By Smart Ofugara

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ as told in the holy Bible witnessed the question and answer session. Pilate had asked Jesus Christ if He was in the king of the Jews and Jesus replied him by saying you have said so.

Going further as was the tradition then , Pilate was supposed to release a prisoner to the people. The choice of prisoner to be released was between a notable prisoner, called Barabbas a robber and Jesus Christ who had done nothing to harm anyone or the society.

The people prevailed on Pilate to release Barabbas the prisoner who was a robber while Jesus Christ was handed over to be crucified. The emphasis here is for you to examine the commonwealth of our dear nation as it concerns its uses, the beneficiaries, expectations and the dilapidated nature of infrastructures, lies and pain inflicted.

Democracy as a form of government is one in which participation of the people is paramount. One major understanding that everyone or the citizens must know is that life is like a bank account where you have to make a deposit first before you can issue a cheque.

Consequently,the time to stand on the fence is past and so is the time to stay aloof gone.

Twenty three years down the road, we have witnessed the same people circle themselves in power. We have complained, we have collected our #5k and bag of rice to our own detriment. We have watched companies leave our shores, we have seen prices of basic goods rise beyond our reach. We have seen conflict and rise of gangsters. We have seen nothing done to open the seaports that God had blessed us with. We watched as values we once upheld diminished in our lives and society.

We watched how churches became the viable industry preying on the psychic of people with nefarious activities emanating in trickles.

We saw the empowerment of PORTFOLIO BUSINESS MEN killing our industries that we once cherished as sources of our livelihood but have been driven underground.

Today they bring in bad petroleum products to sell to us and no one or company is held liable. Some of us may remember the kerosene saga that exploded in our homes with no one held liable. Have we seen the end of this kind of wickedness that is being meted upon us as a people?

We see prices go above the roof with no end respite . The worst of it all is that these people who have held the reins of power these past twenty three years have either no idea of what to do or have deliberately ignored what to do effectively to improve the economy, and the sustainable society.

We have watched how the cement companies or industries fell into the hand of one man called Dangote. The results are painful as the unit cost of a bag of cement is something else. We have watched how our refineries fell to one man called Dangote. The projected pain remains unknown once he becomes operational. My sense of history tells me that it will not be good.

We have watched how importation of basic commodities like rice, sugar, salt fell to one man called Dangote while we watched how difficult it has been for Innoson, Ibeto,BUA, and others whose industries and initiatives would have created sustainable jobs for our esteemed youths and able bodied individuals are repressed.

We have watched and heard how scarce foreign exchange is made available to the high and mighty at the detriment of others and our society.

The pain in all of these is that those who control power have failed to initiate control, regulations, and supervision in an equitable and just manner to the benefit of humanity and society.

We have watched how those who have held power since 1999 either as PAs,SAs, Local government chairmen , councilors,legislators,ministers,governors, appointed DGs or chairmen of parastatal, Senators or Presidents ran the country aground. They have started warming up because they have our stolen resources to deprive genuine people with positive ideas and good policies to turn the country or nation into the right direction.

We see them on our air waves, we see them in our communities, we know what they were doing prior to 1999 and how they have used government resources for their personal gain.

We have seen how many of them encroach into our schools land to build their palatial mansions with our stolen resources .

Yet the instruments of government is silent. Better still is the question of who approved such buildings and did the supervision at the so called ministry planning and urban development.

A clear example is St Malachy Grammar School, Sapele, Delta State as a living example.

Should this be the case? Don’t we have respect for our institutions? Should the failure of government mean that citizens should now take advantage of the weak and helpless to boost their short sighted egos?
This brings me back to the beginning of this essay.

Who should we choose in 2023? Are we going to allow these groups that are not accountable to us run the state of affairs? Are we going to sustain them by recirculating them in new names of deceptions with fake and unsubstantiated promises?

Are we going to make our voices count? Are we going to sit on the fence and say it does not concern me? Or are we going to behave like the story of Jesus Christ and Barabbas the thief where the people actually asked for Barabbas.

Written by Smart Ofugara