An article by Tony Ogunlowo
Nobody likes change. It is often cumbersome, difficult and involves a lot of hard work and untold suffering and sacrifice. But if it’s for the best then it’s worthwhile. At the moment the country is changing – hopefully for the best. Unfortunately it can’t happen overnight as many people would dearly love. There are no miraculous cures for the country’s current ills. Recovery will take time. It’ll be slow – not something that can be achieved in the twelve months the present administration has been in office as there are a lot of underlying problems to clear up. As any doctor knows (- or anybody for that matter!) if you have an ailment there is most definitely a cure. The bane of all our problems, every conceivable problem in Nigeria, is corruption.
Corruption has robbed this nation of much needed funds to run the country, finance capital projects and pay workers on time. There are those out there who think mass demonstrations and protests will resort in a Nigeria spring, something akin to the Arab spring uprisings of 2011. I don’t think this will be a good idea as this would tantamount to pouring petrol on to an open fire. If this government goes down what are you going to replace it with? Any new government coming into power will still face the same problems the current one is facing with the inability to provide an ‘overnight cure’ due to the lack of operational resources – money!
Change is not an easy thing and on most occasions it can happen as fast as people would like. Instantaneous change is impossible!
Social media is awash with those venting their anger suggesting things were better – and cheaper – when corruption was abound. Really? But for how long?
When corruption was rife under GEJ the price of crude oil was nearly $100 per barrel and there was enough money coming into the country’s coffers to make the corruption unnoticeable. What people don’t seem to realize is that had GEJ continued in office in 2015, with the current price of oil at an all-time-low as it is now, the sufferings and shortages, currently being experienced, would be the same. What is happening now was an accident waiting to happen! If a country doesn’t save for a rainy day there will be nothing to fall back onto when things aren’t working out.
A further note to those who think things were better under corruption: how do you feel knowing crooked politicians made off with billions and billions of Naira of public funds that were supposed to pay for things like salaries? You don’t because you still hold these criminals in high esteem, treating them like celebrities. Aren’t there people out there who can’t wait to fete James Ibori when he gets released from a UK prison? And being the hypocrites we are we don’t think twice before lynching an armed robber or kidnapper. So what kind of message is this sending out? It’s good to be corrupt and bankrupt a country? If there was no corruption in preceding administrations the country wouldn’t be on its knees now, but hardly surprising when you have a certain ex-President who doesn’t believe corruption is a crime!
Corruption has to be eradicated. The truth is simple, irregardless of who’s in power if there’s no money to spend there will be problems.
Money needs to be found to get things running again. Now there’s no point in the country earning money if it’s all going to disappear again; that would be the equivalent of trying to fill a basket with water. The leakages, which in our case is corruption, needs to be blocked once and for all. Only when these leakages are closed up can the serious business of change start to take effect.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and Nigeria’s problems can’t be solved overnight. For those who are impatient, I’m sorry, but change takes time and we need to be patient.
The ‘suffer, suffer’ is not going to go on for ever!