News & Features
by Zebulon Agomuo
September 3, 2017 | 1:02 am| | | Start Conversation
The Nigerian society has turned into “chiboo anuozo.” Every day brings more terrible news that leave one with goose pimples and adrenaline rise. The national dailies are filled with horrifying news. It is about poverty killing people; diseases and infirmity; ritual killings; kidnapping; armed robberies; people using human parts to prepare pepper soup and sheer callousness of the ruling class against hapless citizens. It appears that the wickedness of leadership that is responsible for long years of neglect of the citizens may have equally pushed many people to embrace all manner of crimes to eke out a living. Coupled with the erosion of the value system in Nigeria which has left many with the character of beasts and demons; many today are even wicked than the Lucifer himself.
Here in Nigeria, public office holders steal as if they have come to the world to live indefinitely. A political appointee helps himself with the money he/she was supposed to use to better the lots of his/her compatriots. We hear and read about people using their fellow human beings for ritual purposes, all for money.
In many hospitals, particularly government-owned ones; we see nonchalance all over the place. Doctors and nurses are no longer willing to do the job they were employed to do. A young boy of two- Christopher Mike-Ozugha was reportedly killed by some callous nurses in a hospital at Ikorodu area of Lagos. They deliberately put the boy on an empty oxygen tank to convince the boy’s mother that they were attending to him. Even when the boy’s mother repeatedly alerted them that it appeared there was no oxygen inside the tank, they simply told her she should not disturb them. Callousness! That’s how a family lost its only child to some vampires in human flesh. The other day, a suspected cannibal and a member of a kidnap gang, Roland Peter, was said to have been arrested by the Police in Rivers State for “killing, beheading and using the liver and intestines of his victims” to make pepper soup. From Ogun State came a report last week of one Azeez Kelani who killed his friend David Adima, after stealing his crop. Nigeria used to be a peaceful country, but it appears we have lost our innocence. The society is stinking. Nowadays, people are hiding under religion to do all manner of evil. Confirmed conmen have invaded the church to defraud worshippers with their lying tongues and fake prophecies. Recently, we heard about a prophet that specialised in sleeping with females to exorcise them of evil spirits. He shaves their pubic hair and all manner of things. Just last week, the newspapers had a story of an imam who serially raped a minor in the guise of teaching her how to recite the Koran. My worries is that the more government and private organisations hold summits, conferences and workshops on how to move the country forward, and the more religious centres hold fellowships, the more Nigeria stinks. Who will really bell the cat?
Kanu as a thin-god
Suddenly, Nnamdi Kanu, the man behind the secessionist movement of Biafra under the umbrella of Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) has become a god that his followers worship. A particular picture went viral on social media last week, where a young man was doing obeisance to Kanu.
The picture however, did not show any sign that the worship was a forced one; it was a deliberate outpouring of loyalty to a figure that some youths in Igboland have erroneously come to believe has something good to offer them. Today, Kanu controls the largest number of youth followership in the whole of South East geo-political zone, yet he has no security details and there are no armored cars following him, unlike what the five state governors in the zone enjoy. I am not sure if any of the governors enjoys half the respect Kanu effortlessly enjoys in all the states across the region. Kanu became a thin god for filling the gap which the political elite in south east left yawning. This is in line with the axiom that nature abhors a vacuum. Although Kanu’s modus operandi may not be the best and may be condemnable to some extent, he is providing a utopian hope for a large population of people in Igboland today.
Those who think that the Biafra agitation is just about the youth may be deluding themselves. There are many adults who are neck deep in that campaign and are also religiously making commitments in various ways towards the realisation of that dream.
As has been severally explained, Kanu is today enjoying relevance because the elected political practitioners in all the south east geopolitical zones have failed the people. They spend more of their time outside their states; they are always in Lagos and Abuja, and leave the home porous for all manner of things to fester. The way things are now; the level of discontent against politicians, any attempt by any of the state governors to raise a finger against Kanu will be met with stiff resistance and bloodshed.
Kanu is simply reaping the gain of the absence of true governance in south east. Those who look up to him as the “messiah” may be doing so because it is like choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea. These are people who have suffered long years of neglect by the government at the centre.
Religious leaders are also not helping matters. A good number of these youths have good education and skills but they idle away all day because those who claim to be their political leaders mind their own businesses and feed their bellies with the commonwealth. Have we pondered why the increase in all manner of crime in society? We may not have started seeing something dreadful, not with the rising ineptitude of government at all levels. I am just thinking aloud!
When silence is golden: JAMB take note
Instead of hiding its face in shame and rather than mourn for its outrageous failure, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) shamelessly took the madness to the market square last week, explaining that the reason why it reduced the cut off marks “was to stop the quest for foreign education by Nigerians.”
This is sheer inanity! Rather than tender public apology for the insult it heaped on Nigeria and Nigerians by lowering the entry cut-off marks for the UTME to a level that right-thinking members of society felt was insulting and an attempt to ridicule Nigerians in the eyes of foreigners. It would be recalled that JAMB recently came out with cut-off marks of 120 over 400 for admissions into universities; 100 for polytechnics and colleges of education; while 110 is for those seeking admission into monotechnics. Hardly had the Board finished releasing the cut-off marks than condemnation began to fly from all corners. Many Nigerians have even called for the scrapping of the Board because they think it has outlived its usefulness. To further ridicule JAMB, some universities have even begun to call for post-UTME screening for candidates who scored from 200. That alone is a subtle passage of a no-confidence vote in JAMB. Another issue that appears confusing is the relationship between lowering of cut-off marks and people seeking admissions offshore. The newly established private universities are there to cater to the needs of those who may not have the 200 cut-off mark. If some universities were bending backward to admit people who scored 180, it cannot be equated with 120. What JAMB is saying is that our universities have become a dumping ground? No university, even the privately-owned ones will be celebrating and rushing to take in candidates with 120; it will degrade them. If any university begins to admit people with 120, it means it is a low-grade institution that nobody should send their children there. By the way, how many of those at JAMB have their children schooling in Nigeria? I think that’s the research we need to carry out to determine the genuineness or otherwise of the people there.
I will be surprised if Buhari calls for overhaul of nation’s health system
Consistently, President Muhammadu Buhari has patronised foreign health facilities against his own words at the inauguration of his administration on May 30, 2015. His decision to seek medical help in the United Kingdom is a no-confidence vote in the health facilities and personnel in the country. It is very ridiculous that a government that preaches local content, that preaches against stashing of the country’s funds in foreign accounts, and seeking avenues to repatriate such funds, has wholly embraced foreign treatment, even when the ailment is as minor as an ear problem/irritation.
It is not that it is any body’s concern where the president seeks to go for treatment, but it is everybody’s concern when the country’s health system is left comatose and people cannot access treatment for the least ailment. All over the country, the story is the same- poor health system. Government-owned hospitals are in sorry state; disgruntled workforce, who though well-trained are not well-motivated to work passionately.
It is strike today, strike tomorrow. As a result of government’s lack of commitment to the health sector, Nigerians are dying in large numbers of treatable diseases. Can’t we for once ask ourselves- why do we allow our institutions to rot away, and we patronise foreign ones? Do we actually think? If those foreign countries’ governments had acted the way we do here, would there be anywhere for our leaders to run to? What is wrong with us? Government has killed the education sector by funding the education of public office holders abroad. Is it not a shame? I had expected President Buhari, upon his return from London, to make a pronouncement that would revamp the health sector in the country. I would be surprised if he is even thinking along that line. After all, he is comfortable jetting out anytime he feels an itch in any of his ears! Nigeria we hail thee!
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