Posted by News Express | 9 October 2020 | 977 times
The September 19, 2020 governorship election in Edo State has come and gone but the celebration of the outcome is yet to die down more than three weeks after wards. For the first time since the beginning of this decade, greater number of Nigerians has something to cheer.
The ‘Independent’ National Electoral Commission (INEC) and its partners in crime, the politicians and even security agencies have been playing bad card with the heart of Nigerians through willful and deliberate manipulation of their political will. Fraudulent or rigged elections have become the norm to the extent that the masses have come to the conclusion that voting in elections is a waste of time since their votes no longer count.
Politicians in collaboration with INEC and security agencies have been picking and choosing the elections that they want to ‘win’, with utter disregard to the wishes of the electorates. They believe that they can do anything and nothing would happen. True to their words, they have been doing everything and nothing has been happening.
They have been getting away with virtually everything because Nigerian masses don’t have the will power to protest. We are all occupied with our individual problems that we cannot cope with any other additional worries. That is why, whenever INEC, politicians and security agencies push us to the wall, instead of fighting back, we would melt into the wall and still remain cool, that is continue with our lives as if nothing happened.
This conquered or submissive attitude of the Nigerian masses has therefore embolden the politicians and they are riding roughshod over us with reckless abandon. However, all that changed before the Edo governorship election with the threat of visa ban on election riggers by the United States and United Kingdom.
Before then, the mindset of Nigerian politicians was that they could manipulate the polls and if there is crisis, they would hop into the next available flight and run to the US or UK, while the country burns and people perish. When everything dies down, they would come back and receive their reward for a job well done
But with the visa ban threat came as a paradigm shift. They realised that if they succeed in creating crisis in the attempt to rig the polls, they would no longer be able to run away like before. Therefore, the fire that they would ignite would also consume them. That was the reason for the sanity that was witnessed in the Edo governorship election. The members of INEC who have always been willing tools in the hands of the politicians felt the same way too.
With the interest that the international community is now showing in Nigerian elections, the politicians and the members of INEC are now psychologically being forced to behave themselves and play by the rule. They are now afraid of their future. United States and United Kingdom which have been their sanctuaries, are now looking like Moses and the land of Canaan, a place they can only see but not enter.
So, I sincerely feel that this visa ban should also be extended to the Nigeria`s health sector. The only reason why we don’t have functional hospitals in the 36 states of the country is because the politicians know that if they or the members of their families become sick, they would board the next available flight to the US or UK for treatment.
Because of that, they feel less concerned about millions of poor Nigerians who cannot afford two meals per day, let alone take care of their health in the sub- standard clinics that are all over the place.
I am of the view that if US and UK should put visa ban on the politicians and the members of their families from going to their countries to see seek medical treatment, there would be rapid development of standard hospitals all over the country.
Once the governors, the law makers and the other public office holders realise that they can no longer go for treatment abroad, they would become serious with our health sector.
Stopping medical tourism was one of the major planks of President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign. But he has failed woefully in that regard.
Instead of the health sector recording improvement, decline has become the name of the game as Nigeria now has the highest number of child mortality rate in the world, even more than India with over a billion population.
The only reason why this is so, is because those who are entrusted with our commonwealth have the opportunity of going abroad for treatment whenever they are sick.
So, the US and UK should see the need to extend the visa ban to Nigeria’s health sector.
ABOUT THE COLUMNIST
Peter Anosike is a well-known journalist and development economist.
His book, Dangote’s Ten Commandments on Money (Lessons on How to Make Money from One of the World’s Richest Men), was rated as one of the best development books in the world by Wall Street Journal and FORBES. The book has been adopted as a workbook for grooming entrepreneurs by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN). Anosike’s other of his books include, How To Be The Best You Can Be and Look Forward and Lean Less On Your Past – all trending in Smashwords along with Dangote’s Ten Commandment on Money and How To Be The Best You Can Be. You can follow him on Facebook and Linkedin.
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