Rejoinder: After we have suffered a while… , by Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine

downloadDear Femi Adesina; Our Own Prophet Ezekiel. Nigeria is no dystopian and recession might be Armageddon. The howling in the land is real and we will be better off feeding from the stocked kitchen than on our progenies.

There is not only hunger and deprivation in the land, there is also the carnage of innocent Nigerians in the hands of marauding herdsmen and military troops. There is denial of electricity as much as ‘recession’ is a reality. Too many Nigerians have surrendered hope in this administration.

As fearless as Fr. Mbaka, very many of us are beginning to question the Clergyman state of mind. To some, the name is Ichabod. And until something drastic is done like setting up of an economic team, this asperity might only be a precursor to the disaster in the offing.

In the 1980s, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew famously predicted that Australia was at risk of becoming the “white trash of Asia” due to high unemployment, inflationary pressures and government debt.

At the time of the comments, Bob Hawke was Australia’s Prime Minister and he stated that the comment was “not an overstatement” because there was an overwhelming domestic testimonial about it. The economy has fallen into recession, and the cliché after recession comes depression may not be an overstatement after all by the Wailing Wailers. We are not very cynical as not to believe there is light at the end of the tunnel. We are Nigerians after all but our enviable ‘never say never’ spirit must never hinder anyone from stating the obvious.

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When Australia went into recession in the early 1990s, Paul Keating, who was Prime Minister at the time, famously referred to it as “the recession that Australia had to have.” The economy rightly recovered through process of economic reforms and restructuring, and the stock market began to quickly recover. This process of economic reform and restructuring continued under the Coalition Government led by John Howard which took power in 1996. The Howard Government established a goods and services tax from 2000, established a national Productivity Commission, and further deregulated labor markets under Work Choices in 2006. The result of the process of economic reform is that Australia is now one of the most open economies in the world. It has enjoyed over two decades of economic growth, coupled with low inflation and relatively low unemployment. The 1980s economic reforms, intended to diversify the national economy and make it more resilient, were introduced after the mid-1980s decline in the terms of trade. The Leaders of that nation did not just surmise the reality of it in a sermon. They formulated economic policies, one that does not encourage poverty, terrorism and ululation across the land.

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Nigerians despair and do not mince words because they have seen what can happen when a country’s economy is in shambles. We all witnessed the untold hardship that occasioned the recession in Greece. It was near Armageddon.

Leading countries of the world had fallen into economic recession at one time or the other, and they came out of it, to become strong and sturdy again. “Why not Nigeria?” You asked.

When Greece went into recession, the European Union (EU) gave her 10.3 billion euros. Ever since, Greece has been putting the money into good use.

Can we honestly say the same thing for this country? Where will we even get relief though our foreign debt is not as huge as Greece’s. Won’t the men in the hallowed chamber demand for increase in their wardrobe allowance, exquisite cars and Government officials increase their number of convoys? Won’t states clamour for increase of their 13℅ derivation? Won’t our leaders still chase shadows and budget still get padded?

Dear Femi, many Nigerians still live in fear. From the resurgent Boko Haram in far North, the deadly herdsmen terrorizing the East and middle belt, Avengers in the Creek of the South and Military offensive that led to the bloodletting in Ikorodu. How do we know that those floating carcass we saw were militants?

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I too I’m living in fear, for I do not know if I will be picked up just like Jones Abiri, Daniel Ezekiel, Abubakar Sidiq Usman, Mr. Iroegbu Emenike and others by men of the DSS for writing you this rejoinder.

“Corruption is being given a bloody nose! You do the crime, you serve the term. A Daniel has come to judgment,” you claimed. Dear Femi, how many corrupt officials have been tried and convicted so far in this administration?

How many are serving the term?

If I were to bank on the success achieved so far in security and fight against corruption to still repose faith in this administration, then my stupidity must know no cure indeed! For, I am yet to see this administration show the needed commitment and hit the ground running. It’s high time Mr President and all members of his cabinet got down from their high horse and lead this nation.

Yes, good Nigerians do not faint, good Nigerians die. Good Nigerians don’t live long in power. While we are prepared for the worst, we are still praying for the best. After all, we have all suffered for a while…

Aluzu Ebikebuna Augustine is a Human Rights Activist and can be reached on


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