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A lamentation on Nigeria

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Nigeria, October 1: third forceSINCE the beginning of Nigeria’s fourth republic in 1999, the present administration of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is unarguably the worst. The failure of the incumbent administration to live up to expectations, within and outside Nigeria, relegates every measure of the towering hope that welcomed it. The Nigeria that our current president projects to the world is a backward, ignorant, antiquated, unalluring, visionless, confused, unimaginative rudderless country. At different times when President Buhari has had the opportunity to blisteringly fly the flags of Nigeria before the world, he sullied it instead.

So, when I learned that the unscrupulous president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, allegedly referred to Nigeria’s president as a “lifeless” person he never wants to meet again, I shuddered in grief and astonishment. Grief because I realised that once again, our president has fumbled abroad. Astonished because the president’s henchmen ostensibly painted a picture of Eldorado after the meeting. Although this is characteristic of the APC and president Buhari’s administration, it is an insult to the collective intelligence of Nigerians.

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Although I do not wish to dignify President Trump with a response,  but  as the saying goes, “if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” The current administration is exceptionally lifeless. It only comes to life when it wants to abuse human rights, arrest journalists, invade the homes of judges, shield corruption, waste public resources on presidential junkets, hire crowds to attack peaceful protesters, subvert the democratic process, and engage in fruitless propaganda.

Under this administration, Nigeria’s economy slipped into a recession, and Nigerians have been dealing with emasculating economic hardship ever since, despite statistical claims that we have exited the recession. As of today, more than 10 million people have lost their jobs in the last three years of this administration, despite its promise to create 3million jobs annually. Nigeria currently shares about 15 per cent of the world’s unemployment rate  with  approximately 30million unemployed people in the country. According to UNICEF, Nigeria has about 10.5million out-of-school children – the highest in the world, and 60 per cent of these children are in the northern part of the country, and 60 per cent of them are girls.

According to the Brookings Institution, Nigeria is currently the extreme poverty capital of the world with about 87million extremely poor people, and a trend of Nigerians sinking into extreme poverty every six minutes. If you choose to look beyond Nigeria’s economic woes, you certainly will not find solace in its messy security crisis. Since President Buhari came into power in 2015, thousands of Nigerians have died from the sanguinary binge of killer-herdsmen, with debilitating impact on Nigeria’s food basket in the middle belt of the country. Almost on a daily basis, the number of Internally Displaced Persons and farmers being forced out of their farms continues to skyrocket. The consequence of these endless attacks by herdsmen is the impending famine that would likely hit Nigeria in 2019 or sooner. The Commander in Chief has refused to address this national threat head-on for reasons best known to him.

  • Raphael is the National Secretary of the OurMumuDonDo Movement.

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