By Clement Okoh, writing from Lagos.
As live footages of the gory images suffered by trapped passengers and motorists along the lokoja-Abuja highway came streaming in the social media, the words expressed in the book of Psalm 107 v 10 began to make a meaning to me. The verse spoke of “such as sit in darkness”, “and in the shadow of death”, and “being bound in affliction and iron!” Note the use of the words “iron”, “affliction” and “darkness”. Ask any discerning observer about his opinion and he may well admit that Nigerians are living in affliction and in darkness! Only people bound in darkness can experience the horror taking place at that highway. You can also look at Isaiah 42 v 7 that also spoke of “prisoners” and people living in “prison house”; Can we honestly argue that Nigerians are not living in “blindness” under their task masters—the leaders who are completely deceitful and lack any form of credibility? When someone is referred to as being “bound by iron”, that is almost the case with APC Nigeria. The surprise here is that they are still campaigning! And no visible effort is made to redeem the situation except some petty radio and television announcements! This is very unfortunate. Yet, the bible makes further reference to “preys” and “captives”. Again you want to ask whether Nigerians aren’t lawful captives; you may be wondering? The signs are bad enough; the paralysis in the land, it all seems unreal. Those who call themselves leaders appears to have lost their conscience; what is material wealth they hold so dear to their chest? Look around and find out what happened to the leaders of yesteryears? Where are they? Now these ones are following suit plundering and subjecting their people to mindless torture. If nothing else, the gridlock, the sorrows and ordeal of the “captives”, portrays nothing but darkness! what the Bible calls “shadows of death!” How else do we explain? Why are they subjecting the already oppressed Nigerians to this cycle of tears and woes? It is inexcusable to have allowed that road to deteriorate to that abysmal level; only godless and treacherous leaders would permit such dehumanizing misery. They believe the best way to govern is to hold Nigerians captives, afflict them with poverty, hunger and then cap it with insecurity; as spoilers, they believe that their stronghold is the money they have amassed; but the Bible—oh that great book of the law-say they shall be “confounded” … for God has broken the gates of brass and cut the bars of iron in asunder! Traitors! That’s what they are turning to be; leaders who are insensitive and visionless. As a new round of campaign kicks off, an opportunity for a new beginning, is here. Nigerians must now choose between prolong suffering or escape from Sobibor (concentration camp of APC). Sadly, when confronted with a choice between national survival and personal advancement, Nigerians seem to prefer the latter. Their competing interest and loyalty goes with their pockets. Because they are wont to be myopic, personal benefits thrills them more than long term gains. This invariably affects their subsequent decisions invariably skewed along selfish lines. That’s where the word “opportunists” comes in; “greed” follows next. They will try to dress their position in borrowed robes, unknown to them, their belly is exposed. Opportunists are people who see a chance to gain some advantage from a situation, often at the expense of ethics and morals; he takes advantage of every chance for success without thinking about the effects on other people. This brings us to the role now being played by the highly respected High Chief Dele Momodu, Kola Ologbodiyan, Festus Keyamo and a host of others. By the way, “leaders like Rotimi Amaechi, Prince Lai Muhammed and Professor Yemi Osinbajo appears to have been forgotten. This is the way politics is played in Nigeria. More emphasis is placed on “stomach infrastructure” than in the overall progress of Nigerians. And in this game, Godwin Obaseki has shown he is exemplary. He rides on the backs of powerful Nigerians to prominence and at the end hits them hard, where they least imagine. Adams Oshiomole, Nyesom Wike are some of his victims; Dan Orbih could have been, but he resisted and right now is locked in a bitter struggle for the soul of PDP in Edo State. Obaseki is slippery, offering vain excuses while hiding under a camouflage to line his pockets; he says he is protecting the Edo State treasury from the claws of marauding political bandits, but he has already set his sights on being the economic adviser to an Atiku presidency! Eat alone specialists that is the picture he presents! Nevertheless, we have been assured that in the last days, the “crooked” shall be made straight! Ordinarily, you would expect that a man like Godwin Obaseki would want to retire to private business after his second tenure; not so; the lucre of public office is so sweet, how can anyone in his right senses imagine he would simply walk away? As for Dele Momodu, his role is not exactly clear. As the new strategic Communication Officer to Atiku Campaign Organization, he appeared on Channels television to defend the PDP. Dele Momodu was presidential aspirant in his own right, and now for the sake of being relevant, having lost out in his quest, has demoted himself to become an “officer” to an Atiku presidential bid. Atiku, by the way is a Fulani; the incumbent president is equally a Fulani; so, Dele Momodu and Kola Ologbodiyan are saying that it is right for another Fulani to dominate the political scene simply because they have “positioned” themselves to “eat”? Where is the justice and fairness If another Fulani rules for 8 more years (16 years) in all? This is supposed to be simple logic; but, at last common sense is not common! Does this not confirm that it is all about power grab? Does fixing the Lokoja-Abuja highway have any place in their evil agenda? If Dele Momodu, Kola Ologbodiyan along with Dino Meleye could behave this way, how would the youths react? What does this say about 2023? That is going to be more of personal survival rather than revamping the nation! But there is an assurance: the captivity will be turned—though it will come like a dream. There is an assurance that since the “lawful captives” of the mighty were set free, even the “prey” of the “terrible” shall no less experience freedom! Awake Nigerians! Awake to your responsibilities. Avoid opportunistic and greedy leaders; those who have cycled themselves repeatedly should be shown the door. Let there be a clean sweep of those recycled leaders—no matter how powerful they are, since they are self-serving, indolent and without wisdom, they should have no place in the new Nigeria. The die has already been cast. Senator Ahmed Lawan, the current senate president, who said “anything from Buhari will receive approval”, has become the first casualty. See that? There should be a limit to sycophancy. He has been abandoned by his puppet master. Awake Nigerians. 2023 must be for genuine, the nation’s survival must be paramount!