It is conventional in Nigeria to see one challenge surpassing another. This was so, especially as Nigerians are better amused with current situations. But for political argument and strategy, history is of no relevance in Nigeria. The immediate past is often forgotten and neglected without realizing that the past is the key to the present and when combined is relevant for future projection.
The neglect of the emotional and economic struggle for cash is now forgotten as the Nigerians are preoccupied with the elections saga. As expected, an election is a deadly but interesting moment in many countries of the world. No wonder, it is a four-year game that requires succinct calculations. But my pity for the Nigerians is their ignorance to realize that the government has continued to toy with our rights as citizens because of our flair for ‘what is trending.’ The indecencies and inefficacy of the Nigerian democracy are not considered, rather we keep on dancing to the tune of the government which is aware of our weakness of belittling the ‘past’ and the ‘present.’ In essence, the government is fond of abusing the atmosphere with laws and actions that affect the socioeconomic well-being of their residents because they know very well that the latter is ‘strong’ enough to move on with the new trend after a series of mouthful demonstrations or at worse, the usual protests. Hence, when a problem is yet unsolved, another one ensued, so that the Nigerians could forget the former and be preoccupied with the latter. The cashless policy following the currency redesign of November 2022 by the central bank of Nigeria has garnered a lot of reactions from the Nigerians who suffered the poor implementation of the nice policy. The policy that would reduce the circulation of fake currency, insecurity, corruption, vote buying, money stockpiling, money laundering, and ransom kidnapping, and enhances an effective foreign exchange rate, have kept many Nigerians suffering from exploitation. It is necessary to compliment the Buhari government and the Central Bank of Nigeria for such an amazing policy aimed at political and economic betterment. However, both parties should be chided for their brinkmanship and the poor implementation of the policy which have turned into an exploitative means for many who don’t mind becoming an overnight millionaire at the expense of the hunger-stricken masses. Needless to mention are opportunities for average citizens whose inevitable ‘fast’ is now been graced by a general one so that when a Nigerian says “I have no money,” we are not sure whether he does not really have money or he is cashless.
The same problem of ‘what is trending’ is the reason nobody is talking about insecurity and the unemployment that many graduates are suffering from. One could have challenged the latter of not being creative in this era of technology, but there are no conducive environment and aid. The situation of our power being privatized such that people pay unjustified bills to profit-minded companies is not important except at the moment of exploitation. The unlawful lynching of Deborah Samuel in May 2022 is no more significant. Nobody is considering any longer whether justice was done or not. The October 2020 massacre is now a thing of the past. The government even suppressed the remembrance of the demised. Embezzlement of funds that are meant for societal development by representatives and power holders are not being questioned; yet we all form ‘Stone Cold.’ What we hear is the funny but obnoxious news of politicians being arrested with no proper sanctions. Instead, an embezzler would seek and be granted a ‘plea bargain.’ In July last year, a former accountant-general, Ahmed Idris, and three other culprits by the names; of Godfrey Olusegun Akindele, Mohammed Usman, and Gezawa Commodity Market and Exchange Limited, were arraigned for an alleged N109bn embezzlement. A huge sum of money! But in a ruling presided over by Justice Jadesola Adeyemi-Ajayi, the culprits are entitled to bail of N5bn and N2bn respectively (according to the Punch) One wonders what lessons are left for others to learn from. For how long do we continue to forget the inadequacies of the government?
Nigeria is a nation that possesses sovereignty by which she maintains her legitimacy to its residents. The primary function of the government with regard to “security and welfare of the people” as entrenched in Section 14 (2)(b)of the 1999 constitution as amended should not be rendered as a facade if the country wants its legitimacy retained. It is about time Nigerians ceased to know that it is better only when they prevent future calamities by not forgetting history. For otherwise they will turn advocates of “cure is better than prevention”, and we know what that means.