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Opinion (4/5/2021): Weathering The Imminent Storm, By Isidore Emeka Uzoatu

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Nigeria has never slacked in the search for solutions to its umpteen problems. Like back then, when yet another panel was set up to look into the problems besetting a financial institution. They could not but submit a shattering report. Viz: that the organisation’s illiquidity was bound to liquidate it.

 

Sadly, like the times have turned, the same predilection now holds true of the nation itself. Once liquid and solvent, the nation is now grappling to make ends meet.

 

And this within so short a time in the life of nations. After all, at the end of an expensive Civil War our then Head-of-State openly boasted that money wasn’t the problem but how to spend it.  And now we are dependent on loans from countries it was then better off than by far. And this so shamelessly that, according to some keen observers, they are only granted at the expense of aspects of our sovereignty, nay suzerainty.

 

Yet this appears not to be corrugating our brows like once upon the holy waters of Christian missionaries. Everywhere in the country you still find people carrying on as if more water than is tolerable has not passed under our national bridge. After all, they would say, the gathering water at our feet can still be baled out with a cupped palm!

 

Which all aligns with that indefatigable spirit we were blessed with upon creation. Yes, whether whispered or shouted, Nigerians are no doubt adept at many parts. One of these happens to be the weathering of storms. Come however they may, they are often stemmed on their tracks before they can unleash any mayhem.

 

But this is mostly observable in the political front. Arguably, it can be posited that no other nation in the world has survived in the face of clear and possible danger like the selfsame nation. Most palpable here is how independence from their colonial masters was achieved on a platter of gold, sans bloodshed. While countries like Kenya had to resort to guerrilla warfare to win back their nation.

 

Any wonder then that many had prophesied Nigeria’s end in 2015 following a nerve-wracking general election. Namely, that from abiding indices decipherable from its politician’s manoeuvres prior to it, the most populous African nation was bound to splinter into a smithereen of states. A la some other humongous nations that only belong to history now.

 

And now, so many years after, the country has survived as if it never tottered on that dangling precipice. Instead, like the proverbial home of the weakling, it’s from its terrain that these dissolved mighty nations are being pointed at. And thanks but no thanks to sources from our presidency, the nation shall remain one till eternity.

 

It’s however worth pointing out that the auguries from this corner are remarkably different. What with all efforts now being channeled at the curbing of insecurity. This has seen no effort being afforded the rejuvenation of our beleaguered economy. More so when fighting insecurity is, in turn, also depleting the troubled economy.

 

Thus, like indeed all compatriots, the wielder of this pen wants all the right things done to tame this anomaly. What is mostly heard from the centre are efforts to build up the military at the expense of our battered incomes and reserves.

 

Like has turned out, inflation rates are forever on the rise with no climb down in sight. Unemployment also has passed the ceiling, heading for the sky. To make ends meet Nigerians, not unlike their leaders, are now driven into all manner of ‘criminality’.

 

Like statistics advertise, the inflation in land is driven by its food index. With farmers on the run from insurgents, most of the arable land in the country is bound to lie fallow this farming season. A possible implication of this scenario being that as the insecurity war widens our troops will have all the Tucanoes they need but no food to eat.

 

Like many have adumbrated, it’s time we all in unison hastened up at this joint pursuit of the dark quadruped holding the nation down. True we still have the afternoon and evening ahead, all should be mindful that any prevarication till twilight will see the added burden of the acquisition of night-vision goggles.

 

It ought to be known by all that the time for sitting on the fence waiting for the return of calm is long gone. Like the dub poet Lynton Kwesi Johnson said in Two Sides of Silence ‘how can there be calm when the storm is yet to come’. For if we keep keeping on to our old ways, it’ll take us unawares and sooner than later all will be worse off for it.

 

A word, they say, is enough for the wise. I’ve only dithered 800 long for emphasis’ sagacious sake.

 

  • Uzoatu, the author of the novel Vision Impossible wrote from Onitsha.

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