THE ANESTHETIZED ALOOFNESS OF NIGERIAN LEADERS
By Akin Ojumu
During my recent visit to Nigeria, I happened to have traveled from Akure to Ado-Ekiti via Iju-Itaogbolu, despite having been warned by family members never to take this particular route. The experience, captured in a video posted on my YouTube channel, was harrowing to say the least. While my ordeal was nothing like what some other people have had to go through on this particular road, still, it was for me, something surreal.
The video depicts the intolerable condition of this stretch of road between Akure and Ikere-Ekiti at Iju-Itaogbolu. To even call this a road is a gross mischaracterization; it is an insult on roads. This is more or less a treacherous path through muddy gullies. There’s barely any sign that this was once a tarred road and the little asphalt now left on it is riddled with potholes and manholes.
Traveling through here is torture and a journey on this route is risky business. This less than 10 miles stretch that ordinarily shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes often takes as much as 3 hours to traverse on a good day – and I can assure you that there are no good days on this road. Danger lurks every mile of the treacherous stretch. On a near daily basis, travelers on this road run the risk of getting kidnapped for ransom and/or killed by armed bandits. And to think that this is just one out of many of the perilous roads Nigerians must travel in pursuit of their miserable existence.
Nigeria has the largest road network in West Africa. According to the Government Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Nigeria has about 195,000 km of road network of which about 60,000 km are paved (2019). Most of the major road networks were constructed in the 80s and early 90s. As a result of poor maintenance and low-quality materials used for repairs, the condition of roads is deteriorating. Travelling is very difficult, and sometimes almost impossible in many areas on secondary roads during the rainy season due to potholes and eroded, uneven surfaces. (Source: Atlassian).
One cannot help but conclude that governments – be it federal, state, or local – have ceased to exist in Nigeria. The country is ruled by a bunch of self-serving political opportunists with no sense of civic responsibilities and whose sole purpose of seeking political office is to enrich themselves. There’s no other way to explain the cavalier nature of these political office holders towards the misery of the Nigerian masses.
It is unimaginable how a Federal government can watch the roads in which their citizens travel gradually sink to this depth of deterioration and not be moved to do something about it because, as they often claim, they are State roads. It is hard to believe that a normal human being who is a State Governor and entrusted with the protection and preservation of the public good can remain untroubled by the deplorable conditions of the roads in his State and say, they are Federal roads. It simply doesn’t make any sense.
It takes a soulless leader to go to bed at night and be able to sleep comfortably knowing the extent of the misery that those under his watch endure daily. Only leaders without a shred of conscience left in them can allow such despicable existence. The ruling elite of Nigeria must be downright cruel for them to watch the plight of those to whom they owe the civic duty to help and yet not lift a finger to fight to make the situation right.
The somnolent anesthetized indifference to the distress of the Nigerian masses is evidence that those who rule Nigeria are sociopathic narcissists who feed off the pain and agony of the people over whom they exercise power. It is not too farfetched to conclude that Nigeria's political class is made up of psychopaths who only care about themselves. Those who rule us relish seeing us suffer.
This unabashed callousness is a sign of something sinister that lurks in the dark recesses of the soul of those in the corridors of power in Nigeria. Those who rule Nigeria have lost touch with humanity. The reason they don’t care what happens to their fellow Nigerians is because they are incapable of feeling like normal human beings do. These people must have sold their souls to the Devil and they must be in a blood pact with fiends from Hades.
Nothing good can ever come from these lots. To think otherwise is to live in a fool's paradise, it is a delusion of the highest order. In order for Nigeria to come out of this mess, a wholesale overall of the political system is required. There cannot be a moving forward unless Nigerians are willing to thoroughly sanitize the current political stable.