Asa, that musician with a special genre of music that never fails to speak to the soul of the listener seemed to have been forecasting about the things to come in our nation when she sang the song, ‘Fire on the Mountain’.
The stanzas of the song hold so true to the situation we have found ourselves in our dear country that it is beginning to look like we are headed for darker days if something is not done fast. There is indeed fire on the mountain.
Does President Buhari realize how terrible the situation is in most homes? Sure he doesn’t know that the cost of foodstuff has skyrocketed so much that an average family cannot be sure of feeding sufficiently. And if he’s aware, he may not know that the increase in the cost of electricity tariff has affected most families and they groan under the weight of unexpected adjustments.
People are so hungry now that the hunger to kill another for ritual purposes has reached a damning height that we all have to constantly look over our shoulders for fear that our next door neighbor might come for our jugular in the quest for body spare parts.
In the last few months, I have seen more butchered bodies and blinded eyes than I have seen in all my years put together. While I will never support these evil people who perpetrate these dastardly acts to go unroasted, I will not fail to say that the hopelessness of the nation has pushed so many to the hilt.
Yes, Asa must have seen it when she said,
There is fire on the mountain,
And nobody seems to be on the run.
Oh there is fire on the mountain top,
And no one is a running.
I wake up in the morning
Tell you what I see on my TV screen
I see the blood of an innocent child,
And everybody’s watching.
Sincerely, don’t we wake up to see the blood of innocent people everyday? I still shudder at the unpleasant sight of that innocent lad whose eyes were plucked out last month in Zaria. I cry inwardly when I see police parading criminals displaying the disembodied parts of men and women who once walked the streets of Nigeria but whose spirits are now crying in the land of the dead.
In all my years of being an adult (that’s a lot of years by the way), I have not seen a period as hard as the time between May 2015 and now. The hunger and hardship in the land is driving people nuts.
Oh! That reminds me, I might have been young, but I remember clearly that the period of Buhari’s first taste of power was really hard on people too. It was during his time that the Fuji musician, Kolligton Ayinla sang the song, “Buhari ti kowo wole o, erora je’su, erora mu’mi, NAN ti gbewo lori”, meaning – Buhari has mopped up money in circulation, so take it easy with lovemaking and romance because NAN is now very expensive”.
Is there something about Buhari and hardships? Doesn’t he know that the harder things are for people, the higher the crime rates? Does he know that the level of crime has ascended to a peak since he came on board? Does he see the desperation in the eyes of people who are now so hopeless they would do anything for money?
By the way, President Buhari is on holiday ala medical check-up in another man’s country. What happened to our own healthcare system in Nigeria? Does it mean his government is yet to improve what they met on ground and taken it to international standard by now?
So President Buhari could go abroad for medical check-up when those he has stubbornly kept in detention against all courts judgments for bail suffer for lack of freedom and lack of medical attention. One of such people is Col. Sambo Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser.
I don’t know Dasuki and I don’t know any of those facing trial for fraud, economic sabotage, impunity and one misdenemour or the other, but I know of Rule of Law and I know that when you refuse to obey court orders and judgments, you’re in contempt of the court.
If there is no fire on the mountain, would Buhari openly berate the judicial system in the country and cry that it is an area giving him headaches when he, the number one protector of the law of the country is so disdainful of court orders?
Contempt of court is defined as being disobedient to or disrespectful towards a court of law and its officers in the form of behavior that opposes or defies authority, justice, and dignity of the court. It manifests itself in willful disregard of or disrespect for the authority of a court of law, which is often behavior that is illegal because it does not obey or respect the rules of a law court. C’est fini! End of story. No wonder, Asa said in two other stanzas,
“Now, I’m looking out of my window,
And what do I see ?
I see an army of a Soldier-man marching
Across the street, heh…
What did they say to make you so blind,
To your conscience and reason ?
Could it be love for your country,
Or for the gun you use in killing ? So…”
Okay, Dasuki has a case to answer but he is sick and begs for medical attention even within Nigeria but he is being refused because there are obviously personal matters somebody somewhere has not told us about. So, he can rot and die in detention for all Buhari cares but he has hurriedly flown abroad to attend to his own health. Now, this is unfair!
Dasuki or no Dasuki, the cost of an average medical attention for a man of Mr. President’s status is not less than £60,000 (sixty thousand pounds) in the UK. £60,000 x N400 on hospital bill alone is about N24, 000,000 (twenty-four million naira). That is apart from the fact that there are other bills of at least six people accompanying him on his trip, most especially the State House medical physician.
All these people together would make the bill swell up to at least £100,000,000. Multiply that by N400 and what you get can tackle lassa fever in Northern Nigeria, measles, whooping cough and many diseases in children for at least one month.
In Daura where the President hails from, that amount of money put into rehabilitating health care centres would make many who today have no access to proper health care glad that they voted for their own person. He should identify with his people and all of us who do not have access to foreign medical trips.
As we go about singing Dasugate, the matters on ground are heavier than that. The headache of Buhari’s presidency on people’s lives has to be quickly addressed and a relief given. Nigeria is in a mess and something has to be done fast.
Asa has summed it up and I fear for our land,
“One day the river will overflow,
And there’ll be nowhere for us to go ;
And we will run, run…
Wishing we had put out the fire, oh no…”