Rejoinder To Mr. Mustapha Shehu: A Nigerian Who Regrets His Being Nigerian
By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States
August 27, 2007
I read the above titled article written by Mr. Mustapha Shehu, a fellow Nigerian, with so much.. what else? Regrets! The lamentations were enumerated in painful details, as he recounted the state of the Nigeria condition, as it has been and still is, he insists! Mr. Shehu and I are perhaps on the opposite sides of the Nigerian political spectrums, I do not necessarily share all his views, but the questions that arises are, how many Nigerians share the feeling of Mr. Shehu? How frequently are, similar feelings expressed by varieties of Nigerians these days? And why? Are the different levels of governments in Nigeria concerned? Are there plans to address these feelings of alienation?
Efforts and Results Must Be Now! Governance Must Benefit Nigerians! Or what good is any government? Achievements for public good are the justifications for governments anywhere; Today in Nigeria, complaints are no longer just from opponents and the oppositions of governments, agonies and pains are no long aberrations and isolated protests! Its time to hurry up and come up with solutions and real fast!
I did not enjoy Mr. Mustapha Shehu’s article one bit! It made me sad and angry, sad that conditions, circumstances or even perceptions have led a brother Nigerian to express this sorts of disenchantment and disconnection from what ought to be our great country! And sad that I am unable to blame him or reassure him or strengthen his flagging faith in our republic!
Where do I begin? Tell him that he is lying? Tell him that it will be alright? What if he points to the unfolding events in Anambra State, events that many have quickly described as a microcosm or reflection of a bigger picture of conditions that are festering and bursting and bustling or seamy in other states? My expectations were, reasonable expectations? That the president and governors in the various states would quickly settle down after the inaugurals and start to govern! But? What with all these apparent self-absorptions by these elected officials?
Each time that I read about these agonizing pains of well meaning but disenchanted Nigerians, I feel the pangs of their dashed aspirations and reasonable expectations that are quickly becoming dreams or even impossibilities! I had no desire to live outside Nigeria! But I have now lived outside Nigeria for about 20 years! I would faint if upon return to Nigeria, the governor in any state that chose to reside in, is abducted or kidnapped! As we have just witnessed in Anambra State and some are saying it is no big deal! It is a RAPE!
What do we do now? What do I tell Mr. Mustapha Shehu During the same week in which Mr. Odunze has announced to the rest of Nigerians and the whole world that politics in Anambra state is cash and carry and comes in containers like consigned goods?
It is depressing now, to, too frequently read of Nigerians drowning in the Atlantic Ocean or dying slow and lonely deaths in the bowels of North African deserts, all these, because, the economy in Nigeria compel emigration to “greener” pastures? I understand that some Nigerian women now resort to prostitution in Europe and elsewhere, due to economic desperations, how can these not bother our leadership? Nigerian morality and decency is being decimated by the desperation that has arisen from our tattered economy!
Are those in government touched? Moved by these events in Oceans and Deserts etc?
And Mr. Odunze informs us that politics, that is supposed to be about public policies and the good of the greatest number or the majority of the population, is now about pure personal business transaction between candidate and sponsors aka godfather? Mafia type agreement written at shrines and at unholy hours?
Anambra State politicians are behaving like the morally bankrupt and shameless characters of the Jerry Springer Show! These politicians among them, medical doctors! Are sounding worse than riff raffs from motor parks! They engage in egregious behaviors and they are at the same time remorselessly recounting the PUTRID details to everyone! Where are these politicians from? Our country Nigeria? Tufia! Events that continue to emanate from Nigeria, are becoming impossible to explain or defend!
When are we going to get to the business of serving the people and republic of Nigeria? Many Nigerians and non-Nigerians, including myself, are anxious! We want stability and very conducive environment, we want to invest, we want to live in Nigeria! But what does one make of the near unraveling of the system as reflected in the sequence of events?
When are those in the current leadership positions going to settle down to the serious business of governance? When will they cease making unguarded utterances? When are our so-called leaders going to realize that leadership is service opportunity and privilege granted by the people?
I treasure my Nigerian citizenship and Nigerian-ness and I have no intentions of changing that and I highly recommend to Mr. Mustapha Shehu and all other Nigerians like him, to take heart, to have faith and make every effort on their part, and pray positively, that Nigeria’s present abject and dire circumstances will pass soon! Nigerians must keep all hopes alive, Nigeria is not beyond redemption, Nigeria will overcome all obstacles!
Nigerians should not be Nigerians only when times are good! Nigerians should not be like fair weather friends and fair weathers sailors! We should not abandon Nigeria at Nigeria’s most critical hour of need! Those who are causing Nigerians and Nigeria all these agonies and pain will meet their waterloo and inglorious termination!
Nigeria’s leadership must move from self-indulgence, splurge and splurging to governing for the benefit of our people and country!
Dear Mr. President and Mr. Governors, I am proud to be a Nigerian and I have always been and will always be! But I really can use some good news from Nigeria now!
Nigerians and Nigeria must get to work and NOW!