I have been a million things, notably scribbler, editor and journalist. Above all, I have been – and still remain – a firm believer in Nigeria. Sadly, I have seen many things fail in the country due to the problem of our leaders and yes, us – the followers. These problems have been caused by the system: our paper-tiger laws and our weak institutions which allow the privileged to act with impunity.
Nigeria gets worse, with each succeeding administration competing in evil and corruption with its predecessor. I have seen great people fall, trying to set things right. And I am not talking of headliners like Gani Fawehinmi and Fela who ‘sang’ themselves hoarse. I am talking of everyday people. Not a few of my family members have fallen in the fight to make things right. Still, their blood seems like a drop in the sea in this fight against corruption. Shall I count the casualties? Do I count the assassinations in a quest for power by people who have wanted them silenced? Do I count the number of accidents, including one that happened recently on a bad road whose contract was eaten by the cancer of corruption? It took away my aunt, leaving her children orphans after their father was assassinated. Should I talk of the increasing sufferings we all face because our economy is run for corrupt interests, not in the national interest? The naira weakens daily and the money in circulation circulates like restricted air in the bank-noses of a chosen few. Meanwhile, power remains an issue and we have to buy fuel to survive whether as writers, business people or ordinary citizens… What about the price of the fuel that increases seemingly on a daily basis?
The challenge is not just to find ‘good’ people who may be replaced tomorrow by others worse than they are, but to find a good system which will endure into the future, to assure us of a tomorrow where we will have men of integrity – whether naturally so, or forced to be so by a good system – who will take us to greater heights. I don’t know what the future will be like down the path but we shall give it our best so that my children will enjoy the benefits of a distant past that once had my parents smiling.
I might have nothing but the gift of my pen, my soul and the love of a few people but I the spirits of my forebears are with me in this, and I am ready to put all this to the service of the future of my lineage; that is why I support the Bribecode.