Thursday, March 22,
2018 05.46AM / By Matthew Hassan Kukah / Daily Trust
at a wedding ceremony, a funeral or a birthday party, on the street, in the
motor park, train station, inside or outside the Church or mosque, at Seminars,
conferences, at the bar or on a dinning table, it is impossible for two or more
Nigerians to have a normal conversation without veering into the mood of
desolation that has gripped the nation. Both the Party in power, which
ordinarily should be swooning in a muscular mood of joie de vivre, hoisting its
victorious flags of achievements, consolidating its gains, and the Opposition
Parties which should be exposing the underbelly of the party in power,
scheming, plotting and mobilizing how to dethrone them seem to be in a state of
stupor, like synchronized swimmers in a sea of confusion and
you turn, we are faced with the dilemma of the blind man chasing a black cat in
a dark room. The most visible common denominator that defines the mood of the
nation is that we are all a nation of sad people with heads drooping
everywhere. Individuals, communities seem to have all turned to the Book of
Lamentation for inspiration and solace. Both members of the party in power and
the opposition seem to be wearing the same jerseys of sadness. Everywhere is
full of stories of perceived and alleged feelings of treachery and betrayal.
The nation has never been in this kind of collective national mood of self-doubt.
most part of the year, we have listened to stories of alleged unfair
distribution of offices, positions and privileges among the elites. In
response, the federal government has laboured to make the point that this
government has been fair in its allocation of offices, traversing ethnic,
religious and regional boundaries and that indeed, as one newspaper stated,
Christians have done better or have had more opportunities than Muslims or
something to that effect. Sadly, this elite monologue suggests that elite
interests trump the survival of our people, why they are hungry, sick and dying
who govern us have never seriously attempted to answer the question as to what
is wrong with our country. They have never attempted to find out what government
is doing wrong and how people continue to feel so frustrated. It reminds me of
a little story of a man whose wife left him with his three children and went
off to the market. He settled down in his sitting room to read the newspaper
and decided that the best way to relax is to bribe the children with something
to keep them busy. He looked at the refrigerator and found many oranges. He
then peeled and gave each child an orange and warned them not to disturb him.
afterwards, there was a fight. Rather than asking what the problem was, he
simply went out and brought another orange and gave the youngest child who was
the one crying. No sooner had dad settled down than little Jonnie let out
another cry. Dad opened the fridge, brought out more oranges and started
peeling them when his wife came in. Her little son was still crying and she
went over to him, hugged him and asked what happened. The little child told her
mother that her brothers had refused to give him the seeds of their oranges
which he wanted to use to improve his counting skills!
we are: the father felt that he knew what the children wanted and because there
were many oranges in the fridge, all he thought needed to be done was to bring
out more oranges. The maternal instincts acted differently. Oil money has
closed the rational and creative part of the brains of those who govern us.
Money is everything and feeds everything in our lives.
Nigerian state has become an insensitive father because the fridge of full of
oranges. This is why the country is littered with an ocean of abandoned
projects, broken dreams and has become a massive graveyard of ideas half-baked
and ill conceived. It is unlikely that our circles of sorrow are about to end.
Even the bitterest enemy of Nigeria could never ever have imagined that we will
be stranded on a highway to nowhere as we are now. But here we are drinking the
daily vinegar of blood and death. All hope is not lost, but we need to urgently
call the map-readers in so we can at least trace our steps back to the right
being asked where Daily Trust will be in another 20 years, its founding father,
my friend, Kabiru Yusuf admitted that the future lay in stepping up in a world
of digital learning. Owners of Daily Trust must learn the lessons that have
stunted the north. I looked at the masthead of Daily Trust and it does
show an appreciation of diversity as key to innovation and survival. It is all
Men, and all Muslim, bar one Indian. No Woman, Christian. The paper will not
survive if it does not urgently lift this dark veil and deliberately cultivates
diversity, innovation and ideas.
About the Author
Father Matthew Hassan Kukah is a
remarkable Nigerian. The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese was born in Kaduna
State in northern Nigeria and fluent in several Nigerian languages, he has
worked hard to promote understanding across ethnic and religious fault lines.
Kukah, contributed this piece The
National Trust Deficit to @daily_trust
on the occasion of its 20th anniversary.