Long Before Jonathan!

Posted: July 12, 2012 in Uncategorized

By Umar Y. Mukhtar



The Nigeria of today says so many things, from abject destitution to incredible affluence and from stark chauvinism to assimilating differences. I find it too easy picking faults in the actions (or inactions) of government or those in power, it has indeed been made a lot easier under the current dispensation. I repeatedly say that I personally do not blame Jonathan’s government for the dismal state that prevails; it is very much the concrete evidence of long years of indiscipline, misrule (by heads of families, heads of businesses and heads of government) and corruption. This lethal combination, over the last 36-40 years has destroyed our societies’ morals, which has caused leadership decay at all levels.


It appears and feels too simple blaming the successive governments for what Nigeria is or is not (or has become). Very few people are proud of this country today, and the number shrinks by the day. Some feel that the country defies all logic in staying united; some bitterly feel that the country must remain one, and that its unity is not negotiable.


I keep thinking that the current state of anguish would have taught us a lesson or two about abandoning a major problem and viewing the peripherals. Ours is a country haunted by a gory past, a past of neglect of all basic institutions, a past of many years of unprecedented decadence amongst members of all strata of all societies. We did not at that time envisage a manifestation of the results of those long years of neglect; neither did we really think that a huge number of unlettered and unemployed youth would be harmful to our society. We did not address the problem posed by a drop in school enrollment, we did not think that regulating destructive sermons of fiery clergy was necessary, and we felt the flaunting of excessive affluence by public officers in a society of hunger and homelessness would not have a major impact in the long run. In spite of all of these lessons, we refuse to view our main problems today, but channel our energies destroying our mutual peace.


As a matter or urgency, the countless youth of this country must be engaged in gainful activities. Again, in as much as we try to limit or end proliferation of arms and ammunition, same efforts must go into limiting or ending the scourge of drug trafficking within our societies. The curriculum of secondary education should include two years of inter-faith religious studies, a study of the country’s two predominant faiths for at least a measure of being informed to a basic level.


For all of the days that we are awakened by the news of senseless murders, rape, kidnappings and other numerous assault cases, I feel we have lost our identities and try to prove to be that which we are not and will never really be. Also, the incalculable thieving within power circles and the inestimable fraudulent activities of businesses tells you that some are not comfortable with their identities. The uneasiness with a prevailing identity could also lead one to gullibly accept a highly questionable doctrine as divine and genuine.


These and many other things we complain about daily on traffic, in queues, at the airports, motor parks, government building surroundings, hospital wards, human settlements, police stations and so many other places; have made me pass a verdict that we were very horrible in the past, became worse in the recent past, grown more shameless and violent today and strive for much worse in the future. Our present calamity was invited by us long before Jonathan!


Umar Y. Mukhtar


  1. Bakson Moses says:

    Highly enlightening, educative, patriotic and unsentimental work. I have benefited a lot from this. Pls keep up d gud work towards a better Nigeria!

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