By Olusegun Fashakin
Traversing the economy of a “big black nation” without the efforts of reviving the sleeping giant will be futile. Not with the state of poor livelihood: living below a dollar per day without expectations of further improvements even with professionals of uncertainties. Promises of betterment without tantamount reserves- not in local or foreign. The big monster of poverty trailing both old and young on the streets of many commercial nerve centres. An appalling state of emergency in security without strength to match the failure. Unrest that is claimed to be political and shifting the heritage of a nation to lawlessness.
The kitchen of various homes seem deserted for lack of resources and we continue to compare the rich with the poor. There is no standard for comparison when the ground for this is not levelled. The markets are classified based on affluence, the pockets are filled just because of influence, and the grounds seem uneven. Agitations are unheard or are not loud enough to reach the required decibel of those in charge to “disburse” wealth. An unfair pronouncement of justice, keeping people away from courtrooms to jungle justice. Delay in judgements, to serve a term not in consonance with crime in a weak system without a proportionate articulation.
A succour to joblessness in our own country is skill acquisition which was purportedly free from the infliction of politics until recently, that it may have been hijacked by partisan individuals at various level of governance. In order to be relevant, the outstretched arms of alms have been extended in an uneven manner to destitute in their local councils. Singing praises of the obvious to unsuspecting souls, having assistance fettered with promises in the coming franchise. A tool for the masses to succumb to the wielding sticks of impoverishment. The sovereign force of politics creeped into all facets of administration without exemption.
Surrounded by falsehood and galvanised by distrust, everyone involved is perceived to be dishonest. Promises spanning decades denigrate the sacred temple of faithfulness. It is called a game of numbers, we consider it a game of unequal justice. Politics in Nigeria brews dissension and division; political allies create differences in religion and tribes. Multi – ethnic countries like ours suffers so much in the hands of bigots. Taking sides and promoting hatred among various political parties. Politicking goes beyond just a game but like the fight of titans for thrones.
Public office holders take advantage of the present predicaments to wield judgement. Electorates depend on them solely for survival: to gain relevance when it comes to being awarded contracts and approvals for documentation. If you don’t belong to the ruling party, you may not thrive in seeking applications for jobs. Your connection with someone at the top of a government-owned institution may determine your accessibility to biddings. These institutions have been partisan and it makes bureaucracy cumbersome.
Some executives of states have tried in their capacity to bring fairness to the game but this won’t last because the inequalities have been institutionalised. Disparity in religion and social backgrounds may affect your admission into federal universities. It shouldn’t bother us so much since some university heads in federal institutions are employed based on their state of origin. The height of this uncivilised character is the involvement of academic institutions. Heads of Departments are chosen based on their political affiliations; Deans of Faculties are appointed because they are buddies of Vice Chancellors, things are seemingly not working based on merit any longer.
Just recently, the Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Oloyede, decided to unclog the ancient wheels of cut-off marks. Some Governors decried this move and considered it unnecessary. Cut-off marks have been plagued on ethnicity and deprivation: some states are assumed to be educationally privileged, while some are considered deprived. So, the bench mark for admission into higher institutions of learning became uneven based on location and standard of the prospective schools. Many uproars have risen from this section and it won’t stop until the right approach is engaged.
The health sector is not spared from this political entanglements. The recent “brain drain” of doctors by the Saudi Arabian government is just an example of the circumspect views of the government towards development and innovation. The level of preparedness for the future is not tantamount to the growth and demands. As much as no sector of government is more important than the other, priorities to health shouldn’t be compromised. Incessant strikes are not, and will never be the solution to demands in democratic dispensation. Dialogues, when constructive and void of sentiments, will yield results that will be beneficial to stakeholders in the deliberations.
Creative and analytical thinking could bring lasting solutions to these predicaments. Humanity should strive above religion and ethnicity in Nigeria to have an enduring system that can accommodate professionalism above tribal sentiments. Corruption survives in an institution of bias against gender and language. Our symbol of nationality lies in our unity far against divisiveness. Leaders are called to serve and not to be served: followers should respect this axiom. When deliberations are made, the outcomes should not remain on reports alone but rather advance to execution stage by concerned authorities. Bills should sit fit long for comprehensive discussion, coupled with appropriate consultations before passage into law for onward implementation.
Olusegun Fashakin, a seasoned educator writes in via [email protected]