If you look at the faces of many whom you pass on the street, you will notice just a little something. Something unique to a sinking nation that uses corruption as a banner. The people love corruption like ‘crack’ and they live high on it. It is more of an addiction they cannot do with out. The leaders loot all they can lay their hands on and let nothing out of their sight. They sit at the table with the selected few and share the loot amongst themselves. Everybody now wants a share of the loot because it is lucrative. The people fend for themselves and none looks out for the other.
I was told that faces are the screen on which people’s emotions are displayed. They show what we feel deep within our hearts. Some faces may mask what their true feelings are, but the ones I am looking at hides nothing. I am sitting in a cramped bus on the mowe-Ibafo route along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Mowe is a settlement in Ogun state of Nigeria. I am sitting at the corner of the bus staring at the tired and weary faces. None of these faces has a smile on it. Even the conductor, who is being paid, can’t afford such a luxury. It makes me to wonder, “What is wrong with them all?”
Every night they sleep hoping tomorrow will be better than yesterday. They live in a country of decay and rot, where right has lost its value. Though I love my country, I just can’t lie about this one. Does this make me less of a patriot? I hope not. The country has taken away the smiles of many, including the faces I am looking at now. Their faces are so wooden that a wood carver would be happy to use one. They chose leaders hoping they will lead them but they turn out to rob them. They rob the masses with reckless abandon, making sure the coffers are empty before they let it be.
Who else is there to blame but the leaders, past and present. They come and go with only one thing in mind- looting. Why won’t they loot when the law is so lenient on them? It is lax on the looters and rather gives them a pat. They can do as they please and none holds them accountable. Therefore, the masses suffer in silence waiting for the messiah. They live believing that tomorrow will be better than today. The people do nothing but wait. The messiah is yet to come. So the silence continues with a tight lip. Nobody tries to smile because they are afraid it will turn to cries. The pain they feel is welled up inside and with only a few do they share.
Look at their faces in the bus, in the street, in the market places. They wear a bleak mask for all to see. Only a few of the population can laugh and smile in satisfaction. More than 80 percent of the population is weighed down by hardship and are looking for a way out. There are so many questions to ask and no answer to give. How did we get here? When did we get here? What happened? What did we do wrong? It is just sad that a blessing can also be a curse. A country so blessed with resources that have turned to a curse for the masses.
I just hope there is a future because the ruins are getting too much. The masses have lost their smiles and may soon lose their hope. Many are getting tired of waiting and hoping for a change. I’m tired too.