By Jide Afolabi
Living in Nigeria is daily becoming worrisome with the pathetic state of the nation. Our ever nascent democratic experience is becoming a good case study for other developing Nations and emerging democracies in Africa.
In less than a week, the wicked and heartless suspected Boko Haram members killed innocent school children in Yobe and Borno States where a State of Emergency is still in force. The hope and future of this country was wiped out in the gruesome murder and a daily killing in Plateau,Benue and other states of the Federation is condemnable. This brings to fore
the extent of effectiveness of the State of Emergency in the affected states with the attendant human rights abuses by the men and officers of the Joint
Task Force (JTF).
Equally, in the midst of this messy state of the nation; our caring President; Goodluck Jonathan with his imperialist agents jetted out to China to sign agreements that will enable the country to be indebted to the reclusive state through loan and given the semi-autocratic
nation where human rights are almost a mirage unhindered access to our nation’s wealth. Do we need the loan with our enormous human and natural wealth? What have we done with previous loans obtained from these imperialists? Shouldn’t we as a nation be lending to other nations at this time? As a Foundation, we view the loan as a path towards twenty first century colonialism especially with the arrogant nature of the Chinese President who played the role of the Big Brother and felt too big to welcome our President at the Beijing Airport. China grows their economy through indigenous effort and not via neo-colonialism.
The on-going strike by the two major educational unions in the country; Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) is a serious danger that Mr. President should have addressed before leaving the country. Education is the bedrock of any development and no nation can grow without adequately given quality education to her children and youths and keeping the restless youths out of
school for months is another factor that can aggravate the already sorry state of security in the country.
Lagos-Ibadan expressway is undoubtedly the busiest road in Nigeria and deserves attention from the government. The recent attention given to the road by Mr. President is commendable. However, information at our disposal reveals that the road was awarded by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009 under concession agreement of the Lagos-Ibadan
Expressway to be expanded to ten lanes from Lagos to Sagamu inter change and six lanes from Sagamu to Ibadan. Trailer Parks and five interchanges among other things were included in the said agreement and were awarded to Bi-Courtney Highway Services Ltd at a cost of 89.5 billion naira but the contract was revoked by the President and short-changed the agreement to six lanes from Lagos to Sagamu interchange and two lanes to Ibadan without trailer park and interchanges and awarded it at a cost of 167 billion naira. This to us is
unacceptable! Has the inflation rate grown to such unimaginable level between 2009 and 2013? Jonathan’s government seems to be legalising corruption in the country. We call on the President to urgently review the agreements and the cost.
In the same vein, the on-going show of shame in the Rivers State House of Assembly where legislators have turned hooligans and beaten their colleagues with all sorts of weapons to a comma and eventually hospitalised is a serious threat to our democracy. The President cannot claim to be absolved of the crisis as five legislators seems to be acting the scripts of Mr. President with a view to unseat the incumbent Speaker and eventually impeach Governor Rotimi Amaechi of River State in the same way the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) crises played out. Moreover, the activities of the security agencies especially the police by aiding criminality in River State are a breach to their call. Recalling of the soldiers protecting the Governor without replacing them immediately is a pointer that the security agencies is
compromised and want the Governor dead.
We however call on Mr. President to as a matter of urgency faithfully address the sorry state of the nation and address the underlining factors that poses threats to our nascent democracy and the corporate existence of the Nigerian state. We condemn in totality the activities of the Boko Haram members and unprofessional conduct of some men and officers of the Joint Task Force (JTF) that leads to gross abuses of human rights not only in the states under emergency rule but Nigeria at large. We call on the Inspector General of Police to immediately redeploy the Rivers State Commissioner of Police before wrecking more havoc in the state and probe his activities in the crises rocking River State.
Director, Christian Foundation for Social
Justice and Equity (CFSJE)
Please visit us on www.cfsjnigeria.org.