By: Olamide Francis


Quality education and access to information is one key characteristic of “saner climes”; not just the road, rail, power and fight against corruption they’ve used to scam our people here. Year in, year out, the bar of education and national excellence is incessantly raised in those places.

Here, on the other hand, some key information about our own country cannot be found on the National Bureau of Statistics’ website. We have to visit an “Amrica” website to get what we’re looking for. Isn’t that how we were ignorant of the dangers of codeine use among Nigerian youth until the BBC reported it?

Some people in Aso Rock — in a bid to defend their employers’ backward competence — said, “Nigeria is a sovereign state. Foreign countries have no right to interfere in our matters”; but ahn ahn! that looks like a symptom of diarrhoea of the mouth; same foreign countries you lick their boots when you need financial aid after looting the one benevolence has brought to your domain; same foreign countries you run to for medical tourism; and same foreign countries that helped expose the menace of codeine in your population?

Is it not only six signatures from the U.S. that released Omoyele Sowore from the hands of the Presidency manifesting in DSS form? Even mad man deh fear trailer nah. So, how dare they say foreign nations cannot interfere with our matters? Before you finish saying, “confere…” or “summ…”, Baba is already inside Air Force 1, especially if the venue is London. Even if na naming ceremony you invite Baba for “in the abroad”, he’ll come. Well, let’s return to the heart of this matter.

The rapper, Cardi B once said, “I do feel like if I go back to school and focus up I can be part of Congress. I dead as have sooo much ideas that make sense. I just need a couple of years of school and I can shake the table.” To put it plainly, she needs more education — not godfather, money, touts, hoodlums, and gullible devotees — to be able to contest for a seat at Congress.

She has mentally scanned through Congress and jumped to the conclusion that she needs more education if she’ll be a match for the Harvard, Oxford, Yale, and Cambridge products that are occupy the house. Why? The standard is so high. The people — whose votes you need — cannot be bought with two cups of rice, salt, maggi, and groundnut oil. Neither will they applaud any toothless promises. Those ones don’t campaign with road, light and water — they’re basic stuff every citizen is entitled to. With all the degrees my people obtain here, they still vote incompetent people into office.    

When certain national standards are watered down across various sectors of a country, what will be left is the “come down to my level” mentality; a system where an accidental public servant tramples on standards — that were previously held in high esteem — to suit his ignoramus cum “village square” mentality of leadership.  

Let’s come home. Who needs much education or enlightenment to be a senator? You’d better perfect your bootlicking skills, master the art of making empty promises, follow the orders of your Alpha; and you’re on your way to Abuja.

No wonder we don’t have many legislators with brilliant ideas. Their brains are so alive that only debates on cattle ranches, hate speech bill, legislators’ allowance and other drivel that are insignificant to the welfare of the masses take a large chunk of the house debates. Even Mr President, no be only affidavit we see? In recent times, we’ve seen dancing senators, drama senators, singing senators, grammar senators, and numerous other brands at the National Assembly. Yet, we want progress in Nigeria? Who employs a clown and expects progress?

The crop of public servants Nigeria had in 1999 has been the best so far, not the set of “it’s my time to eat” public servants that are currently littered all over the place. Many people in that era went back to school so they could fit in the polity; the likes of Gani Fawenmi, Fredrick Fashaun and co.; premium was placed on education and the national standard was generally high. Even OBJ went back to school. We cannot say the same now. Not even when we have an affidavit President steering the wheel. In the centre of excellence there are people of various timber and calibre, yet, only the order from the “real” state secretariat, aka Bourdillonian Empire, stands. With all the number of professors, PhDs, and educated fellows; governors are still being imposed on them, year after year.

My mind is telling me they’ll call this hate speech. So, let me just conclude. Nigeria needs leaders with will, vision, and intellect across all spheres of her economy. Let’s not deceive ourselves like Nigerian leaders have chosen to; the intellectuals and technocrats stand no chance — head to head —against these moneybag politicians that have plundered our resources for themselves; however, it is the duty of the enlightened people to pave way for their emergence; to create an enabling environment for them to thrive. Abi, is it that we have so many educated fools in Nigeria?

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