From Goodluck to Toughluck by Oyewale Tomori

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THE run of good luck was sure to end for the largest party in Africa, or is it the world? The party destined to be in power in Nigeria far into, no, far beyond eternity.

The run ended not early enough for the average Nigerian, but too sudden, too abrupt and too agonizing for the diehard party members, who probably never in their delusion never saw it coming.

They forgot the “you can fool all, some of the time, some, all of the time, but never all, all of the time”. Many of the party stalwarts must have considered the conceding, by the Goodluck himself as an act of surrender, betrayal that was too soon and too premature.

At least he should have waited to see the outcome of the public attempt to rubble the entire election process. Thanks to Attahiru Jega who kept his cool throughout.

Imagine, if he had left the hall to follow the rouser to his (Jega’s) office, the prediction of those who said Nigeria would disintegrate in 2015, might have come to pass.

But that is history. Before consigning to the judgment of history, all those who had viciously, brazenly, shamelessly and brashly snatched Nigeria from the path of orderly development, let me wish the new party coming to power on May 29, 2015, success.

The wish is for the sake of our dear country, because if they fail, we all fail as a country. Let me also make a few comments.

Nigeria has been led too far astray and gone too far down the road of indiscipline. We need a disciplinarian who is neither arrogant nor intolerant.

For one, I wish age and the compromise of winning an election have not mellowed down the new leader, but two things bother me about him. I am sure you have not forgotten the certificate saga that nearly truncated the President-elect’s ambition.

I think he told us to go to the Army HQ to get his certificate. That is a sure smell of arrogance! For one thing, it was not the Army that conducted the examinations for the certificate requested.

Even if it was the Army, Haba, sai President-elect, you should not have sent us to collect your certificate from the Army. You know the Army, if we were fool hardy enough to attempt such a thing, we would have been driven back with koboko, in the absence of machine guns, all relocated to Sambisa Forest.

The second one and I am glad the President-elect told us he was not aware of what his staff members were doing. I am talking about banning AIT.

That act is another description for intolerance. Agreed, AIT went way out of decency with their one-hour news which made them another NTA, but the answer to their action was to let the approved authority deal with them.

Indeed, if I were you, AIT will be the first organization I would invite to cover my victory activities; so at least, they will be careful next time not to unduly and unfairly influence Nigeria as to their choice of leaders.

One lesson, Sai President-elect, is to keep a close eye and an open ear on your staff… do not allow them to run loose and ruin your government. Ask your predecessor, who from all indications, appear to be a tranquil sheep among the prowling devouring predators. It would appear his bulldogs did considerable damage to his government, by flexing their illegally acquired power.

Back to the group that saw to the demolishing of the Nigerian state, the fellows who made sure that Nigeria’s improved GDP was translated into a Gross Domestic Poverty as they cornered then benefits of the improved GDP ended in their pockets.

This group ensured that by all the parameters of development – education, health, social well being, etc the motto for Nigeria was backwards ever forward never! To this group I can only wish them tough luck in their future endeavours, as I pray that Nigeria never sees their type in leadership positions anymore.

I want to grieve over the leaders who have subjugated our sovereignty, leaders who have limited our privilege and annulled our rights. My lamentation is so that we can see the return of the leaders who have taken our liberty for licence and turned our esteem into disgrace, our national pride to shame and disrepute, our national honour into humiliation, embarrassment and guilt.

Yes, today and for the next seven days, I want to mourn the ruin and the demise of those leaders who have turned Nigeria to their private property.

For seven days, I will mourn their expiration, their downfall, and their collapse. I will mourn them all, politicians, academicians, kings and traditional rulers, professionals, labour leaders, businessmen, military leaders who individually or collectively, who covertly or openly have brought Nigeria and Nigerians to their knees and present position.

These are leaders who are nothing but sepulchres, stinking refuse dumps piled on top of Nigeria’s pyramid of decadence.

Yes, these are they that for the next seven days I shall mourn. They have left me with no other choice, for my agonising pleas they laughed to scorn, my wish they subverted, my hopes they dashed, my dreams they shattered, my present existence they toyed with, my future they tried to eradicate, obliterate and eliminate. They will not succeed, because, I will use the only weapon available to me.

In the secret of my heart, I will mourn those who have made Nigeria the rudderless ship tossed about in every which way in the ocean of nations.

On Independence Day, I was in the secondary school. We celebrated the birth of a new nation. We celebrated the birth of unlimited hope and ambition, of aspiration and desire, of opportunity, chance and promise.

Today, our leaders specialise in muddling and bungling our lives, and our nation falters and lurches around in drunken confusion.

The giant of Africa has only two problems. The first is the problem of our leaders, the second, and the problem of the followers of the leaders, that is, we the citizens of Nigeria.

While we are thinking of what the next government will do with Nigeria, let me take this opportunity to forget the leaders of the recent past who roamed the nooks and corners of Nigeria like termites and terminators, destroying the very essence of our country.

They turned Nigeria into dust, damaged us and nearly sucked our dear country dry. My wish is not for them to die, but live to see what good leadership can do in the life of a nation.

I pray that they be locked up in a prison; not the physical type, like Kirikiri but a prison of the mind, tormented, tortured, incapacitated by the very things they cherish so much, and were ready to kill for.

May they choke on their ill-gotten loot and suffer from maladies which money cannot cure. May they grovel like pigs in the mud of disgrace, in their well- embroidered satin lace dresses. May they live in houses where they shall neither have neither peace nor contentment.

May they live physically in their palaces but mentally in the slums of Abuja and Lagos, under Carter Bridge in Lagos. May their homes, even in harmattan season be so hot that not even twenty split level airconditioners will be able to cool down.

May they keep awake in the night hour constantly tormented by the agonizing cries of Nigerians they have reduced to penury.

May he who will show you kindness travel on the day you need him. May your wealth be pepper and iodine solution in your wounds, your garment of fraud continually give you skin rashes and infested wounds.

May we never experience any more period of their misrule, as their mischief and pranks return to plague their life. May the mental and psychological violence they unleashed on the citizens of Nigeria return in double folds to torment their life in retirement.

The oppression of the common Nigerian by the uncommon leaders, the sighing of the needy will come before the Lord and He will arise to save Nigerians from such leaders. For any of our future leaders who will follow in the steps of past wicked leaders, may every second of their life be laced with misery, suffering, pain, sorrow, anguish, every minute filled with grief, unhappiness, sadness, depression, every hour completed in gloom, melancholy, and despair, as their days start with misery and end with dejection, rejection and despondency.

But how could such a group of people, so uncaring, so callous, so insatiable in their lust have run roughshod over a nation of talented industrious, vocal and emancipated population of over 170 million, and for so long.

How did we allow them to ransack our nation with such brazen, barefaced, shameless brash, blatant and audacious impunity? It is our fault.

We certainly have been too careless as a people, allowing them to divide us on the basis of differing tribe and tongue. Nigeria has been circulating the same breed of leaders, the same gang of thoughtless leaders, and the same self-seeking cancerous lechers since independence.

How can a country be so unlucky, a people so unfortunate? What have we done? What have we not done? If it be our sin that is responsible for the calamity of leadership that has befallen us, then we need must ask God for forgiveness.

Let me end with this final prayer. May all our corrupt leaders who will repent of the evil they have done us, and who are ready to recompense their ways and make restitution of the evil they have done Nigeria receive the forgiveness of the people and especially of God.

• Professor Tomori is professor of Virology in Ibadan.