By Tahir Ibrahim Tahir Talban Bauchi
The narrator’s voice, over the live coverage of Nigeria’s 15th January, 2021, Armed Forces Remembrance Day, went on with the script that had the pigeons flying, saying; “there they go, and up they go”… supposedly describing the pigeons that were let out of their cage, as ceremoniously done every year by the presiding Commander in Chief of The Armed Forces. This time around, the pigeons simply refused to fly and the narration did not blend, nor rhyme with what was transpiring in the live coverage of the event. 2021 Wreath laying ceremony of The Armed Forces Remembrance Day is coming after a rather tumultuous 2020 – corona, endsars and a global recession, matched yet again by very poor oil prices.
The unflying pigeons were used as a metaphor, by critics and antagonists of the PMB administration; denoting how South, things have gone. To them, nothing works, zero has been achieved, and PMB should simply handover, (even though to whom is not clearly spelt out) because he has failed Nigerians and Nigeria. Because of that, they felt that the pigeons could not fly. The ‘burning’ atmosphere in the country was too harsh for a pigeon to even scamper to safety! Oh my!
The supposed endsars protest, turned disaster of varying proportions – insurrection, terrorism, extremism, barbarism, self determination… you name it; had added to an already fragile and flailing economy, which wasn’t perhaps entirely the government’s fault. The global economy was depressing too and there was no escaping its gripping impact, on a third world, oil dependent economy. An economy that did not save, and invest the gains of years of global oil prices boom. However, the administration is to blame, for the kid gloves, and disturbingly ‘democratic’ handling of the protesters, who had many vile elements in their ranks; pursuing unpatriotic and treasonable agenda. Trumpism did not handle ANTIFA lightly; nor did the American Federation, treat the Trump protesters, now tagged, ‘extremists’. Saner climes obviously do not handle treasonable endeavors with kid gloves. Some may argue that the government was avoiding booby traps, but nonetheless; it could have done much better in curtailing the eventual and unfortunate excesses of the protesters.
If the pigeons won’t fly, the country atleast is soaring higher, into the clouds of continental rankings. The Nigerian Airforce is now the 3rd finest in Africa, and looks to supercede that, most likely after the delivery of those Tucanos. The military is ranked 35th in the world, and the country’s placing, as per corruption index, is also slightly moving positively. The nation’s GDP is the biggest in Africa and will definitely be moving a few notches higher, as the projected Q1 steady recovery from recession, settles in. The roads are probably even more deplorable than the government met them, but hey; God bless our rejigged, revitalised, and re-built new railways network. More citizens are farming, and even your’s truly is swearing to farm this year! There is a huge farming revolution, evidenced by a mills’ rush, where rice processing is becoming the new gold!
I for one, have quite a number of Nigerian designers of locally made slippers, and I am saved from saving money, to buy shoes from abroad. INNOSON Motors is handling the procurement needs of the Nigeria Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Commission.
The pigeons won’t fly but the cost of importation is definitely on the decline as VAT on items like automobiles, is drastically reduced to 5%, from a previous 35%. Low income or minimum wage employees are exempted from income tax, while companies or businesses with less than 25 Million Naira as turnover would also be saved from the formerly huge taxation policy. Government interventions to businesses, less privileged, and the household of the common man are hitting their targets in a more transparent manner, which is gradually improving by the day. Hey, even the National Assembly’s constituency projects that have traditionally gone down the drain, are being tracked and policed, to ensure implementation and accountability. The pigeons won’t fly but our Airports at Enugu, Abuja, Lagos and Kano, are presently a bunch of some of the best in Africa. States without airstrips now have daily flights and more investors in the aviation industry, are flooding our international business gates. Azman and Ibom Air are criss-crossing the Nigerian airspace, albeit with delays sometimes; but still as fine works in progress.
The pigeons won’t fly but our DJs are flying all over the globe, mobilising fire and brimstone from saner climes, to unleash dragonic spitfires on their dear motherland. Politicians who simply cannot win are fed up and are spoiling for war. Unfortunately for them, our prayers, as an extremely prayerful nation, are flying and soaring, and touching the high heavens – guarding our motherland and only land, where we can toil and till, to make a living, without being chased and humiliated as illegal immigrants, or second class citizens. May those pigeons never fly, if we will continue to witness fine and steady progress, with various economic indicators to confirm our growth and development. May our heroes past, present and coming, be guided and protected by Almighty God’s guards; amen.