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Our Collective Malaise; Our Collective Amnesia – by Michael Okoye

I do watch House of Cards – the television political drama about the rise of the power-hungry Underwoods. I stopped midway into the season 5 having been thoroughly disgusted by the fact that the couple were going to get away with murder – literally. The series is make believe but I couldn’t help but connect events in the series to our reality. Politicians get away with murder on a daily basis and get an easy ride.

A governor gets elected, refuses to pay workers’ salaries, dis-continues projects of his predecessor, doesn’t undertake projects of his own. He sits in his office and enjoys the glamour and power that comes with the position. Does the square root of fuck-all and gets re-elected after four years. The Otumokpor these politicians yield no be small one o. How come they know our ‘mumu’ buttons and keep pressing at will. It’s because we don’t have a mumu button anything. We’re all suffering from amnesia.

For a people who think themselves smart, this a big problem. Politicians are immune to scandals. It is their breakfast, lunch and dinner; criticisms don’t get to them. They know we’re a nation of forgetful people. They know we can’t sustain a rally against corruption for long. We’ll rather sit at home and discuss Big Brother Naija. They know us all too well. Being in public service in Nigeria is a dream vacation for a politician. They know they wouldn’t be held accountable for their duty. They will simply sleep walk through the whole thing and flash images of ‘progress’ achieved, fling crumpled notes in our direction and watch us dance to their beat. It’s all too familiar.

There has been terrible Heads of States in our history but Buhari is a leading contender for the worst Head of State of all time. Pre-election campaigns of fighting corruption died a familiar Nigerian death once he assumed the role of president. A president who sees rule of law as nothing more than a flexible tool and uses it when it suits him. How do you explain the fiasco about hate speech and the plan to monitor social media accounts of ‘VIPs’ and notable Nigerians. Since arriving, he has managed to sink our economy and apportioned blame to everyone but himself. He lives in a delusional reality where everything negative isn’t his fault and minute achievements are accrued to him. This president has failed on almost every count. But he knows it wouldn’t really matter.

He only has to appear fit enough to mumble ‘corruption’ and masses of idiots would troop to vote to keep the disaster in office. Fulani herdsmen are currently leaving the residents of Benue state in perpetual anguish. There has been unprecedented slaughter in the Northern state but there has been no decisive action from the ex-military man. This is not the first time Herdsmen have made the news since Buhari’s arrival. They keep pillaging through communities, destroying crops and murdering anyone who stands in their way.

Cows have become a little more important than humans. And this uncaring wicked government continue playing the ostrich while the citizenry are at the mercy of the fourth deadliest terrorist group in the world. Doesn’t that scare you? That the fourth deadliest killers are not confined to one space but could appear at your doorsteps to wipe you and your family away at the slightest perceived wrong doing.
The youths who are supposed to be the pillars of the nation are idle doing nothing, saying nothing. Our future generations may not see a country to live in if we continue like this. The situation is dire but power, I believe, still remains with us. We need to wake up from this prolonged slumber and grapple our future away from the people who’ve put them in jeopardy.

We instead choose to prioritise frivolities. We can’t stand up and do the right thing.
This time around, ‘anything but Buhari’ wouldn’t do. It is what brought us to the state were we are. We made that mistake and have suffered incredibly for it. There has to be thorough vetting of whom ever we’re installing at Aso Rock. This is not a time to pick parties. PDP, APC are all parties with very little difference. They are twins with different names. We have to be bold in choosing our next Head of State. Going against the grain has never been a Nigerian way but we’ll choose a different way this time. The rape has gone on far too long, it’s time we kick our rapists in the groin and escape further unwarranted punishment.

This is the time to start talking. Leaving it late has made us susceptible to wrong choices time and time again. Anyone coming to serve us has to give detailed account of how we’d make progress as a nation.

Have you gotten your PVCs?

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