By Olanrewaju Akinfenwa


“Those who aspire to rule
Must tell us
Where they have been
What they have done and
Where they are going”
-Late Mamman Vatsa

Many people have suggested ways to get out of the issue of recession. Experts, scholars, professionals have provided myriad of examples to borrow from. Chief of them is the model used by the United States of America and China during the economic meltdown. “Pump more money to reflate the economy.”

This look like a good suggestion but what many fail to realise is that though the issue seems the same, the road travelled to this destination is totally different from theirs. Hence, the prescription may not serve the purpose.

A Yoruba adage says, “if a child trips, it looks straight ahead, while an adult will cast a glance backwards. The germane issue is “how did we get here”?

Perhaps, this is what his royal highness, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, The Sultan of Sokoto was trying to do at his tenth coronation anniversary when he was quoted to have said, “The only solution to this is for us to show piety and repent. It is ordained by God. So, Nigerians should seek for repentance from God.”

It is true that we must show piety and repent from our scandalous ways of life, but this situation, like other situations in the life of a man, nation and the world, is NOT ordained by God. This situation is man made!

Look at the road we travelled as a nation. Did we mind our spending habit as a nation and as individuals? Do we look at our consumption pattern? Do we restrict ourselves to what we produce? Do we even care to produce? We had money which we did not know what to do with it. At least, it was quoted that a past head of state once boasted that Nigeria’s problem is not money, but how to spend it.

If the money had been ploughed into industrialisation of the country instead of spending jamboree like Udoji Award that turned civil servants to mega rich overnight, hosting of FESTAC, et al, perhaps like the law says, whatsoever a man sows that shall he reap more abundantly, we will be reaping the fruits of our industrialisation. But what do we have? We abandoned agriculture and mining, we move to the then money-spinning mining of oil, which was glossily dubbed back gold and today, we are all living witnesses to the fruits of our decision or indecision.

To get out of the quagmire, we must go back to the basic. We must retrace our steps; we must look at our past, project what we want the future to look like and at this present time work more assiduously than praying. I doubt if there is any country of the world that has preponderances of churches and mosques like Nigeria, yet daily gory details of sinful behaviour cover the whole land.