Nigeria is loaded with several problems, politically, economically, socially and even financially. The prognosis of Nigeria’s problems cannot be diagnosed by one-sided elements in the society. It has to be scientifically diagnosed by able minded group that can see the truth not as facts. Unfortunately, in Nigeria, any party that is in power has the monopoly of truth and hastily tells Nigerians the direction to dissect the problems that beseech the Nation. The government in power has abnormal ways of quick-fixing Nigerian problems.
The recent happenings in Nigeria now portray the quick fix syndrome that would require proper diagnoses from reflective thinkers of the government and the people. When these things are not there, the government looks for the people to blame but forgets that she failed to diagnose the problems holistically. Once something comes out from the legislature and not appealing to the governed, it causes a divide, hate and polarization all over. It does not originate from social media. Whatever affects the populace dearly spreads faster in a non- conventional way.
Once it gathers momentum, it backfires and spread around the cities. The cities would no longer be peaceful or healthy. People hear more about what is happening in Nigeria in various bus stops, beer parlors, clubs and other gatherings than from the Nigerian dailies. Those who don’t have money to buy the Newspapers but belong to the Free Readers Association are increasing in number because of their quest to know what is happening in the country. In fact, it is important to note that no Nigerian is oblivious of what is happening in the country.
If he doesn’t know anything in the arena, he knows the politics of the stomach that affects his family and how lack of food causes problem and lack of peace in the family. These are really the essential problems that beseech the nation that requires fix. In fact, those who were rich before are now crying because of increase in taxes and high exchange rates. Many who used to travel out before can no longer do so due to these variables. Do these paralyzing variables need a panel to diagnose the problems again? The problems are highly visible everywhere. They are seen on the streets, on the people’s faces and voices and described in the dailies.
The protesters in their outburst revealed the problems of the society to the government. The extension was the attitude of the hoodlums who started to loot shops and government warehouses where the palliatives were hoarded. The original intention of the protesters is now being questioned whether they are in for “Aluta Continua” or “A-Looter continua”. Now the question of quick fix is not applicable to this lingering problem. The problems of the nation do not require a quick fix immediately. Since the event of shooting of protesters, looting and vandalism, the police has deserted the streets. There is chaos on the roads. Nobody controls the traffic on the roads.
This increases frustration, anxiety and fear on road users with long hours of traffic across the state with delays at work and businesses. This is not good for our fragile economy. Is Police playing hanky-panky on us to let us feel their absence and create anarchy? Why can’t they obey the government and go back to their duty posts to serve the people because we need them? One of the problems of quick fix is that “The quick fixers” relax in an air-conditioned room and reel out solutions without thorough enforcement which brings chaos and the problem lingers. It is not enough to pronounce solutions without the result felt in the streets and by the people. This becomes an exercise in futility. This has been the case of SARS ban, curfew imposition and several others.
The curfew created another scenario where hoodlums went on a looting spree, harassing people in their homes, looting shops and vandalizing properties. The aim of the curfew was defeated. This was a tragedy of error. That singular quick fix through a curfew led to killing of innocent protesters which sparked outrage that was exploited by hoodlums across the country by hijacking everything to loot and destroy properties. Any quick fix that brings destructions of lives and properties instead of protecting them should never be applied.
The social media technology provided the protesters proofs to show that their intentions are genuine until hoodlums tried to hijack and sabotage their efforts. The social media created the timely awareness required when the protest became bloody. This awareness created by the social media caused the rampage. Many stakeholders have argued that the news spread was fake targeted at causing panic which led to various destructions. There has been lots of denial of responsibility of the shooting by the government and military.
However various pointers indicate that there were killings. This has led to the proposal from the Minister of Information to regulate the Social Media which has sparked various condemnations across board with questions whether it is an attempt to annihilate the free flow of information. The proponent of this theory is Alhaji Lai Mohammed who quoted China to buttress his points but forgot the fact that China is a Communist state where information is suppressed. Many people have argued that this same Minister and his party leveraged on the potency of the social media to spread propaganda against the previous administration but want to disband it after coming into power.
Many Nigerians are confused if we are in democracy or kleptocracy. Nigeria is already polarized and divided. The reception of information is interpreted by each individual who determines their wavelength of thoughts. Given the hardship faced by the citizens, they tend to be aggressive and don’t believe in anything the government says as can be seen in the US. Quick fix has been a problem of Nigeria. Whenever something serious happens, the President would be expected to come on Television to calm the nation. After so many delays he would come out with an address that would not be felt by majority of the citizens. Some described one of his recent addresses as a riot act.
A president is expected to feel the pulse of the people and their immediate needs that will not result to another chaos. In a place like Nigeria, it requires people of all professions including the church, the youths themselves and some of the captains of industry to discuss and analyze the problems before fixing it instead of a hurried quick fix that doesn’t even fit or fix. True Investigative committees and Panels should be set to diagnose problems. These committees Nigeria and her quick fix syndrome know where it pinches their people and can bring those biting problems for discussions. Their reports of findings and recommendations should be thoroughly studied and implemented.
Another problem in Nigeria is the non- implementation of findings of panels and committees which often makes people to refer to them as “kangaroo committees” hurriedly set up by government to distract and confuse agitators for justice. Until there is sincerity of purpose on the side of government in finding solutions to problems rather that a hurried quick fix, citizens would continue to have doubt and trust on government. They would always say “Government sets up committees and panels to investigate previous panels and committees earlier set up” Problems unfocused, unanalyzed, not heeded to or abandoned will always linger in the society and resurface to haunt the society. Therefore, any problem that affects the society does not require a hurried quick fix but consensus of experts and their professional recommendations should be implemented.
• Very Rev. Msgr. Livinus Ukah is a Catholic Priest, Author of many books and a Social Justice and Peace Advocate.