“System Change is our Goal, Mass Resistance is our Vehicle.” – Chima Ubani
With this Season of Open Letters supposedly ‘revealing’ the antics and atrocities of the present version of the Nigerian ruinous, ruling class (within and outside political office) and the attendant hullabaloo over the letters, discerning minds that have been connected with the Nigerian socio-political and economic scenario over time would realize, that, all these ‘revelations’ are stale news!
These letters and their writers are out to confound, distract and delude undiscerning Nigerians as the intra-class conflicts intensifies within the parasitic Nigerian ruling class. The goal is to pull wool over the eyes of unsuspecting citizens and befog their vision in order to continue to maintain the present diabolic status quo.
This is why one would find no fundamental ideological differences amongst the writers on one hand and their letters on the other hand. Whether those written by the elements in political office or outside, or even by their underbellies including militants, thugs, religious and ethnic bigots, sycophants etc., they serve the same end which is to sustain the tenacious hold to political power in order to continue to appropriate the commonwealth of Nigeria to the corrupt, light-fingered ruling class members, their families and cronies.
The exchange of letters between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the present President, Goodluck Jonathan reminds one of what Reuben Abati, Special Media Assistant to the President, then with the Guardian Newspaper during the face-off between the then incumbent President, General Olusegun Obasanjo and his Vice, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku described as ‘Bolekaja Presidency’ in March 2007. A melodrama which featured the President and his Vice throwing punches at one another and dancing naked in the Market Square over who was more corrupt! This time we are hearing of sniper’s top 1000 hit-list, betrayals etc., the only dissimilar thing is perhaps that Obasanjo is out of political office. Like Fela Anikulapo would say, ‘na roforofo fight’!
It must be noted that the two scenarios above share similar timing, yes, both began as General elections approached. This is why Nigerians must learn from history, we have been through this path before. The status quo and character of the Nigerian state have remained the same for decades. The status quo is built on exploitation, greed, corruption, oppression, subjugation and bare-faced impunity, and the character is brutish, dubious, deceitful and insensitive!
The excruciating conditions of existence of the mass of the people whose attention they want to distract through their letters, party mergers, orchestrated party defections, phantom conferences/dialogues etc., is as a result of the decadent status quo being operated by the current inept ruling classes and elites and their predecessors.
Nigerians should sieve through the chaff, identify the real from the unreal. This present ruling class has nowhere to take the masses than the dungeons. Across all the existing parties, the question should be asked, what anyone of them has to offer different from this neo-liberal direction. Their mergers, alliances etc. are to achieve the same end. And that is the continuous sustenance of the present order!
Nigerians must realize that through their voodoo politics and disaster capitalism (apologies Naomi Klein); our treasury is been looted on daily basis, the commanding heights of our economy have been placed in the hands of cronies of the ruling class in dubious privatization processes.
They want to distract attention from the abandonment of its responsibilities and failures. 70% of the people are living in relative poverty and 46% in abject poverty. The murderous ruling classes who are in power have thoroughly mismanaged our educational system, abandoned road networks in a state of dangerous disrepair and in fact have betrayed the very reason why government was instituted at all.
Insecurity, hunger, unemployment and lack of shelter pervade the land. Nigerians continue to die on daily basis from avoidable diseases and bloody fratricidal, ethnic and religious conflicts with life expectancy at 45 years.
So, it is in their interest i.e. the ruling class, for the masses to concentrate on their letters and idiocies, so that their evil machinations can just continue. For instance, because majority of Nigerians are already carried away by their conscious distractions, many are not aware that N540 million is being proposed in the 2014 Budget to fuel generators in Aso Rock, this is in spite of the overt promises and assurances that having sold the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to private hands, Nigeria will be in Eldorado as far power supply is concerned. This is just sheer hypocrisy, deceit and insensitivity!
These lies must stop! The working and toiling masses of Nigeria cannot continue to bear the brunt of irresponsible, corrupt and roguish mode of governance being perpetrated by the ruling class. The Nigerian masses who are the victims of their inhuman policies must be organized to engage, resist and struggle for an overhaul of the present fraudulent and unworkable system that subsists.
By Wale Salami, aka Don