“Oh God, not again”, I said with a loud voice.
“What’s that? My wife asked curiously from our bedroom doorway.
“Can’t you see the light is gone and I was watching an interesting program on the TV.” “Is that all?
“Yes, that’s all, “I answered her.
Bolah smiled, “Tunde it’s about time you woke up from your slumber -. “
“What slumber? “I queried
“The one that has consumed you long ago thereby making it difficult to face the reality of power failure in Nigeria”
I hissed and went into the bedroom.
“Besides, it’s not yet dark so I didn’t know the light was gone “my wife said
We were silent for awhile.
“I wonder when we’ll be out of the woods.”
“Which woods?” my wife asked. “Even the presidency buys diesel to fuel their generators.”
“But what kind of country is this? “ I asked “you’ll think with the change of name, things will get better,” I lamented.
“It only worsened the situation,” she added
“the name I grew up to know was NEPA-“
“Never expect power always, you mean?” My wife interrupted.
“Then they changed to NEP PLC and immediately they coined a name never expect power – please, light candles,” we both laughed at this sad development.
“Then they came out with another name PHCN and immediately it was decoded to mean problem has changed name” Bolah added.
“And we call our self the giant of Africa or giant in the sun; what utter rubbish, am sure the powerless giant will be more appropriate in describing this country.
But that my friend is the sad story of my beloved country- Nigeria Independence has come that fateful day, 1st October 1960 precisely with pomp and pageantry. We had celebrated but alas reality soon began starring us in the face as the political crisis the first fruit of our corrupt birth began to rear it’s ugly head. Then we suddenly discovered that getting independence was different from living together as a nation. You could liken this to a marriage; the wedding ceremony with all the accompanying razzmatazz is just for a day after which the couple are expected to begin the marriage. A union on a wrong foundation would experience serious challenges.
This was the case with my beloved Nigeria. Right from the moment we missed it in the early sixties, we have not been able to get it right. The military had overthrown the politicians and after a thirty month Civil war, for 29 years Nigeria remained in the grip of the military which unleashed corruption of a frightening magnitude.
While other countries were making giant strides in development and rapid advancement, Nigeria remained stagnated while the ruling class battled for power.
Without warning, we woke up one morning and started calling ourselves “the giant of Africa”. What was our yardstick for this title? Was it our civil war? Or was it the years we had spent under military rule and the attendant corruption? Or better still was it our decayed infrastructures? Please someone out there help me here. What was the rationale for the title giant of Africa. When after forty years as a nation we were yet to conduct free and fair elections? The Military suddenly became butchers, chasing Civilians into exile for opposing them. Even when a free and fair election was conducted the Military refused to cede power to the winner of the election.
As the Military tightened its grip on the nation’s jugular, so did our Nation sink deeper and deeper into corruption? We have become a pariah among the nations. Corruption has reduced us to an object of ridicule.
Our infrastructures are decayed, university undergraduates spend more time at home than in school, little wonder no Nigerian University was listed among worthy African Universities, our roads are death traps where many citizens have been dispatched into eternity before their time.
Giant of Africa or more like the giant in diapers, our hospitals are mere consulting rooms, the government and doctors continually at war while helpless patients die from preventable diseases. Our infant and maternal mortality rate remains the highest in the world.
Giant of Africa yet polio remains a challenge to our babies and nation in general while many unscrupulous government officials feed fat from funds voted to fight the disease.
Giant indeed – South Africa generates 40, 000 megawatts of electricity, while the giant of Africa can hardly generate and sustain 6,000 megawatts and yet the government continues to increase electricity tariff.
Oh Nigeria, giant of Africa- giant in the sun who had bewitched you and stalled your growth. Your leaders eat in the morning and by the ninth hour they are already drunk while the nation slips into the abyss of corruption.
Oh Nigeria, former giant of Africa but now the giant and king of corruption. See what this hydra headed monster has done to your people. Corruption has eaten all facets of the nation, and has brought in corrupt Indians who are enslaving our brothers/sisters, killing others through running our airspace with ancient and out dated planes.
In our forty three years of aviation history, we have recorded forty two plane crashes. Families have been thrown into grief due to greed and incompetence of our leaders.
Oh Nigeria, giant of Africa, you have now become giant of terrorism with the government watching as Boko Harram holds the nation hostage and the government can only come out to say that Nigerians should brace up because bombing has come to stay. Since when did living with terrorist become a way of life?
Questions; Questions yet nobody capable to give answers.
But wait a minute, where is the Church in all these? We are known to have the biggest number of churches yet evil continues to roam our streets unleashing, destruction on the masses. So where is the church? The answer is not farfetched – many church leaders have left their calling and are now serving tables. Little wonder nobody is afraid of the church anymore.
We want to be among the most viable twenty economic nations by the year 2020 hence the slogan 20-20-20. But with the corruption that has ravaged our shaky frame, it will be a miracle to get there.
Oh giant of Africa; why do you have thieves as leaders, why are you morally bankrupt and celebrate thieves instead of punishing them. Why are you not like Ghana, South Africa where people are fired and jailed for corruption or China where they are executed for corruption. Instead, in your own case, you give them titles like Igwe, Otunba, Oba, Jagaban etc. Now you have added another feather to your corrupt cap by giving corrupt government officials mild jail terms with option of fine. Individuals are more powerful than anti-corruption institutions- how do we then tame or eradicate corruption?
If you can’t beat them join them has become more important and widely circulated than your national anthem and pledge joined together. There is no merit, justice in our government and Civil Service. Instead, its tribalism, god fatherism, nepotism etc.
Oh giant in the sun; your Civil Service reeks of corruption – ghost workers, fake certificates, over invoicing on purchases and contracts, bottom power has become the order of the day and the new way to the top for the ladies. The stench of corruption from the Civil Service is potent enough to bring a dead man back to life.
In the past, the slogan was look left, look right and look left again – this was when crossing the road so as to avoid being knocked down by vehicles. But today, the slogan in town is look left, look right and left again to avoid the crazy danfo drivers and okada riders then look up to ensure an over aged and rickety aircraft is not falling and then look back to be sure there is no bomb behind you.
Oh Nigeria – giant in the sun, kilode? See what corruption has done to you. The crude oil instead of being a boom, has become your doom and the hottest bed for corruption. Oh giant of Africa, the Olympics had ended despite the huge sums of tax payers money wasted no single medal is attached to your name. while countries many do not know exist are winning medals you the giant of Africa could not win any. Maybe if they had added corruption as an event in the Olympics we know you would have won the gold, silver and bronze in the corruption event because you are the king of corruption and no rival.
Oh God save Nigeria save us from destroying ourselves…
“Tunde, Tunde” my wife called.
“yes, what?” I asked turning
”there is light na, you’re still thinking about Nigeria?”
It was more of a statement than a question.
“ Please take it easy –o,” she pleaded.
“What’s the time? I asked
“seven o’clock”, she replied.
“Wow,” I exclaimed” what’s for dinner?
oluwa ese – o there is still appetite for food,” Bolah remarked smiling.
“Say what you like – we need God’s deliverance in this country” i replied
“Amen to that”, she chorused in agreement as she disappeared into the kitchen.
“Oh God, not again”, I said with a loud voice.