This column is not for the faint-hearted. The line here is bold and brass, and this surely is the place where we call succubus by name.
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Akunyili, Okonjo-Iweala; carry-go!
After the storm there must be a calm
Time has passed since the Obasanjo government launched out on its escapade of the third-term, a slippery route that has seen the likes of Yoweri Museveni and Robert Mugabe spending an eternity as sentinels on the road to the progress of their people. The dust has since settled and Nigerians should be breathing a sigh of relief. However, with ruction in the PDP, unabating strife in the delta region, Sharia troubles in Niger state, violence in Anambra and the never ending dirge that is NEPA-now-PHCN, there is scant time for breath-catching. It would appear that the nation lurches from the fire into the frying pan, and then back again, in the last three years. Well; at least NITEL has eventually been sold off. The power sector has now been liberalised, and all that remains is for the beast itself to be passed on to capable handlers. Add a legislative framework that guarantees rights, confers responsibilities, affords regulation and promotes competition, and the lights should be coming on soon in a room near you. Hmmmmn.
Now, if only that was the sum or our problems in Nigeria!
Well, the truth is that things are not great; however, it could have been a lot worse. We only need to look south to Zimbabwe to see how fortunate we are to still be on the road to democracy and not on the way to Otta! As was said in the article “Third Term or NOT”, the general has shown the way to democracy, but there is much walking to do before we arrive at a new Nigeria. Now is therefore a good time to take stock, and to make a decision on where we go from here. Is it possible to look beyond the likes of Attah-Odili-Gana, or are we still ready to settle for anything, even if it is of the Atiku-IBB-Marwa ilk. For far too long we have been complacent in the face of oppression, we have almost become satisfied with being voiceless in our own land. With so many thugs in high places, with so much rigging on the high streets, citizens have had their birth-rights stolen from them. The legatees of independence have frittered away our yesterday and are a potent threat to our tomorrow. The people who should be leading the country out of the abyss are too busy cheating their fellow countrymen to see the problems or the opportunities that face us as a nation. They themselves are being cheated by representatives of other countries and international corporations. These fellows take advantage of the selfishness and greed of Nigeria’s leaders and representatives in order to cheat the country in international trade and politics as well as in business, locally and internationally. If the country is to survive in the long term, there is a need to change the quality of personnel that lead and/or represent the nation, politically and economically. We must begin to look beyond the obvious gallery of rogues, to men and women who have the intellect, as a minimum; and hopefully the passion, energy and patriotism as well. We need a new kind of person at the helm of our affairs, and we should be sufficiently bold and honest to look beyond the political caucuses for such persons – men and women alike.