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What They Won't Like To Hear... Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Henry Ekwuruke, Nigeria Jul 19, 2006
Poverty , Human Rights   Opinions
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What They Won't Like To Hear... Nigeria as a multi-ethnic nation is fraught with socio-economic and political problems. These problems are multifarious in nature and as such makes one develop solar plexus and cold heat when reflecting on them. Yet in the face of the problems that saddle us, many have decided to bury their head like an ostrich in the desert, who in the face of troubles buries its head in the ground without knowing that the body is fully exposed.

The 1986 Noble Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka puts it well when he said, "The man dies in all, who keep silent in the face of tyranny."

Based on this cowardice that has engulfed us, many have taken to being mawkish towards a devastated government, some growing livid and even taking bellicose postures as if they are going to visit the government with mayhem in order to have their rights given to them, only in the safety of their own homes. Few others upon being helpless and hapless have taken to religion but only as an opium.

This article is therefore meant to re-awaken the learned and opulent that have frivolously compromised their consciences at the expense of their future generation; taking up the role of squealers in order to satisfy their egoistic interest.

Others are those who kept quiet, swallowing silently the bitter pills, lest they join their fore fathers. I wish that all of us may rise as true Nigerian citizens and say "NO" to structures that have been rendered unjust by unfit personnel, leave off selfish interests, fight for the future of our subsequent generations with self-abnegation and together eradicate this hydro-headed monster, corruption and bad governance in our country.

Abraham Lincoln, a popular renowned erstwhile President of America said at Gettysburg battlefield that: "Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people." In like manner,
Roosevelt Franklin in his address to his fellow Americans in 1932, after being sworn in as President said: "I look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms: freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear."

However, if what we have above are definitions to reckon with, it implies that we have another notion of democracy, and perhaps a "Made in Nigeria" democracy. A glance at some structures in Nigeria and recent trends clearly indicate a misconstrued form of democracy, unstable government and in fact, "personal", "family" and "ethnic" democracy. Our government does not treasure the four human essential freedoms, which are at the heart of democracy. The purported freedom we claim to have is only a sham.

From North to South, East to West, Nigeria's battered bureaucracy is trailed by a rancid smell of dung. Many of her structures are regarded as mired, delusive and wallowing in squalor because they have failed the citizenry. Nigerians have almost exhausted their patience in discharging their duties.

One of such structures is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) charged with the responsibility of conducting elections in a credible manner, in order to ensure equity, understanding and fairness in electoral processes and matters.

One would begin to imagine if such a body even exist in Nigeria when our elections are packed – full of frauds and rigged "to the blind mans seeing". Being reliably informed and having observed with keen interest about what had happened in our past elections, especially the last April 2003
elections that saw the incumbent into power, I felt sorry for the people.

The hands of INEC officials were filled with money and other goodies in order to overlook surreptitious movements and certain manipulations that would be made. Making fools of us, they riled the whole nation into a state of hullabaloo in order to perpetuate their evil plans. And as if it was not enough, poor masses were hoodwinked into going to vote, thereby denying them their franchise. People have observed that politics is now a game of "survival of the fittest".

Unspeakable is the germane body, the nitty-gritty of our economy, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Prior to the change in their leadership, it was reported by Tell Magazine, Nov. 17th 2003 edition that out of what started like a casual conversation during a game of golf, the former Group Managing Director (GMD), Jackson Gaius Obaseki signed a $3 million contract with Eni (AGIP), Chevron / Texaco and Conophilips over a second liquefied natural gas project to be located in Brass, Bayelsa State and other similar cases of non payment to the nations foreign reserve by the leadership of the organization.

It is obvious that our economy is rendered comatose because our leaders use it for jamboree. Without passing through necessary formalities as good democrats, Gaius Obaseki went to sign agreement worth more than three million dollars!

This ugly trend even raises questions of confidence in the so-called Independent Corrupt Practices and other related Offences Commission (ICPC) charged with the responsibility of checking such excesses.

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Henry Ekwuruke

Henry Ekwuruke is Executive Director of the Development Generation Africa International.

Very talented
Eugenia Bivines | Aug 31st, 2006
The poor are not seen in projects for the poor instead, one finds the rich people struggling to make decisions and influence policies for the poor to adapt and obey. This is so true. Most poor do not have the knowledge on how to go about getting their voices heard or expressions and thoughts voiced to public at large. By educating the poor they will learn to have a voice and have the ability to express their thoughts and opions. Eugenia Building A Better Future (BABF)

Finah Orji | Sep 21st, 2006
We need to talk no body is above the Law and we have freedoms to be free and make decisions. I feel bad whenever I hear about Right violations.

catherine Akubueze | Sep 24th, 2006
Outstanding one. I wish to state categorically that it is right time our youth stand up and work out their future by speaking out. I know we are suffering but our situation is for a short time, we can do something now!

JOHNSON OKORIE | Sep 24th, 2006
Impressive and elaborate. The poor need to be put in the limelight of development should the MDGs be achieved especially in the developing countries.

Patrick Dan Mou | Sep 24th, 2006

Said it
Jane Philips | Sep 24th, 2006
I love this piece, because it said the things that the government would not like to hear! keep up the activist spirit Henry.

Keep the tempo
Prince Emeka | Sep 24th, 2006
You have got a good article here. Congrats for the criticisms and keep the tempo up. :)

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