I have two major expectations for the New Year and some other minor expectations, not necessarily because the minors are less important but because the two major expectations, if not fulfilled, have the capacity to truncate all the other expectations. I will start with one of my two major expectations and end with the other.
The minor expectations I will sandwich in-between. My first and major expectation this year is that the senseless killing of Christians and minorities in the North, especially in Southern Kaduna, will stop. It is pogrom targeted at Christians and minorities.
The culprits reportedly are Muslims and majority Fulani\Hausa ethnic groups.
Their goal is to wipe out their victims; if not, to seriously decimate them and cow them into total submission.
The aggressors seek to grab their victims’ land and turn them into voiceless slaves in their own country and on their own land. Their goal is both political and religious.
They seek to impose their religion, culture, and traditions as well as emasculate the conquered people politically. It is empire-building of sorts, the type that yielded Mecca, Medina, Turkey and such other places that were hitherto non-Muslim to Islam.
It is what ISIS is dangerously and disastrously attempting in its most vicious and virulent sense. It is not a mistake or a one-thing off; it is calculated, well-articulated political and military strategy. Since it worked in the past, they believe it will work again now.
They waited until they had their hands on the levers of political power to kick off this agenda that had always been on the cards.
When we were voting APC\Muhammadu Buhari and thought we were voting CHANGE that would positively impact the lives of our people, those Islamist fundamentalists knew they were voting Jihad.
They must have been bemused at our stupidity. Now, they are laughing us to scorn. We were stupid, truly, and they were smart. Bible is right: The children of the world are wiser in their own evil and devious ways than the children of God.
The Christian Association of Nigeria has spoken – and there is nothing more to add – about the culpability and complicity of the Kaduna state governor, Nasir el-Rufai and President Muhammadu Buhari in the genocide and pogrom going in Southern Kaduna.
The actions and inactions of the two leaders condemn them. body language condemns them. Their policies condemn them.
The configuration of their governments condemns them. By condoning, even defending, the Fulani herdsmen when they kick-started this pogrom after APC\Buhari came into power, they stand condemned.
It is not too much to say that we shall require the blood of the innocent shed in Southern Kaduna and elsewhere from the hands of these two leaders.
Now is the time to compel them to act and be true to their oath of office to treat all Nigerians fairly and equitably. Every man and woman of conscience must stand up to be counted.
My minor expectations are: Put the economy on sounder footing this year. Save the Naira and make it stronger. Rescue the real sector of the economy from imminent collapse.
Industries are shutting down; factories are relocating from here and are being converted to mega churches and events centres; existing jobs are being lost; graduates pound the streets because new jobs are not created; prices of foodstuffs and of transportation and services skyrocket; crime waves are spiralling out of control – and all these as a result of a comatose economy.
Change the policies that are not working; change the square pegs in round holes; all the processes that are further pauperising our people must change this year. Then, let there be peace in all parts of the country.
Push forward with the war against Boko Haram but pull back from creating new war fronts in the Niger Delta and Igbo land. Pursue dialogue.
If the N30 billion voted for war in the South-South is ploughed into the peace process there, more dividends will be reaped.
Some people simply are war-mongers. It is the same mentality of the military-industrial complex in the advanced countries which aggressively promotes war so as to sell weapons and earn billions of dollars in contracts to rebuild war-damaged facilities.
Let our elections be freer this year. Since the advent of APC\Buhari, the gains of free and fair elections have been frittered.
We should be making improvement, not regressing. Without free and fair elections, democracy cannot survive.
Since APC\Buhari came into office through free and fair election, I expect them to deepen the process rather than diminish it. APC\Buhari must pay attention to burgeoning corruption in its fold this year.
For a government that claims to be fighting corruption, it is laughable that acts of monumental corruption are being mentioned amongst its key functionaries.
It must clean its own Augean stable and make its anti-graft operations credible. At the moment, it is sheer vindictiveness and persecution of opponents while its friends who are also stinking corrupt are not only sheltered but also quartered in the sanctuary of power.
Finally, and my second major expectation this year:
The Southerners and Christians in the APC\ Buhari administration must stand up to be counted on the side of their people and faith. I beg them; they must stop their acts of cowardice and be bold and courageous like the lion. What are they afraid for? When will they not leave office? Is it because of the spoils of office?
“What does it profit a man…” says the scripture. Bob Marley said they are killing your own people but you stand there and look – why?
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Minister Kayode Fayemi, APC national chairman John Odigie-Oyegun, Gov. Owelle Rochas Okorocha, Pastor Femi Adesina, Babafemi Ojudu, even the embattled SGF, all APC governors and legislators from the South and who are also Christians must stand up like one man against the perceived policy of decimation of Christians and the South.
By this, they will be judged!