Wislawa Szymborska’s poem, The End and the Beginning (translated by Johanna Trzeciak):
After every war
someone has to clean up.
straighten themselves up, after all.
Someone has to push the rubble
to the side of the road,
so the corpse-filled wagons
Someone has to get mired
in scum and ashes,
and bloody rags.
Someone has to drag in a girder
to prop up a wall.
Someone has to glaze a window,
re-hang a door.
Photogenic it’s not,
and takes years.
All the cameras have left
for another war.
We’ll need the bridges back,
and new railway stations.
Sleeves will go ragged
from rolling them up.
Someone, broom in hand,
still recalls the way it was.
Someone else listens
and nods with unsevered head.
But already there are those nearby
starting to mill about
who will find it dull.
From out of the bushes
sometimes someone still unearths
and carries them to the garbage pile.
Those who knew
what was going on here
must make way for
those who know little.
And less than little.
And finally as little as nothing.
In the grass that has overgrown
causes and effects,
someone must be stretched out
blade of grass in his mouth
gazing at the clouds.
It’s the morning after…while Mr. Buhari hasn’t been sworn in, he has been declared winner of the Feb. 2019 Presidential Polls.
So, for record purposes this is it, as president of the federal republic of Nigeria, who rode onto power on the incorruptible toga. President Buhari has performed below par.
I am not on a praise-singing mission like many are want to do? I am compelled to make my opinion known, and it’s not just my opinion but it’s that of many Nigerians. And I make these comments so that someday in the future when I am asked what did I say or do, these words would hold me liable. I will not sit on the fence and watch, I will talk, I will write and let my words stand for posterity.
Before I go far, let me state the following facts…as of today ‘comparatively seen’ Mr. Buhari is a decent man… (Note my words, comparatively). He is not as tainted as most players in our power block. However trust me, he is tainted! He may have not helped himself to the treasury till, but he is culpable for several indecisions, comments and actions that are ludicrous. And with this election he’s messed it all up.
Mr. Buhari has proved that he is not the guy you can sit with in Uncle Joe’s palm wine shed, do a bottle or two of palm wine with good Madam Ngozi pepper soup. He is just there, and that’s part of the problem. He proved with this election though that he is not the weakling many see him to be, by keeping to his word, “I will congratulate myself.”
I can tell you that since this administration came on board fully, it has been one hell of deceit, after another. A host of us know that the current administration and that which commences come May 2019 will share a lot in common, and that is “living deceptively”. Buhari is a ‘yes man’ and is far from a departure of the business as usual set of leaders that have plagued this nation.
Praise singers have again simply caught the messiah bug or reinforced what is known. I am surprised some persons have not called him a god. The expectations were high, and for a nation that has for decades lived below its potentials we had a right to expect much but sadly we are again (saddled with our permission) a government that is largely a deceptive one, or at best performed below par, and has got permission again to continue.
Has the current administration built one school, from scratch to finish, have they built one refinery, have they completed one major road…I mean one original idea that has its conception, incubation, and birth and functionality in this administration. While I agree that it has achieved a first—completely projects it inherited.
Millions still lost on subsidies that otherwise would have helped other sectors of the economy. Besides what really is the obstacle in having functional refineries that in turn would provide thousands of jobs for a teeming unemployed population.
Mr. Buhari not just by his will but by powers beyond him has towed the known path. It is the only road we know for now…road contracts abandoned, commissioning of hospitals without facilities. Schools neglected, strikes within various sectors of the economy amongst many shortfalls and long falls has characterized the administration with a couple of its own fair share of ‘elephant and hippo’ projects.
Does anyone think that Buhari’s led APC will be the answer, than we really need a re-think? The man has already told us it will be tougher. We have all been witnesses to the deceit called change. Or do we need a soothsayer to tell us that the best that we have now is a conglomeration of deceit…next level jare.
It is strange that we have not seen wild protests fueled by inflation, insecurity, mass unemployment and poverty; all of which are present in Nigeria. However Mr. Buhari may be blessed as Nigerians are so divided on these issues by religion, ethnicity, nepotism, chopism and other selfish modules…we can debate the polls result, the figures, but what is at stake is the next four years and the democratic culture we are building.
To curtail the downward trend in the country, Buhari and his team do not have the plan, the will; it simple pays lip service to change…just like a labourer changes his shirt day by day without choice to the same work wear he is used in 50 long years.
I know that Mr. Buhari despite the best of intentions with his APC cohorts will not urgently and comprehensively addressed the job issue, nor improve on the business of government. There are no plans that will translate to the provision of housing, water, and education for all Nigerian children to the Senior Secondary School grade.
With more billions spent, electricity will still not be available, reliable and affordable.
I beg to re-echo again that except there is a honest search for understanding, education, organization, action that raises the cost of state violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change. There would be no answers; rather we would continually be plagued by the same questions.
Mr. Buhari has not solved our problems, like Jonathan before him, he has not disappointed with superlative performances. I and many like me would surprisingly with shame eat our words if there is a remarkable surge forward, if we can stop complaining about the same problems by the end of 2022. If Nigeria can join the speed train age and stop the government of celebrating borehole water in communities that deserve more. Then I did apologize…
Finally Mr. President, you are not under obligation to read, or listen to me. Besides you are not the root cause of why 50+ years after, we are still a nation of potentials and little in achievement. You cannot do anything about it…but certainly you can do something…you cannot surprise many of us that do not believe in you. But you can shut us up by performing. It’s your choice sir, but really—Only time will tell.
Contact the writer: email@example.com