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Olympic fiasco: We're all guilty

Published by Tribune on Thu, 16 Aug 2012

The best way to judge a culture is to see what kind of people are in the jails- John Dewey.Doesn't the morning show the day' It's too late for us to start crying over Team Nigeria's London Olympics disgrace. Are we not all guilty ifright from the preparatory stage, despite our mediocre pre-tournament performance, we had been engrossed in celebrating that we had conquered the rest of the world weeks before the global event. We had shut our eyes to reality. When others were working silently to get good results, we rifled in self-adulation and pretence that all was well. Are we not all guilty if we have continued to dispense with our first 11 in every department of life; when we have continued to place premium on liability instead of ability and capability; for devilry and righteousness; progress for retardation, and for gyration rather than movement' Where is our first 11 in football, in commerce and industry, banking and insurance, politics and governance, business and economics, academic, science and technology, et cetera' Who is our 'striker' in the mould of Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe or Ahmadu Bello in politics today' Tell me the doyen in sport like Thunder Balogun in football or the true conscience of the nation like Gani Fawehinmi in the judiciary' Show me a role model in the world of business now that is not a product of the general rot Nigeria has found itself' I want to know who among the 'governors' can truly, boldly, sincerely and publicly declare his assets and liabilities before and after leaving office' Aren't we guilty if the National Stadium in Abuja and Lagos have become an eye sore, whereas some persons are statutorily mandated to be in charge of federal sporting facilities' No one is claiming responsibility for the criminal neglect that has turned the billion naira spent on the stadia into a monumental waste. My heart bleeds that none is ever ready to resign for dereliction of duty and crass failure. Instead, they always prefer to remain as gold digger within the establishment, giving flimsy excuses each time the nation flops and flops and flops in competition with the rest of the world in diverse areas like sport, politics, resource management, probity and accountability. They manufacture alibis just because they want to stay glued to public offices where free money reigns.Without prejudice to her heroic exploits, competence and patriotism, where was Blessing Okagbuare in terms of ability to create an upset in athletics a month to the London games' Were the other athletes close to breaking records before the commencement of the games meant for only the best among the equals in the world' Did we actually try to ascertain if Chika Chukwumerije had not become a little bit 'rustic' unlike when he was like a giraffe, whose prowess for defence or attack at auspicious times are its legs, noted for before the Beijing games four years ago' We are all guilty because if I may ask, what made it impossible for us to groom possible successors in all department of the games in four years' What did we do to revamp age competitions that produced star athletes in the past' Check the age range and records of those medalists from other serious nations that sent athletes to London and we might probably conclude Nigeria went into every competition even in Africa with tired legs, depressed soul and weak flesh in the last decade or so. Be it in politics, science, sport and business! So, how can we make a hero from zero or build a castle with nothing , since to make an omelet like MKO Abiola wont to say, one must break an egg. We are all living in a glass house, not the typical soccer house in Abuja, where the riddle over missing US$250,000 remains an unsettled mystery and riddle. But I am saying we must cast the stone. Isn't it everything beautiful and bright, everything excellent, and promising, Nigerian leaders kill prematurely' Every dream, no matter, how promising, we tend to abort impulsively and rashly' Are we not guilty when graft agencies, labour leaders compromise on integrity and professionalism' We keep quiet and often celebrate seeing lawmakers and law enforcers become impudent law breakers, security chiefs living above their means and labour leaders competing with political thieves, drug barons and oil thieves in flamboyantly lifestyle and flagrant display of questionable wealth. Aren't we all guilty when in Nigeria, traditional rulers are constantly trying to outdo politicians in the art of compromise on those virtues that exalt any nation. Rather than maintain their revered status as custodian of highest tradition and customs, the monarchs have become godfathers and undisguised yes men to the patently corrupt and wicked few in politics, who believe the end, no matter deadly and dangerous, justifies the means. Where are those men of valour, integrity and compassion of yesteryears' Haven't most of them either gone to the world beyond or got eclipsed by the whims and caprices of the money- miss- roads, who like sharks, devour the hapless aquatic creatures' Are we not driven by greed, corruption, theft, and other forms of criminality that could even make the devil shudder at the level of sophistry' Aren't we all guilty when leaders only prefer to be told, read and learn only what they prefer to hear' We allow truth to be buried by the waves of weird and bad logic, pretended facts, reflective of Aldous Huxley's maxim, 'an exciting truth may be eclipsed by a thrilling falsehood''Maybe, we would have fared better in football had we qualified to be among the African representatives in the soccer event. Maybe we would have latched on mother luck by fumbling and wobbling with a ragtag team of players chosen based on factors other than merit and utility and creativity. Aren't we guilty from the onset if the media practitioners pricked our subconscious on the need to emphasise on the syndrome of catching them young and insulating sport from the divisive and perilous game of politics' So, why are we crying over spilled milk' Why are we shedding crocodile tears' Is this our foolish way of showing remorse and deep reflection after a disgraceful outing'Aren't we all guilty if we believe that God has a hand in all our misdemeanors, frailties and bad company; when we believe he must abandon all other nations to attend to challenge, when we believe that he has deliberately inflicted inept leadership, corruption, and other pervert values on us to teach us some useful lessons' Is it a demonstration of our idiotic belief that God had deliberately inflicted hardship on the country so that we can appreciate the volume of our iniquities and possible become 'born again''Who are those that have administered the country and managed its economy in the last three decades or more' Their competence can only be measured by the steady drift of the country towards disaster. The military sacked the Second Republic because of worsening socio-economic and political climate. Didn't the country end up the worse for it as the subsequent regimes after General Muhammadu Buhari became the bastion of corruption' But hasn't the situation gone from bad to worse today for the country, where the competition is all about the size of individuals' loots'However, aren't we all guilty if we allow election riggers to dominate the political scene' Who should be blamed for the control of the machinery of government by political jokers who have perfected the art of laundering public fund' Are we not all guilty if billions are released for the rehabilitation of the Sagamu-Ore-Benin highway, poverty alleviation programmes, power supply and lots more, are diverted into private pockets' Yet, we do not shudder that it is all public money that must be accounted for by ministers, governors and lawmakers.'Oderemi, 08023501874 (SMS only)
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