of Appeal judges saw him wearing in a picture.
Under him, the status quo will pretty much remain and both friend and foe will continue to suffer and smile.
This must be a joke
For those who love driving as I do, these are not the best of times to pursue that passion. This is no thanks to the terrible roads dotting the landscape of the state.
The other day, I could not believe it when a state government official was quoted to have blamed the immediate past government for the poor state of roads in the state. The official said the past government built poor quality roads which are now collapsing like a pack of cards. Well, I found it difficult to believe after reading it.
My question is whether government has stopped being a continuum. The present government promised on taking over that it would finish what its predecessor started before commencing its own projects.
So, I ask; what's stopping the current government from carrying out that promise? What has stopped it from repairing all the damaged roads? Should we all fold our hands and bemoan our fate just because the previous government did poor roads? For one, I expected the current government to build better ones while maintaining the existing ones.
I've not seen the many roads built and neither have I seen the maintenance, or is it proper maintenance, of existing ones. There are indeed certain things that are better left unsaid, else it would appear some people are taking others for a ride, for; after all, our people say that okenye na akali don't be silly.