I complained the other day about EnoughisEnough Nigeria calling on the international community to sanction Nigeria [Read the Post] because of the misguided presidential pardons. Nigeria or Nigerians are not the ones to suffer for Goodluck Jonathan's ill thought out decision to pardon Alamieyesiagha, Bulama and Magaji, he should bear his load alone.
That is, if Nigerians themselves are up to the task. Impeach Jonathan, LA Times columnist Joel Brinkley calls in his recent article on the subject. Talking about Nigeria's opportunity to become a leading African country, he wonders how that will happen when all our leaders seem capable of thinking of is how to make themselves as stinkingly rich as possible.
Think about it: $81 billion a year just from the oil, while most every local government official still tells his people the nation just doesn't have enough money to fix the roads, schools or hospitals. (Roads are in such terrible shape that government officials generally travel any distance by helicopter.)
And Nigeria's people -- well, they are as mistreated as any on earth. In only nine nations -- among them Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia -- do more mothers die during childbirth. And in only 10 states, including Chad, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, is the average life expectancy lower. Right now the average Nigerian's average life span ends at 52. That may be why the median age of Nigerians is just 18.
A few months ago, the Economist Intelligence Unit published an evaluation of the best places for babies to born in 2013, given their probable welfare as children and the chance for a safe, comfortable, prosperous life. Switzerland, Australia and Norway were the top three. The United States came in at 16th, largely because "babies will inherit the large debts of the boomer generation."
Dead last: Nigeria. "It is the worst place for a baby to enter the world in 2013," the report said.
Even with all that wealth, only just over half the population has access to clean drinking water, and one-third to a toilet, UNICEF says. Two-thirds live below the poverty line. Only one child in four who contracts pneumonia is given antibiotics, and only about half the population is literate.
The CIA also cites endemic "soil degradation; rapid deforestation; urban air and water pollution." All this in a county whose gross domestic product stands at $236 billion a year, in the same league as Denmark, Chile, Israel and the United Arab Emirates -- prosperous, successful states to be envied.
Goodluck Jonathan is certainly aware of all of this. After all, taking the oath of office, he swore to "devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Nigeria. So help me God."
Well, just last week he demonstrated who he really is and what he stands for when he pardoned a former state governor who'd been convicted of embezzling state funds and laundering the money. That pardon triggered a broad, angry uproar.
Good luck, Mr. Jonathan. It's time you were impeached.
I say, GBAM!