Column Opinion

Nigerians Are Multidimensionally Happy…

By Prince Charles Dickson Ph.D

How do you show you’re happy?

If you’re a cat, you purr. If you’re a dog, you wag your tail. And if you’re a rabbit, you bust out your best binky moves. You read that right — binky.

When rabbits are happy, they do this crazy kind of move called a binky. Each bunny has its own binky style, but it’s a kind of jumping, midair twist with a kick and a little hop or two on the landing. Some bunnies’ binkies can reach almost three feet in the air!

If you watch a bunny binky, you can’t help but be happy too.

So back to that first question: How do you show your happiness? Sure, there are tough days, but there are also wonderful days when everything seems to go your way. You wake up to your favorite breakfast, ace the test, and find an extra naira in your pocket. There are days when God blesses you with a chance to help a friend or the opportunity to learn something new about Him. And there are so-so days that are still amazing because you get to share them with Him.

So how do you let the world know life is good? Smile, sing, whistle, or dance — whatever says “happy” to you.

Just be sure to thank the One who gave you all those reasons to be happy.

So, how do Nigerians show they are happy, a nation that the latest Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report on Nigeria, released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) this November, shows the country has a higher incidence of poor people but less intensity of deprivation, even though the report measured more indicators of poverty than in the past.

How do people considering 15 indicators, instead of the 10 indicators in the past 2 surveys, with at least 133 million, 63% of the country’s population, suffering from multidimensional poverty see happiness?

Furthermore, the 2022 Multidimensional Poverty Index Report MPI noted that the extent of the deprivations that these 113 million poor people suffer is at an average of 40.9%. With these kinds of statistics what’s there to be happy about?

Nigerians are happy, we are still high up there in the index of happy people, and I add very happy people. People kidnapped, robbed, flooded, week in, week out. And yet thanksgiving services with dances of all types and executions follow suit. We are happy jare…forget all that multidimensional English!

We remain a proud people, joyous in nature, never put down by ‘little’ setbacks like stealing leaders. Visit a state where workers were owed seven months salaries on a Saturday, you see women and girls adorned in expensive glittering ‘aso-ebis’. Thousands spent on event planners/transport/comperes and more.

We are happy people, we love to party and forget that ‘MPI’ thing, we have continued in our happy nature unabated. We are happy that Ghana lost her match to Portugal because they denied us that spot to be at the mundial.

We attend ‘suna’ (naming ceremonies) and’ igba nkwo’ (traditional wedding) and ‘oku’ (funeral party) of the same leaders we accuse of looting us dry. It gives us loads of joy and happiness, you get free food and booze and a fight if you are at the right party.

We are happy people, the only people who after being used, abused, disused, and misused are tortured with the flamboyance, and ostentatious living and all we do is admire them and cling to hope—after all, ‘my turn will soon come’.

Happy people: very few countries can live the way we do, weeks without light because the power transformer is bad, yet you pay bills. Fuel stations have no commodity yet opposite those stations, young men sell the same fuel at hyper-black prices for a product we are blessed in quantum with.

We are sad people, when the thief who is looting is from the otherside, but when it’s from our town, we use the phrase “he is helping our people”. And because stealing is everywhere, we all are happy.

‘Multidimensional my foot, tell that to the birds–we bribe the police and accuse them of taking bribes. We don’t really pay electricity tariffs yet we say ‘there’s no light’, when actually it’s a case of Aso Rock owes PHCN, PHCN owes gas company, that one owes staff, the staff is in debt of school fees, rent and utility. We are happy people!

Maybe if the report had said we multidimensionally grumble, no arguments. Maybe we complain most, that’s true, yes maybe we are amongst nations with most problems. But how do you know Nigerians are happy…

People who pay in recruitment scams in the police, immigration, army, civil service etc are happy people.

A nation that has bribes for admission scams, or money for marks in schools scams. Rent without house agent frauds. Pension fraud, electoral fraud, where girls date six guys simultaneously and men date five women including their secretary, wife’s best friend and driver’s wife and nothing happens…cannot be multidimensionally poor.

How many suicides can be traced to spirited men that were tired of the system and called it quits–fact is we kill to be happy because in Nigeria happiness is it. We steal to be happy because that’s the real deal. We want to be happy not because we are sad but because we want a status quo.

We want change, but don’t want to change, and are weary of change, a Nigerian adage says an erect penis has no conscience. Nigerians are not multidimensionally poor, when an accountant general would steal money enough to pay all the nation’s university teachers salaries, no real arrest, no outrage. We are happy, if we really are poor, it is not because we are poor, it is because we are multidimensionally happy and not pained enough to do things differently.

How do you know a Nigerian is happy; he runs kitikata on the same spot and blames everyone but himself, so, as long as the thief is from his hood, he is happy, as long as his neigbour also does not have electricity, as long as his enemies, real or imaginary are suffering some fate he is exempted from, as long as he is winning a football game he was ill-prepared for, as long as he gets a job he least deserves and more; he is happy, when will that change—only time will tell.

Contact the writer: pcdbooks@gmail.com

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