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Nigerians, see Sri Lanka! — By Jones Fcc Onwuasoanya

4 min read

Sri Lanka citizens takesover presidential palace after chasing the president away

Economic crisis in Sri Lanka has forced virtually every citizen of that country onto the streets. In the last few months, that country has been in turmoil and its political leaders have not slept with their eyes closed.

The Presidential palace has been invaded by protesting and angry citizens, who do not care if they are killed. And, somehow, members of the security agency don’t seem willing to stop the protesters, because, they are not immune from the hunger and the attendant frustration all over the country.

The President’s resignation hasn’t eased the tension, and the Prime Minister is offering to resign, but that, too, won’t abate the anger. There won’t be any quick fixes to the troubles ravaging the country. It is a consequence of several years of misgovernance, mismanagement, corruption, abuse and incompetence.

Among the crowd of protesters are the Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Moors, the Burghers, the Malays, the Vedda and everyone else. Supporters of the United People’s Freedom Alliance and other Parties are in the protest. At this point, they have been brought together by hunger, by frustration, by fears and by rising mortality rates. They have been united by the trepidation over an uncertain tomorrow, because their political leaders have wrecked their nation and they are on edge.

Have you come home before to meet your children crying over food, and you know that you work hard enough to be able to provide them with food, yet, you can’t, because the government has wrecked everything? Have you seen your loved relative, sick and in pains, and the hospitals are closed because the hospital workers can’t find their ways to work, because petrol is nowhere to be found and the transport unions are on strike, or can’t even go to work? Have you gone to bed with an empty stomach, yet, without hope of getting something to eat the next day?

These are some of the reasons the Sri Lankans , a multicultural and multiethnic people like Nigeria, have suspended their religious differences and come together to ask questions of their leaders. Would you rather wait, dear Nigerian, for our situation to get to that of Sri Lanka before you act?

Nigeria will soon default on its international debt obligations. Nigeria’s Naira, which was less than 180 Naira in 2015 is now well over 600 Naira. Petrol queues have become a way of life across the nation, since this year. Inflation rate has climbed to its highest ever since 2015, and there doesn’t seem to be a reprieve in sight. Federal and State Governments borrow money in order to pay salaries. Terrorists and common criminals operate with ease and no one seems to have an idea where they will hit next. Food prices have continued to rise, out farmers can’t go to their farms anymore, because their farms have been taken over by criminals. I can go on and on to reel out the frightening situation we are in as a nation, but even as I write I am frightened, I am shaken.

Sri Lankans are in the situation they are in today, because they failed to heed the warnings, because they voted along Party and sectional considerations. Because they refused to vote for the right candidates who had the ideas and had the good intentions for them. They voted for the candidates whose names are strong, who are backed by strong politicians. They voted for the candidates who could give them some pittance, or who spoke the language they understood.

Today, everyone of them is at the receiving end of the bad decision they took during their last election. When you vote for individuals who haven’t shown good evidence of good personal development and discipline, you shouldn’t expect any magic from them in running a working government. They will continue to run a trial and error government, until they wreck everything and everyone becomes frustrated.

In the next few months, Nigeria has another opportunity to get things right, to avert the Sri Lanka kind of situation or even something worse. It is in your powers to decide to vote the right people or vote someone because your oppressor whom you see as a boss told you to vote for him or to vote someone who is of your language or your religion, instead of voting individuals with the right track records and proven preparedness and integrity of character to put Nigeria back on track.


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