Nigeria: A Land Of Empty Words And Phrases

Nigeria: A Land Of Empty Words And Phrases

We are a country that believes in so much words and little action. We love to couch intentions in big words which turn out to be a ruse at the end of the day. We love overusing words to a point of exhaustion.

For instance, I am amazed by our love for the word ‘war’. Whenever a Nigerian or the Nigerian government wants to fight or eradicate an evil or a vice, they are quick to use the word ‘war’. No wonder we have many of the endless wars.It was first the War Against Indiscipline(WAI),followed by War Against Indiscipline and Corruption. The aftermath of these ‘wars’ are still here for all of us to see. The WAIC truly reflects the saying that when a cat chooses to stay by the soup pot, it surely has an ulterior motive. When the most corrupt government decides to wage a war against corruption, we all know what the end will be. Had it been we had actually won the war against corruption, there would be no need for the vengeful EFCC and the tiger in the paper called ICPC. Apart from the regretful civil war in the 60’s, all other wars, be it against corruption or any other vices, were fought and won on pages of newspapers.

Another word that Nigerians have bastardized its meaning(s) in the forty -something years of our existence is ‘free’. this adjective is coined from the noun freedom. To start with , our police stations are good examples where the word ‘free’ is greatly traumatised. In every police post, bail is free. But is bail really free? The answer to this question is at our finger tips.

As if that abuse is not enough, the word free continues its tortorous journey in the manifestoes and policies of government .It is common to hear free health, free education,free this and free that during campaigns and even in speeches of public office holders. But how free is free? In many states in our dear country, free education means dearth of teaching materials; dilapidated and lizard-infested classroom buildings; underpaid and highly discouraged teachers and so on. Similarly, free health is equal to deathly queues; short supply of drugs. In most cases, patients end up buying drugs they need from drug stores outside. Indeed, free has lost its meaning in Nigeria.

‘Operation’ is another victim of misuse in Nigeria. From ‘Operation Feed the Nation’ to Operation Fire For Fire’, the story has been the same . How much of food the OFN has put on our tables can be seen by all of us. It has ended up putting some greenery on the farm of some Very Important People while our collective stomach suffers pangs of hunger. Tafa balogun’s Operation Fire for Fire has actually helped to curtail the rampage of robbers on our streets. What an operation ! It is was never put together to last the test of time.\par

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To Serve and Protect with integrity must ring a bell in the ears of every Nigerian. Whether on highway or intra-city roads,we all encounter this inscription on a black peugeot cars or jeeps that belong to our Police Force. I have always wondered whether the meaning of integrity has changed over the years. You see our men in black serving and protecting with integrity while lining their pockets with N20 collected from motorists. What an integrity! The inscription should be changed to something else!

During the last general elections back in April, 2007, the sitting president then, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was quoted to have said the matter of the elections then was a matter of do or die for the ruling party. Spirited efforts were made to colour the unstatemanly outburst of the former president by his numerous media advisers. But, we are wiser now as to the meaning of his do or die wahala. Useless phrases and words abound in this country in the name of government policies and pogrammes. Every discerning mind will wonder of what use are these to us. How much of our needs has NEEDS been able to provide for? What about the SEEDS at the state level? Have they sown any seed into the lives of the people at the grassroots?

At the tenth year into the millennium, I still wonder if the Millennium Development Goals have really had any impact on our lives. Yet, huge amount of money is still sunk into letting Nigerians know how useful the MDGs are to them. The roads are still bad. Unemployment is on the increase. Life is hellish. Nigerian youths are still trooping out of the country looking for greener pasture: even if it is washing toilets and dead bodies in foreign lands! It is also appalling to hear the phrase ‘state of emergency’ any time Nigerians want a change in any sector of the economy. We ure government to declare a state of emergency on everything that is not working in the land : education, power, agriculture, roads and other infrastructures. Yet, none of the emergencies declared has worked so far., except for the political ones declared in Plateau and Ekiti states.

Well, it is my conclusion that we need a man of action and not of beautifully coloured words which appear realistic on paper but seem unimplementable. We don’t need any points of agenda but action. The land is crumbling and Nigerians are groaning.
We are a country that believes in so much words and little action. We love to couch intentions in big words which turn out to be a ruse at the end of the day. We love overusing words to a point of exhaustion.

For instance, I am amazed by our love for the word ‘war’. Whenever a Nigerian or the Nigerian government wants to fight or eradicate an evil or a vice, they are quick to use the word ‘war’. No wonder we have many of the endless wars.It was first the War Against Indiscipline(WAI),followed by War Against Indiscipline and Corruption. The aftermath of these ‘wars’ are still here for all of us to see. The WAIC truly reflects the saying that when a cat chooses to stay by the soup pot, it surely has an ulterior motive. When the most corrupt government decides to wage a war against corruption, we all know what the end will be. Had it been we had actually won the war against corruption, there would be no need for the vengeful EFCC and the tiger in the paper called ICPC. Apart from the regretful civil war in the 60’s, all other wars, be it against corruption or any other vices, were fought and won on pages of newspapers.

Another word that Nigerians have bastardized its meaning(s) in the forty -something years of our existence is ‘free’. this adjective is coined from the noun freedom. To start with , our police stations are good examples where the word ‘free’ is greatly traumatised. In every police post, bail is free. But is bail really free? The answer to this question is at our finger tips.

As if that abuse is not enough, the word free continues its tortorous journey in the manifestoes and policies of government .It is common to hear free health, free education,free this and free that during campaigns and even in speeches of public office holders. But how free is free? In many states in our dear country, free education means dearth of teaching materials; dilapidated and lizard-infested classroom buildings; underpaid and highly discouraged teachers and so on. Similarly, free health is equal to deathly queues; short supply of drugs. In most cases, patients end up buying drugs they need from drug stores outside. Indeed, free has lost its meaning in Nigeria.

‘Operation’ is another victim of misuse in Nigeria. From ‘Operation Feed the Nation’ to Operation Fire For Fire’, the story has been the same . How much of food the OFN has put on our tables can be seen by all of us. It has ended up putting some greenery on the farm of some Very Important People while our collective stomach suffers pangs of hunger. Tafa balogun’s Operation Fire for Fire has actually helped to curtail the rampage of robbers on our streets. What an operation ! It is was never put together to last the test of time.\par

\par

To Serve and Protect with integrity must ring a bell in the ears of every Nigerian. Whether on highway or intra-city roads,we all encounter this inscription on a black peugeot cars or jeeps that belong to our Police Force. I have always wondered whether the meaning of integrity has changed over the years. You see our men in black serving and protecting with integrity while lining their pockets with N20 collected from motorists. What an integrity! The inscription should be changed to something else!

During the last general elections back in April, 2007, the sitting president then, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was quoted to have said the matter of the elections then was a matter of do or die for the ruling party. Spirited efforts were made to colour the unstatemanly outburst of the former president by his numerous media advisers. But, we are wiser now as to the meaning of his do or die wahala. Useless phrases and words abound in this country in the name of government policies and pogrammes. Every discerning mind will wonder of what use are these to us. How much of our needs has NEEDS been able to provide for? What about the SEEDS at the state level? Have they sown any seed into the lives of the people at the grassroots?

At the tenth year into the millennium, I still wonder if the Millennium Development Goals have really had any impact on our lives. Yet, huge amount of money is still sunk into letting Nigerians know how useful the MDGs are to them. The roads are still bad. Unemployment is on the increase. Life is hellish. Nigerian youths are still trooping out of the country looking for greener pasture: even if it is washing toilets and dead bodies in foreign lands! It is also appalling to hear the phrase ‘state of emergency’ any time Nigerians want a change in any sector of the economy. We ure government to declare a state of emergency on everything that is not working in the land : education, power, agriculture, roads and other infrastructures. Yet, none of the emergencies declared has worked so far., except for the political ones declared in Plateau and Ekiti states.

Well, it is my conclusion that we need a man of action and not of beautifully coloured words which appear realistic on paper but seem unimplementable. We don’t need any points of agenda but action. The land is crumbling and Nigerians are groaning.



5 thoughts on “Nigeria: A Land Of Empty Words And Phrases” by rasheed (@biyicrown)

  1. Nigeria, i hail thee!
    You repeated the article, or is that Admin’s error?
    Nice one. Think i’ll post some of my Nigeria blasting articles.

  2. Well, Rasheed, I share your bitterness, but I don’t STAY bitter. It’s not healthy for me, AT ALL!!! Crying over the beautiful but unimplementable words the Nigerian government document and shelve in their various cabinets hasn’t solved the problem, has it? Too much grammar dey bring migraine for head, o! It’s a waste of good energy, my dear. Channel this energy to productive things, because whether you like or not, Nigerians (including the Nigerian federal government, state and local governments) are working ways to make sure each beautiful word ever uttered or penned down is acted upon, even though the pace at which this is happening is a very slow one. Why do you think I joined the theatre, hm?

    Abeg tell me something I don’t know, biko! :(

    1. Rasheed, check very well, e be like say the repetition of this musing of yours was accidentally done by you, not the Admin. If you’re re-looking and re-writing this, look out for those small but noticeable typo errors, hm?

  3. okay
    you dont seem to be that optimistic but i am
    good piece still.

  4. Rasheed, take am easy. Nigeria go survive. God have mercy.

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