"If the head is sick, the the rest of the body will not function properly."
Nigerians continue to bask in the euphoria of their qualification to the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final having edged South Africa through the penalty shootouts, a feat that has in a moment taken the focus of citizens away from their sufferings, the economic realities, high cost of food and other basic items in the country.
All across the nation you could see young, old, middle age and even women discussing and applauding their national team players, and some very funny ladies already choosing for themselves members of the team who they have claimed to their choices for love. Chief among being the Goalkeeper of the Super Eagles Stanley Nwabali, and I think this is owing to his heroics in the last game against Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
As the final of the AFCON tournament draws close, news broke yesterday of the affirmation of the Nigeria's President Bola Ahmed Tinubu informing organizers that he will be at the final. Confederation of Africa Football (CAF), the body overseeing football in Africa broke the news through its President Dr. Mosepe.
The news was widespread and was received with few cheers from Nigerians especially those living in Cote d'Ivoire. This is because Tinubu is arguably the biggest President in Africa.
However, it was reported that the President who already has a sizeable contingent that officially move with him, will at this time travel with 22 other State Governors for the final of AFCON. This is where my problem is.
At the moment, Nigeria is in huge debts and keeps borrowing in order to run the government overheads. Yet, the Politicians deem it fit to indulge in such Jamboreee for a trip that has no economic value and or brings back foreign investments into the country. This is a pathetic situation.
Of course everything is right with political leaders going to support the national team for the huge final, if they're doing so from their pockets, but to raise such number of contingents using tax payers' money, and in a country already on its knees in the midst of hunger, killings and deaths is the highest level of carelessness and irresponsibility, and should be condemned by every well meaning Citizen.
Just few days ago, it was reported that due to the level of hunger in the land which has gotten to the point of mothers selling their children and neighbors giving away their neighbors to kidnappings with body parts being traded just for a meagre meal for survival, the president ordered national food reserves to release about 108 metric tones of Rice for the Nation, a claim every truthful person knows is fallacious as the present Nigerian government and leadership is well known for lies and propagandas as far as it relates to the citizens. An awful and detestable attitude.
How will a government be such insensitive to the plight of its citizens to the point of this selfish wastages in the face of such hunger that has led to even protests across cities in the country? It beats me.
I think the Nigerian politicians have no honor for themselves and respect or care for its citizens, reason they will dastardly and brazenly indulge in these kinds of economic unfruitful trips and expenditures bearing in mind that its citizens being mentally weak, and hungry may not be able to rise and raise an objection against it and stand on this rejection for long. Sad indeed.
I do hope that someday the Nigerian citizens will realize that there is no other way out of this wickedness against them except them rising up, bearing the pains of beatings, torture and imprisonment and standing to rejecting these insensitive leaders and chasing them out of the seats of power.
I hope the Nigerian citizens are not already a defeated people. May their brains arise to its provocative thoughts.
*-Ezindu Okay-Lawrence (ACFF)*