BURNING POT BY PRINCE CHARLES DICKSON,
Nigeria 2017: Another year to prove the pessimists wrong
"One cannot eat crab in secret"
It was one long year, the year 2016, a year that a lot of us want to
forget for so many reasons and others would not forget for the
obvious reasons. But either way what more can we do than be happy
that we were finally able to navigate it somehow. There are a lot of
reasons to be optimistic this year as well as a lot to be
pessimistic about, a lot of us would be watching with an eagle eye
as events unfold.
This essay would be a thrust of all I expect would be confronting us
this year as a nation and as a people, it would be a confabulation
of issues that if tackled can take us closer to the promised land
and if neglected as usual will only be ingredients for disaster and
a continued slide towards doom.
We again from the beginning of this year will be battling against
poverty, of the mind, of pocket and of sensibilities, despite two
years of Buhari's reforms we would still remain one of the poorest
in the globe, despite our natural and human resources, due to human
mismanagement we would be battling to sustain meaningful
development, and growth that is equal to the expectations of our
With Buhari's administration, again though subtly we will still be
concerned about tribal sentiments, ethnicity, religion and thus to a
large extent none of or few of us are thinking nor discussing
meritocracy. Around these three evils and many more we are likely to
be subjected to more of political irresponsibility, rascality and
political arithmetic that further alienates the rulers from the
We shall again be fighting against negative statistics of reality;
we still will remain and may continue to feature amongst nations
with the worst badly run economies.
We are insecure as a people, we are once more going to be constantly
dependent on others after over a decade of paper independence, our
Rice whether plastic, rubber or real would still come from Thailand,
any land but not our land, our drugs both fake and original, we have
India, Germany and co. to thank for them.
This year, will we be able to make sense of our economic
macro-policies, with cars, computers, clothing, and ballpoint pens
all from Obodo Oyinbo. Will we shed off the skin of a nation that is
full of contradictions, a nation of millions of school leavers
without jobs, a nation of millions sick with curable diseases and
ailment, a nation yet blessed with fertile land, with intelligent
men and women in abundance. But being punished by a handful of
crooks called leaders, being ruled by a collection of mediocre. A
nation where amidst these poverty a man would steal in billions.
The issues that stop us from attaining nationhood again would
include, the fact that we are all hypocrites, constantly waiting for
any opportunity to better Judas Iscariot in the act of betrayal.
Nigeria would not break; Nigeria will not fail or fall, because it
already has. We are not united, but we are one in corruption, one in
greed, one in maladministration and misgovernance, we are united in
Nigeria won't fail in 2017, neither will it fall. It already did
since day one, whether 1914 or 1960. It won't break because
borrowing from former president Obasanjo 'near-saints and
near-devils' would continue to conglomerate and govern us whether in
PDP or APC--they are same difference.
So the search for purposeful leadership and citizenship with
direction will continue at various levels.
Yes, like prophet Jeroboam, of Wole Soyinka's famed Jero plays, I
danced, with eyes closed and spoke in tongues not known to me and I
saw probes, probes, and more probes. As usual, 2017 will be another
year of probes and panels. The various state assemblies will follow
the lead of the National Assembly in probing and investigating.
And as I saw probes, I saw committees, while government will set
more committees, citizens will ask for probes, men whose wives
refused to conceive will be probed and committees set up. Just so we
know, none of these investigations/probes will be people or result
My apologies to the Chinese, but like their phones expect plenty
noise from our politicians, a large number of them will make
utterances without thinking, and Nigerians would follow suit, as
long as it fits into our ethno-religious heads.
Apart from the prominent Nigerians that will die, scores of
Nigerians would be killed by robbers, kidnapped and in one form of
crisis or the other.
With looting, corruption and insincerity, the ball again would be
played on the pitch of underdevelopment and to think otherwise would
be deceitful. Our cry would still be trying to catch the Asian
Tiger, even with some West African puppies leaving us too far for
comfort. Our life expectancy would likely drop further, even as more
roads are likely to be unmotorable. We shall loose more kids at
birth due to lack of infrastructure while leaders and the affluent
treat their stomach disorder in Paris.
With less than N120 a day, only the Almighty and our perseverance
can keep us going. We shall suffer the rule of idiots, because sages
are kept in dust bin, maybe with the exception of Buhari and others,
again, it is going to be like it was.
Things could be better, Nigeria can be great if only institutions,
and leadership prove citizenry wrong, if only you and I can make a
concerted effort at being right in our own little way and fight in
our own small corner.
The nation will fight for liberation from tribal loyalties, ethnic
jingoism, religious parapoism, monetary godfatherism and many more.
We will have to move a ladder up from hope and expectation to
In this New Year, we have to move towards a Nigeria, with Nigerians,
we either continue the self-deceit and watch the nation crumble like
cookies. As I welcome us into this New Year let me say that this is
our nation, only us can stop the drift, people that claim to love us
are few, many a nation are watching and waiting. Let us remember
that we cannot continue to massage the ringworm and leave the sore.
Almighty Allah we as a people we are grateful for a New Year and ask
for the best, but are we willing to work for that best—Only time