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Opinion: Nigeria In The Wilderness of Unpleasant Circumstances

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

By Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Imagine for a short moment that you find yourself in a wilderness of unpleasant circumstances. How do you get through it? The other day it was the turn of a housewife whose heart was broken by another’s cruelty and she refused to stay in the marriage she had endured for over 15 years. At another time we found a different circumstance where the search is something or someone to ease the pain of loneliness. Nigeria does not seem to know what she is looking for at this moment. She has been raped severally and the men and women currently presenting themselves as political suitors may not be different from the previous national rappers and molesters. What these politicians are actually fighting for could simply be the key to the national treasuries. This key is also what common thieves are looking for all their lives. We cannot read their (politicians) body language because they are always inconsistent and they lack the focus. When the sky is blue to most of us Nigerian politicians may read that as red.

Hence Nigerians sailing in Nigeria waters have found two rivers on their way each of which is promising to take them home. We wish the distinctions between the two waters have been obvious like one flowing with bitter tears of remorsefulness and the other perhaps with sweet tears of joy. For most of Nigeria’s life the path of its journey has been rough and bitter; not made so by nature but its leaders. Even when Nigerians are always soaked in those bitter waters many of her people remained trapped and could not rise to embrace the opportunity to have a great turn around for goodness. Poverty, illiteracy and ignorance are similar diseases with similar outcomes on the population. But now we have experienced more than our fill of pain. The slogan in town is “change” but how, where and what to? Between now and when the elections are eventually held Nigerians must be given a clear direction between choosing the bitter tears of remorsefulness (if there was one politician that is truly remorseful) or the sweet tears of joy, if also there was a river like that.

For example, the Church in Nigeria (and truly, I suppose Islam in Nigeria might have its own opinion too) has been suffering in the two most painful ways in the hands of Boko Haram homegrown Islamist Sect. It is an open knowledge that Boko Haram has been killing pastors, church members, burning down churches, stealing Christians and their children, marrying innocent children off against every civic order. We now hear that politicians have been bribing the Church pastors and asking them to preach on human beings and not on the Spirit or Word of God. Thus whereas that which our people first suffered in hands of Boko Haram has been able to unite us the second phase from the hands of politicians is only able to separate us the more. Needless to emphasize to Nigerians that Boko Haram has come to stay in Nigeria politics and social life. In the church we had expected that every unpleasant occasion we encountered would be an opportunity to purge every sin stained heart, bleach every stained garment of our souls, refine us, lift us high and erect a new nation that would be able to stand tall amongst others. Nigerians have cried enough bitter tears, but how long more? Whether GEJ of PDP, GMB of APC, or indeed any one else wins the election Boko Haram is not going to be wished away suddenly until Nigerians agree amongst themselves that the evil sect is actually evil. Recall the tactical move of the sect to ally with their international colleagues in ISIS.

The analysis must include a conclusion that Nigerian politicians should come to a realization that they are not the stuffs they have portrait themselves to be. They are fallible, infinitesimal and needing our daily prayers if they are to be sincere. Hence it is you and I that should decide the future of Nigeria based on the amount of information at hand on economic, security, tolerance to co-exist and ability to run our secular life as we wish. In fact, they are a pack of a mess. Everything about them needs to be fixed. We must also really have a great pity for them because we notice truly that their inner souls are full of pure motives. We see this purity in their manifestoes and their feeble attempts in persuading others for their votes. No genuine politicians go out to ridicule self on the fields like Nigerian politicians do. Even if you want to dole out money you would not take another step that is also wrong. Mark this that anyone who touches our churches harmfully in whatever manner will suffer direly for it. So why take that path destroying worship places or the worshippers? Because, the beast inside them has not realized what a dark pit it has gotten itself into, and the same beast is showing them that may be there is a chance she can lead them back home even with late efforts. Note also that every time the soul can lead the beast back home safely but the beast can only mislead the soul. Don’t confuse the joy of the soul with the concerns of the body as Nigerian politicians do.

Nigerians are currently deep inside the wilderness of unpleasant circumstances not just in the Sambisa Forest where we believe some of the Chibok Girls might still be kept. This unpleasant circumstance will provide raw materials for telling the Nigerian story of confusion. There are enough raw materials for us to look back and construct at least two different histories of Nigeria from its past, present and its future. One will be written from when they were in PDP and the others when they were out of PDP. This is the unpleasant circumstances we found ourselves in the hands of those who wish to lead us and have been leading us. They have placed in their own hands a big pen so that they may write about the dignity and lust of office they have enjoyed in Aso Rock palace and why we should let the status quo remain. Another story would be written by the other group who also were constructed by inside Aso Rock residents. The truly rich group is one whose very being is to give others what they have enjoyed. You only truly own that which you are capable of giving away. We would not be surprised if many political pilgrims would end their journeys is disasters and disappointments because deceitfulness do not pay. Win or lose an honest politician should still carry his head on his shoulders the second day. We truly want the politicians who would give unto others what they have been enjoying as politicians, by right and not as a bribe. We need to earn our rights so that you can earn our votes.

Prof. R. A. Ipinyomi, ipinyomira@yahoo.co.uk or/and raipinyomi@unilorin.edu.ng


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