25th December 2012
As year 2012 rolls to an end, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) takes a retrospective look at events in Nigeria within the year with particular reference to the relationship between the leaders and the citizenry as well as the provision of infrastructure capable of improving the standard of living.
The oil subsidy controversy has continued unabated. Fuel scarcity is a common feature in most Nigerian cities with long queues at fuel stations. Palliatives offered by the Federal Government in the wake of the oil subsidy saga have vanished into thin air.
Boko Haram, kidnapping, armed robbery and related crimes have made a mess of the country's security system. The transport sector, whether by land or by air, is as safe as playing a game of rugby in a mined field. Electricity, which is the backbone of any economy, is assailed by epilepsy and has rendered the industrial sector prostate.
Except in a few states, Nigeria's public hospitals remain public mortuaries patronized only by desperate sicklers willing to commit suicide. To cap it all, the education sector which is the hope for a better tomorrow, is still crawling at 62 and receiving crunches that fall from the politicians' table.
Yet Nigeria's woes can be traced to the glaring lacuna between the leaders and the lead. There is total breakdown of communication between banquet-loving Aso Rock and the rest of the country. The leaders ignore the bad roads because they can afford to shuttle in helicopters. The Nigerian president has ten aircrafts in his fleet whereas the American president has only two. Yet the Nigerian president wants more presidential jets.
The losses suffered by the aviation sector within the year are symptomatic of the sheer neglect characteristic of the Nigerian leadership. The fact that the deficiencies in all these sectors have started affecting the leaders themselves must be enough lesson for these leaders who have hitherto refused to listen.
Perhaps those governors who are rumoured to be recuperating in hospitals abroad (Suntai in Germany, Imoke in the United States and Chime in India) would return home to turn the health sector around in their states. Perhaps the late governor Yakowa of Kaduna State and former National Security Adviser, General Aziza (rtd), would have used the roads if the Niger Delta had been developed. Nonetheless, MURIC wishes to give kudos to governor Idris of Kogi State for rejecting foreign treatment after his crash.
Finally, MURIC charges President Jonathan to learn from the lessons of 2012. He should therefore focus the paraphernalia of governance on security, roads, education and health because he or his close relations may need these neglected infrastructure one day.
Professor Is-haq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),