2022 lays a blank page before Nigeria, and like a student sitting for a pulse-pounding examination, say law school examinations for instance, the country will be expected to fill out the page with intelligent and intelligible answers under very high pressure.
For so long, Nigerians have been led by the nose by many public officers. With many of them incorrigible and impudent, their twisted game of snakes and ladders has fettered the giant of Africa for far too long. With the fevered politics of 2023 about to gain full traction, Nigerians need neither witches nor soothsayers to know that such public officers will do nothing, leave nothing and steal everything. Many of them are about to leave the coffers of their states empty as they exit power.
For many traditional rulers, it can only be a thing of scandal that bandits now know the roads to royalty not to be rebuked but to find refuge. Many royal fathers have been fingered in activities culminating in abduction for ransom in their domains.
It saddens the heart that the putrefaction of banditry now wafts through many palaces unchecked and welcomed. Again, how much truth do Nigeria`s royal fathers speak these days? How much reality check are they willing to offer a country ailed by the avarice of a few? How much truth do they speak to those who come prostrate before them to seek their royal blessings?
For those who command pulpits in the name of God, hypocrisy must be shed like a snake`s skin and its place taken by truth. No longer must the house of God become a bureau de change for stolen public funds.
With the page inevitably turned on 2021, 2022 offers Nigeria an opportunity to begin again. It remains to be seen whether those determined to write Nigeria`s story for good recognize the massive opportunity offered.
It was not just in the previous year that the country threatened to unravel. Since 1966 when unfathomable military folly set a promising country on the path of woe, the threat has grown with each year.
A cabinet reshuffle is necessary. It is obvious that many of those on the cabinet of Mr. Muhammadu Buhari are expired eggheads who bring nothing to the table but poor perception and loose lips which threaten to sink the ship of the current administration. Fresh impetus must also be given to the war against terror on all fronts. Nigerians want to see that those who slaughter innocents, sack communities and induce terror have a battle on their hands.
Nigerians want that it is no longer enough that supposedly repentant terrorists are feted as they go through suspect deradicalization. Nigerians want to see transparency in prosecuting a war against a menace that is asking existential questions of the contraption that Nigeria is.
For this to be successful, change is inevitable in the ranks of those prosecuting the war against terror. The war has veered towards disaster many times betraying at every turn how ill-equipped the country was to handle a full-fledged insurgency in spite of the many warning signs fired countless times over the course of many years.
A lack of transparency pervades the country leaving many Nigerians lurching about in darkness. The country burns in so many places but the iron irony of it all is that even with all the fires burning up the future of Nigerian children, there isn’t enough light at the end of the tunnel.
For many Nigerian university students, last Christmas was yet another one spent with their hearts in their mouths. Each day of the yuletide for many of them was marked by the uncertainty that torments university education in Nigeria thanks to ASUU and the Federal Government.
In what has become an utterly rotten ritual of rabblerousers and their ruse, broken promises and strike actions are the blows exchanged in the annual collision between the elephants of ASUU and those of the Federal Government. The grass that suffers mutilation and humiliation is Nigerian students. It raises a troubling question that many of those who eventually come through the treacherous terrain of education in Nigeria are left stranded to be strangled by the noose of unemployment or underemployment.
Just when will Nigerian graduates find adequate, dignified jobs to fend for themselves and their families? When will the infernal pool from which terrorists draw their foot soldiers be dried up by the fires of gainful employment? Nigeria must be able to proffer and answer to this question this year.
Many difficult questions confront Nigeria at the moment. There are many who believe that the country has no answers and is not going to make any progress as currently constituted. With each gleeful cascade into dysfunction that the country makes, these people who are otherwise prophets of doom appear uncannily gifted. The lot falls on Nigeria to work and in the process clothe its many detractors and saboteurs with the robes of shame.
The howls of secession hurtling through the country from the Southeast and haunting its every waking moment will not be silenced until Nigeria is able to run a progressive state where equity, equality and justice lubricate the wheels of government. Nigeria sits an examination this year. At the end of the year, its scorecard will be held aloft for all to see. With the general elections of 2023 knocking on the door, failure is not an option.
The many poor students of history who stampede Nigeria`s halls of power must be made to panic. With others gone before them they are responsible for the withering of the Nigerian imperium. They are about to flunk another of history`s stern examination. Historical records bear out their antecedents as irredeemable failures.
When they fail, their failure must attract the ignominy
of oblivion, in exile, lost in unforgiving refuse heap of history.