The other day, when they were telling us about “change”, we did not quite hear them well, or perhaps, did not understand what they meant. And we did not bother to ask for explanation. We only clapped our hands and rejoiced, and later gave them our votes.
It was only when they had ascended the throne and began to unfold their package that we realized that we made some mistakes; that we did not ask them what they had in mind, and that what they actually meant was “chain”, and not “change”.
To practically demonstrate this assertion, we saw our Naira which previously exchanged at N180 to one United States dollar, climb to N400 to one United States dollar; we saw a bag of rice that formerly sold for N8,000 being sold for N18,000; we saw a litre of petrol climb from N85 to N145 a litre; we saw a bag of cement that sold for N1,300, jump to N2,500 a bag; we saw the cost of living – food, housing and transportation, climb to rooftops.
When we looked outside, we saw many companies closed shops and their workers thrown out of jobs. We saw many civil servants stay for months on end without salaries; we saw our young men and women who graduated from universities roam the streets aimlessly, like sheep without shepherd, because they had no jobs. We saw some of our young boys became cultists, kidnappers, etc., and our girls forced into prostitution, because they were idle.
When we began to complain about all these problems, all these difficulties, that poverty has overwhelmed the land, and called for amelioration, they told us that it was the PDP that caused all those problems, because of their 16 years of misrule.
When we reminded them of their gospel of “change” which they promised, and that it was their responsibility to fix these problems, after all, the PDP they took over from, did not go about blaming the military they succeeded before settling down to do their work, they called us “wailers”, “enemies” of the administration, and said we were biased.
Now, they are coming to us with another gospel called “next level”. But we would like to know from them what they really mean by “next level”? Is it “next level” of prosperity, or “next level” of poverty? Is it “next level” of positive change, or “next level” of catastrophe, from flying pan, to fire?
Nigeria is now the recognized headquarters of world poverty. Will “next level” lift the country out of poverty, or will the country continue to sink deeper into poverty?
The National Bureau of Statistics has told us that the unemployment rate in Nigeria has increased to 23.10 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2018 from 22.70 percent which it was in the second quarter.
According to the bureau, unemployment rate in Nigeria had averaged 12.31 percent from 2006 (the years of PDP “misrule”) to 23.10 percent in 2018. It further stated that in 2010, unemployment record was as low as 5.10 percent. Is “next level” going to reduce this 2018 third quarter high unemployment rate of 23.10 percent, or will it increase it?
For the past three months, our students in government owned institutions of higher learning have been at home because their lecturers are on strike and the government is practically doing nothing about it. What is going to be the fate of our education system generally in the “next level”? Is the government going to close the entire school system since it has become a liability?
Before “change” came, we hardly saw Fulani herdsmen wield AK 47 rifles, which they now use to kill and maim innocent villagers, destroy their houses and farmlands. Will “next level” embolden these murderous gang to continue to cause mayhem, or will they simply vanish or disappear?
Since, “if you join APC all your sins will be forgiven”, apologies to Adams Oshiomole, in the “next level” we all are going to join the party. Accordingly, all our sins will be washed away, and there will be no more corrupt people in Nigeria!
These are some of the few issues to ponder and consider before we join the bandwagon of “next level”.