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« The Bakassi Case and Greentree Deal: Who will Uravel the Scandals? | Main | Semitic Domestic Aggression: A Poem »

August 09, 2006

Signs of Happy Days are Here Again

by Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa --- There was a story of a happy camper who found a little fortune and bought some expensive dishes and ornaments with it. He then planned that after selling all the ornaments and dishes, he would invest in houses, gold, silver etc. The turn over from all the real estate might even turn into mega businesses.

As he was laughing and day dreaming of how rich he was going to get, he kicked up his legs tripping all the dishes and ornaments and breaking everything in the process. May Providence grant our wishes and not turn it into sorrow. Please turn to the person near you, say –Amen, Ami o, Isha la.

I am constantly looking for something to hold on to in our God (f~ken) given Nigeria. I have written about our poor pensioners are dying on the waiting lines in the sun after traveling from their villages hoping to collect their pension. I have seen homeless soldier turn our GRA Ikoyi into waiting station until their pension was paid. There were our teachers or professors who could not afford to buy a new bicycle, forget about cars. As I wrote before, middle class was wiped out with a stroke of the pen called structural adjustment. We were led by many able Finance Ministers with heavy degrees from Harvard, Yale, Cambridge and Oxford preaching economic miracle at the time.

If any of you wants to be remembered as Finance Minister in Nigeria, would you rest your legacy on structural adjustment, foreign debt pay off or internal domestic debt pay off? The difference can be simply put as starving at home or feeding coal to Newcastle. I used the “simply” because some of us are not technically sound enough to appreciate the finesse of feeding strangers while we stave at home. Indeed, certain positions should not be entrusted to foreign trained or Diaspora Nigerians. Yes, you read me well.

I was celebrating Charles Soludo for narrowing exchange rate and maybe bring down the cost of the dollar when someone cautioned me to wait for the fall of the dollar itself, not black market rate. Well, I am going to celebrate Nenadi Usman for paying pensioners, and making it as her priority. According to her, Ali Baba, sorry, Baba Iyabo asked her when the pensioners would be paid. She got on it.

Are these signs of good things to come? Why is Baba Iyabo concentrating on this in the dying days of his administration? Some of you may have notice that he even chided the Governors of the Delta States on their concrete achievement. His proposal for many years, when he is out of power, and the money that is suddenly being pumped into the Delta States at this last hour has even been praised by his arch enemies. Are these signs of happy days? Or it is too little or too late.

Look at Nigeria this way. Third Term was trounced, Interim Government will die the same way, no return of looters according to Nuhu Ribadu, Census was finally done, police dirty laundry is out in the open, and Nigerians will not tolerate another Army take over. There are signs that consensus is being built by people of goodwill in the North and South of the Country that presidency will go to those who have been denied before.
Somebody have to pinch me that I am not day dreaming before I raise my legs and kick all my dishes and ornaments. Slowly but surely we are claiming back our Country.

Nenadi Usman started talking about creating the middle class again by putting money in the hands of the discarded, Oby Ezekwesili exposed corruption by the oil companies and Dora Akunyili cleaning up fake drugs. These are powerful distractors in the development of Nigeria that these women are taking on. Who woke up Obasanjo from his slumber? He actually started well and we expected heaven and earth from him. Not you?

Nigeria is matching through the right path to progress and none of those old militricians who turned our Country upside down will be allowed at the mantle again. We have new crops of leaders who were mad at the rot in the Country and are willing to do everything in their power to bring back the glory of our Country where the reasons for hate that pervade our society will be side lined to extremists.

If I am getting carried away, please forgive me. It is just that I want to see goodness in Nigeria, today, today. We can not spend all our life hoping against hope and fighting one another. We need to rally round a cause and give devil its due, no matter how much we disagree. One of the worst problems in infrastructure is the lack of electricity. We can not do exactly or go through the phases of the Western World. There have to take radical short cuts as the development of solar power in small measures in some villages North and South of the Country. Imagine if we were still waiting for Abiola to install convectional phone lines, laying pipes through broken roads they never fix back? They used to display those signs “SLOW MEN AT WORK’. There was a comma after slow.

Nevertheless, there are friends who are planning to leave Nigeria as it gets close to the election so that they do not get caught in crossfire. We can also turn our fear into NEVER AGAIN and let them know the Country belongs to all of us. There is this conspiracy, call me crazy if you want, that some of us are too weak to stay in Nigeria. We run whenever we can and by default leave the Country to them to do as they wish. We must prove them wrong. Nigeria belongs to all of us.

Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa

Posted by Administrator at August 9, 2006 07:25 AM


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