Column Opinion

What You Won’t Hear In Nigeria…

By Prince Charles Dickson PhD

…So, what you won’t hear in Nigeria does not exist

For a nation that has completely lost its sense of rage, the norm has long become abnormal, the abnormal, so very normal and a way of life.

What holds sway are deviant attitudes supported by an elite leadership well disconnected from the people they govern, and a docile populace.

Despite the best of efforts, we are a society where leadership continues to deny rape that is so obvious, a society that has lost its sense of morality as policemen would fight publicly for N20, that is when they are not killing an innocent soul for the same amount.

Education is on the decline, systems that seem to have held the fabric are gradually collapsing and yet no rage. We try to find character yet it eludes us, as we battle ourselves, the federalists, the unionists, the republican and the secessionists.

What you cannot hear in Nigeria does not exist, whether it is corruption, nepotism, abandoned projects, lack of infrastructure, bloated government, insecurity and lack of decisive will in governance, they all exist.

Confidence in government is at two extremes, one; totally lost while at the other end, it is divided along fault lines and poverty of thought, while government has no commitment and has ability, or its ability is never matched with commitment. It seems perpetually that those that should know do not know, our leaders are on permanent sabbatical from critical national duty.

We owe teachers, we owe resident doctors, we owe civil servants, we owe pensioners, we painfully, owe ourselves the simple task of securing our own lives and property. Not much is working these days, if I say that I average 15 hours of electricity everyday, some would ask where, others would say you are lucky, as others pay for electricity that does not exist, like many amenities nothing works in our land and despite all the opportunities. We have continued to remain a nation of misplaced priorities and dashed hopes.

Anytime we try to troubleshoot, it is more of partial oncology but the real cancer is still there. Policy somersaults by various functionaries of government, as citizens suffer loss of appetite, fatigue and memory slip at what best government practices should be, and how a responsive citizenry should act.

A people that have a crass sense of entitlement, without accountability from ‘them’ or those that lead them; Yes, the government should do this, and do that, but what are we doing to hold the government accountable to what they should be doing.

We have refused to make substantial investment to grow new ideas in education, health and other sectors. We do not have an agreeable concept, philosophy, ideology that defines patriotism, so no one is willing to die for a nation that kills her own citizens through bad and un-motorable roads, deadbeat hospitals, heavy-handed security agents, bandits, kidnappers, and unknown gunmen.

We keep fighting each other, the North has an idle population good, only for elections and for violence, the South is fixated on power while insecurity gradually and steadily creeps stealthily in, what you won’t hear does not exist, are we not the same people that politicians riddled about how ‘god’ told them this and that.

Did you hear the President tell us that a member of the National Assembly was responsible for funding the two prodigal sons from the south, really what you will not hear does not exist, we fed 10 million school children during a lockdown. We witnessed a Chief Justice of the nation assassinated and nothing happened more than a decade and still counting. We were unashamedly treated to the brutal murder of the late Dora’s hubby, a doctor and gentleman; and truth is, no one will ever be prosecuted nor convicted.

Have you listened to our leaders speak, ‘wallahi’ what you cannot hear does not exist, they tell us about a nation so touted to be the heaven of all manner of potentials and we suffer in the hands of the same (s)elect few for their cluelessness?

I am not an unrepentant pessimist or see no-good critic, Politics is dirty, politicians are the same almost everywhere but then there is principle, and integrity. In Nigeria we have suitcase carrying politicians. No plan, and no focus except a strong desire, and objective to loot. That is why a man born in Lagos, grew up in Lagos, works in Lagos, is elected into office and the next thing, he embarks on a familiarization tour of his very own backyard.

Nigeria, the land of the extraordinaire, a land where it all happens, a land that never ceases to amaze many, the land of Generals, from the good, the very good, sometimes the best, to also the bad, ugly and dirty, the land famed for the biggest political frauds by the name of APC and PDP. A lot has been written about us; much more will still be written.

A populace that believes ‘god’ is a Nigerian or that there is a Nigerian ‘god’ and somehow, we feel, we will still scale through, call it faith, call it perseverance, call it foolishness, call it being naivety, whatever term we apply, it is just that inherent thing that makes us Nigerians, because strangely we sail through…The Nigerian in Nigeria, and the Nigeria in a Nigerian you might want to say…

When one tries to take a deeper and more retrospective outlook to this never-ending experiment called Nigeria from as many positives that I can lay my hands on. The more one thinks of it, the more sickening it is for me and I am sure a considerable number of Nigerians feel the same way. 

The enormous material resources, the natural endowments at our disposal and the colossal waste that greets it and I concluded that we are a nation of miscarriage before pregnancy.

I tried to make sense of the nonsense we have become over the years, we are still crawling, still suckling, and younger nations, lesser democracies are chewing the big bite of development, forward thinking, positive strategizing and we are making speeches and drawing plans on the board. I cannot but wonder what we are talking about, we just defy logical reasoning, we are a rule to an exception, the grossly unusual is usual to us…

We continue in the business-as-usual style that has become our trademark…Nigerians want the basics of life, good shelter, good food and affordable healthcare. They want a plan that can guarantee a future for them, they want to know that home is good. Nigerians in diaspora want to come back to a home that works. Those in the country do not want to leave. We want roads that are not death traps. A political structure that despite all the political mumbo jumbo would still work.

We are all critics in our own right but have we really talked about what matters most, that while we have engaged in infinitesimal arguments that sometimes are as clear as the sun can be from the moon, we have left out the very important.

We are all talking but the fact is that we have barely spared time to listen.

Has anyone thought about how we can be self-sufficient as a nation, have we talked about our unity as a people, have we talked about how we can make the rural farmer happy to remain in the farm and feed the nation, how about primary health care, do we not see that we are millions of steps backwards in industrialization?

The above is just a tip…this is our story as a nation, while a set of Nigerians are toiling for the good of the country, a set are working so hard to earn a decent living, another set called leadership exploits our lack of purpose and the circle sadly goes round and round.

Indeed, what a Nigerian cannot do does not exist, what you will not hear does not exist in this nation, but I end with this poser, can a Nigerian leader do accountability, social justice and reconciliation, can we see a nation that is facing her fears, until we are ready to do what has not been done, we will be stuck where we are, for how long—Only time will tell.

Contact the writer: pcdbooks@gmail.com

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