Emmanuel Oyatunde, New Jersey, USA

Even for a non-analytic person, the problem with Nigeria is obvious. It has been hijacked by a few privileged military officers, who just pass the baton from one hand to the other. The persons involved are known, which is why it is so simple to see how Nigeria has remained stagnant. Our stagnant development is a direct result of stagnant leadership.

If we had never been able to see before how the national destiny has been hijacked by the retired generals, the so-called democracy we now operate is a clear indication of the status quo. The presidency has become the birthright of a few hijackers; I mean Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and  Mohammadu Buhari. If  Sanni Abacha were alive, his name most certainly would be on the presidential aspirants list. 

It is time for Nigerians to wake from a debilitating slumber, because if we don’t we will be sold alive by the power-hungry military usurpers who have taken forceful custody of power in the land. When did the presidency of our country become the birthright of a few individuals?

When Obasanjo first ruled our country as a military man, he ended up using resources bigger than his income to build his now popular OTA farm. He was not questioned by anyone, but instead returned as a civilian president. Same for Babangida. He ruled, then retired atop a multi-billion naira mansion in Minna, which he called the Hilltop Mansion, without being queried. Abacha stole so much we can’t even count his money. Yet, most of the stolen wealth was returned to the family in an “Army Arrangement” style that allowed his family to enjoy stolen public funds while giving just a little back to silence wagging tongues. Buhari initially had a clean record, but when he managed the Petroleum Trust Fund, he wreaked havoc on our finances, which is where he probably got the funds he is now using to prosecute an elusive presidential ambition. 

The time for another election is around the corner. The corrupt military officers are back. They have plundered our country in the past, and they will certainly do it again.

Those who have stolen money in the past should not be returning. It is very disturbing that Nigerians have not raised the bar for political office. We do not place any demand on these aspirants. We just sit back and relax, and pray that their hearts will be turned. But it is wishful thinking that these men will ever do good.

There is now so much money in the treasury, coming from historically high oil prices, that it is apparent the retired generals have their eyes on taking the most for themselves. It is disturbing that many Nigerians are ready to sell their future to the retired generals for just a couple of thousands of naira.  Are there no brilliant minds in this wonderful country who can take the reins of government? Should we continue to circulate the garbage? I say no.

Wake up Nigerians. We can no longer be as stupid to sell our future for minor gratifications. The presidency of Nigeria is not the  birthright of the military officers. We have a collective duty to say no to tyranny. Let all retired military officers stay in retirement and allow fresh ideas to be brought to governance through the election of new materials.  We need a new set of governors. The old cargoes must be dumped!  They are too heavy and useless.


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