Professor Tam David-West
Professor Tam David-West had been endorsing positive policies for the youth. Take it or leave, not his. Sometimes one wonders why he had so much sparkling faith for Nigeria. He could not stop hammering on bad policies the government was incessantly implementing that had windswept a lot of us. He had not limited his comments of valid points for garbage. He had always issued best statements on national issues, especially since the beginning of the fuel subsidy crisis. But it seemed that the government has had no valid point for refusing his call for a forum where Nigerians will publicly interrogate the government’s decision on fuel subsidy and sundry crass ideals. His reactions to the fuel subsidy removal had opined one point: How a man of over 70years was ready to lay down his life for the future of Nigeria, if it called for that.
During the protest that the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) organized to checkmate the government over the issue, he was among the frontrunners who led the protest before NLC started giving conditions to the government from the N141 hiked price to N97 that the government later unilaterally brought it to, for the price of fuel.
It was observed that NLC became fragile against its initial stoical stand against the tyrannical posture of the government when the protest was intensified. David-West was so embittered with the divergent opinion of the NLC and asked the government to publish the names of those that were importing fuel.
He had been of the opinion that Nigerians should differentiate between metaphysical Nigeria and political Nigeria. Nigeria is a great country blessed by God. The way we are going, the political Nigeria will destroy the metaphysical Nigeria, because to keep Nigeria as one is a task that must be done. He would admonish.
While a layman could see those in the political positions as his leaders, David-West however has had a definition of them: “Most of those in government are rogues and thieves; they love themselves more than Nigeria.”
Against that influence, it had been perturbing to him why every Nigerian would not owe Nigeria more than what Nigeria owed him or her. He had been clamouring for more statesmen than politicians and believed that Nigeria would be better then.
A first time comer to Nigeria will be shocked what Nigeria is by reading numerous expository essays and interviews by David-West. He was disappointed that statesmen like him who were thinking of the future were being disrespected by a bouquet of politicians who only think of the next election, culminating to Nigeria being a country where a senator earned more money than the President of America, and even buy government houses and spend billions on cars, yet they couldn’t pay the N18, 000 minimum wage to Civil Servants.
What else could be called moral corruption? To the intellect dude, politicians had morally crippled the country and the governance, but they will be destroyed by God. He had been weeping that some goons were doing all the atrocities in a great country as Nigeria where there had not been any case of natural disaster, but there were able men and natural resources that had been pilfered by a few clique of people for long years.
To him, it was shameful that the few opportunists had made the majority of the people to cry of no job, and compelled graduates to drive taxis and engage in other menial jobs; those frailhearted engage in armed robbery, because they have to survive. In his arithmetic, it takes integrity and rigidity not to be corrupt and lead the nation, and God will punish those that are punishing Nigerians and Nigeria.
“When the poor man weeps, the tears go to heaven and come down with burning fire and consume his enemies. And that is what will happen in Nigeria,” he also wept.
Professor David-West was competent to speak without sentiment on any issues besetting the country. He’s very interesting: a volcano vaporizer when it comes to truth. He abhorred the government for counting that the true price of oil must include the suffering of the people.
This was evident in a quote: “Nigeria`s poor suffer the twin environmental perils of oil extraction — oil spills and gas flaring. Villagers draw their water directly from the same rivers and streams that become catch basins for oil spills. Sanctions for spills are minor. Between 1989 and 2000, more than 536,000 barrels of oil were spilled; only 23,000 barrels were recovered. Land and river restoration are rare. Meanwhile, gas flaring is the cheapest way to eliminate natural gas, a byproduct of oil extraction. Villagers describe the gas flares as "Flames from Hell." These flares contribute to climate change, pollute the air, and bring acid rain to the region."
It’s a thing of worry that President Goodluck Jonathan and his cohorts had not put in great deal of strength to curb insecurity in the country the way they had expended much energy on the fuel subsidy removal which had impoverished the poor masses more. Many Nigerians were subjected to so much hardship whereas the song on their lips at every minute was supposed to be “Hosanna in the Highest” because Nigeria was endowed naturally more than wanted. Rather, Jonathan and his cohorts talk about cabal in the government but none have been seen meted with the rule they required. They were rather tapped with the kid’s glove on the wrist and allowed to be comfortable with their organized corruption to the detriment of millions of Nigerians.
It is on this nepotism’s way of handling cases of corruption in Nigeria by the authorities that was making David-West to cry. Nigerians are today languishing in the different prisons of the world, where they had gone to, beating the arctic weather situations of the western world, and enslavement, for the proverbial Golden Fleece.
Those that were in the prison are even lucky: there had been cases of Nigerians who lost their lives all the year round in the desert in their quandary for a greener pasture abroad. David-West had been crying that Nigerians lived all their lives struggling to feed their families and see them through school, whereas it was not supposed to be so.
Many of the parents who laboured to seeing their children tomorrow become better people in the society die painful deaths because their children were unable to reciprocate their gesture because of dearth of job that had characterized Nigeria.
Nigerians were being enslaved even in their own country to bad government policies, and their destinies sold to pains and too much sweat. It was on this premise that David-West had been crying that corruption should be eschewed and avoided and not become identical with political administration of Nigeria.
The country was hijacked by rapacious few men and women holding on to the club of control to exhibit cruelty to those who were supposed to be their subject. While these “unfortunate” Nigerians were languishing in pains on how to make the end meet, the self-acclaimed bourgeoisies were busy practicing corruption with their stealing and robbing of the country’s coffers. The most shameful side of it was that they were the same people who bring their selves and their ugly trade to the cleaners for the rest Nigerians to laugh at, while biting their fingers in abject pains.
Professor David-West had severally challenged the government to reinforce its argument for removing the oil subsidy with facts and figures, but the government's apologists – real wasters – were singing the song of death for Nigerians. Without any corollary, Professor David-West is the choice of every village, town, state and country for the marketing of truth. He has been saying it all, if specifics should be given and taken, confronted, questioned upon and concluded and finalized and be implemented. A brilliant man with a good-looking mind, he has been more judicious in his critiques of the government’s policies. He speaks with his head, not emotions. He’s a well meaning Nigerian who’s saying the truth, and asks those governing to better be careful before Almighty God crushes them to death for any form of bestial governance.
May Professor Tam David-West live long for exhaustively breaking down and clarifications of national issues.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org