From the beginning of my writing this column, I have tried to refrain from commenting or writing on current national issues or gossip. The reason being that most of the burning and trending issues are symptoms of our collective malaise. Therefore, treating these symptoms is like scratching the surface of a problem without attacking the root cause.

The nucleus of Nigeria’s problem is ignorance and hunger. The former of these problems leads to foolishness, while the latter leads to frustration. Foolishness and frustration are what make men react or behave in the most unbelievable of ways. They reduce man to beasts. In fact, I believe that one or two of these two problems will always be inherent in any problem world over.

These problems manifest themselves in several vices and forms. For example, the kidnap of the Chibok girls, the incessant bombing and killing by Boko Haram, the ineptitude of our current politicians, the staggering increase in exam malpractice, electoral violence, kidnapping, raping of young and underage girls by much older men, our heavy reliance on importation as a nation, our overly deep respect to please men of GOD rather than GOD, selfishness, alcohol addiction, sexual perversion etc. All these stem from ignorance or hunger. Therefore, I strongly believe if we can solve the problem of ignorance and hunger, one will be greatly saved from making the same mistake Esau made.

Most of us are familiar with the story of Esau. In fact, a majority of us laugh at his foolish decision of selling his birthright for a plate of porridge. But the real joke is that right now, Esau is laughing at us as we daily make debilitating choices for a plate of porridge. If we doubt this, then how can a majority of Nigerians decide that the solution the problem of their immediate frustration with the present government is giving their impending votes to Buhari? Before I deconstruct the risk of collecting Buhari’s porridge of change and his person, I make bold to state that nobody – I repeat, nobody – can really solve your frustration for you. Nobody can really solve your problem of hunger and ignorance. No doubt, people can help you, but no one can unilaterally solve all your problems, not even GOD.

In solving these problems, the riskiest part of it is finding a shortcut. It’s in the quest of a shortcut to solve the hunger (frustration) and ignorance (foolishness) problems that men usually sell their birthright (value/destiny). Esau became a nonentity or missed out on his real blessing by solving his hunger problems through a shortcut. And Nigerians are about to make the same mistake in the forthcoming election by jumping from frying pan (Jonathan) into fire (Buhari), simply because they are looking for an easy way out of the frying pan of frustration and hunger. This is why I will say, it is better to remain hungry or even die of starvation than to sell your birthright. If you doubt this, ask Mr. Esau for the full details.

It is time for Nigerians to calm down and try not to solve their problem of frustration in a hurry. If we calm down, it will give us the opportunity to be a little introspective and see that the real demon is not really Jonathan but ourselves.

It is said that every nation get the kind of leaders that they deserve. If there is any iota of truth in that statement, which I believe there is, and if we recognize that truth, we would be sitting somewhere to reject the two leaders presented to us by the two leading parties. We would sit down to ask ourselves if these two are the best that can be offered. We would ask if Buhari isn’t the same man that benefited from a coup that toppled a legitimately elected government. We would ask if Jonathan isn’t the same man that allowed his wife to go loose in her attempt to use five legislators to unseat a speaker with the majority of the legislators on his side. We would ask ourselves how could a man posing as the change we need now, not have written any decent book dissecting our political problems as a nation after 30 years of being ousted out of power. We would ask ourselves how could another man lead a nation for four years and yet not find a robust solution to the power problem he swore to solve in 2011.

If we recognize the truth, we would ask ourselves how can a man, who has not publicly apologized for heading a de-facto government in a nation of free men, be allowed to contest in an election – any election – whereas the noblest thing expected of him is to form an NGO that would campaign on the fatality of military intervention in a civil society. We would ask why a man who could not honour a gentleman’s agreement he made that he would not contest in the 2015 election, be a major candidate without apologizing for not honouring his word.

But alas! We Nigerians are not true to ourselves. We do not recognize the truth. We are always looking for the easiest way out of our quagmire, and that is why we have ended up having two liabilities as our major candidates. Is it not a shame to you and me?

I think it is time we went back and do a personal self appraisal and told ourselves some home truths. I think it is time we went back and become better people so we can produce better leaders, or have the moral courage to vote for good and honest men and women without batting an eye lid and without ethnic or religious sentiments. I think it’s high time we realized we cannot fight corruption when we are yet to be thoroughly true in our day-to-day personal dealings. I think it’s high time we realized we cannot change anybody but ourselves, and nobody can change us but ourselves. I think it’s time we realized that morally deficient men and unrepentant usurpers will always remain true to type: winds that bring no rain.

To this end I say, Jonathan is not the messiah we are waiting for, and neither is Buhari. The change we are actually clamouring for is inside us.

May GOD open our eyes of understanding.

Written by Tobe Osigwe

About shakespeareanwalter

Walt Shakes(@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter.

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  1. Eye opener. Finally! Somebody speaks my mind!! We are the change we need in times unbearable, we are the hope….the miracle. Until we see this, believe this and work towards it, WE WILL, I REPEAT WE WILL NEVER BE THE LEADERS OF TOMORROW! Politics is a relay, the Buharis and Tinibus are supposed to hand over the Baton to us but since they wont, we have to vote for the person we can take it from else The leaders of Yesterday will remain the leaders of Today and Tomorrow.

  2. I agree with most of what was written here. GEJ isn’t perfect, but Buhari is a greater evil. Certainly I’m not voting anyone.

  3. It really is annoying to see people campaigning for the two men. Makes me wonder if we have no hope as a country. The change we really need should start with us. I have seen corruption in almost every part of our daily life and the last major corrupt practice i saw last year from a man who i believed was all upright and had been really campaigning for buhari as the killer of corruption made me just sigh and tell myself that our solution is far. Very far.

  4. I agree with the writer, it really is a shame that the two major political parties dumped these men on the country. As much as we want to change ourselves, the question that was not answered by the writer is the way forward in the 2015 election. Are we to boycott the election? They ll still announce a winner. Are we to go out and vote for an underdog (how are we sure he is better?). We still have to do something, if not we would still have a candidate imposed on us. So the real question for me is what can we do in the 2015 election?
    PS- great write up, enjoyed reading it.

    • shakespeareanwalter

      Tobe, do you see? Please illuminate. 🙂

    • We have a lot to do which I believe I indirectly answered in the article. Let the status quo be maintained, this is the easiest way out. The hardest way is for us to totally reject the two candidates and bring out a more acceptable candidate. It’s a shame that APC has someone like Oshibanjo, Gbajamila and Fashola, yet they chose to project Buhari. While PDP has people like Osita Chidoka, Minister of Agriculture but yet they chose to stick with Goodluck.
      Now, the truth is, in democracy sovereignty lies with the people. If majority of the populace can rise up to reject these men the political parties will have no choice but to drop them. We’re practicing Representative Democracy not Imposition Democracy.
      But alas, we are left with these two choices because they are true reflection of the kind of people we truly are in closet. If not how can majority of the populace peacefully agree to be short changed?

  5. Bravo…Exactly my point, the way they see buhari as the Messiah is what I still try hard to comprehend . One question that nobody has answered especially our youths supporting either Gej/GMB is …what has happened to the leaders of tomorrow ?

    • shakespeareanwalter

      the leaders of tomorrow? they’ll all planning to walk the same path threaded by the corrupt leaders of yesterday

  6. Brilliant piece Tobe…excellently written…

    We need to look inwards as citizens and stand up for what’s right, vocally condemning what is wrong. Indeed time is ticking out…we don’t know what tomorrow holds but we can trust in HIM who holds tomorrow to guide us to make better decisions as a people & to vote wisely as well.

    GOD bless you +

  7. Well written, Tobe.
    I have reservations about a number of things: all problems summarized down to ignorance and hunger? I no gree oh. I mean, among a few others, what about greed – the kind that is fully sated and knows exactly what consequences his actions hold for the future?
    About Buhari and GEJ, I agree with you, it is very sad – a big shame – that these two are the best we can do, especially considering the population of good men and women we have. But I am also a realist, Tobe; as things stand, and unless a miracle happens, one of them will lead us till 2019. We can cry about their evils till tomorrow while doing nothing, or we can strive to pick the better of the two while – like you implied – digging within us for the best we can be by ourselves. The question aburuzie, who is the better of the two?

    On a lighter note, bros…you talk say even God no fit solve all my problems??? Shuuu, whatever happened to omnipotence and oririmiarabata nah? 🙂

    Again, great write as always.

  8. well written.
    while all pointing accusing fingers at government, we ourselves are no better! the ‘government’ are persons…they are someone’s wife, brother, husband etc. if we were good people, surely we would raise good leaders…

  9. Please permit me to share this article….people need to read this. We Nigerians just have to wakeup.

  10. Hmmmm. It’s time we stand up for ourselves. Someone asked where are the leaders of tomorrow, another answered that they are waiting for the leaders of yesterday to allow leaders of today who are also waiting to lead.
    Kindly permit me to use this to enlighten other people.
    Tobe may God bless your Agbari.

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