Chude Jideonwo: We are living like animals in this country

by Chude Jideonwo

Ambulance and a throng of people at the scene of the #danaCrash


It occurred to me for the first time as I sat in the car’s front seat and felt my father’s cold corpse in the back. The nurses at the Ikorodu General Hospital had just said no to his body. He had died from heart failure an hour or two before. They needed a police report.

I couldn’t believe the coldness of it. But I had yet to see – or hear – the worst. Because I am born and bred in Nigeria, I knew that at 11pm the body of my dear father might rot if I sat there pondering the inanity of the request or stood up to argue its inhumanity, so I led the convoy to the nearest police station.

There, with the most pointed lack of compassion I had ever witnessed up onto that point, the police proceeded to haggle with themselves over how much they would extract from a 24-year-old who had just lost his father – a father whose dead body was only a few meters away.

As they dropped my father’s body in that unkempt, abominable mortuary (one in which I had to tip the caretaker daily on my way to work so that the corpse would be well taken care of), I could only think of what an abominable country I am so unfortunate to come from, and to live in.

I recalled that scene yesterday as I came across pictures of rotten corpses stacked on each other in a room – victims of Sunday’s Dana Air crash. As a friend put it, they were “rotting carcasses of human beings stacked on each other, fluids mingling.”

I remember my father – and how he, and I, were treated like animals because our country does not care for any one.

These dead bodies weren’t victims of a serial killer locked in a room for months or of a brutal civil war with shut-down health-care services – these were (dead) citizens of a country, who had just been visited by their president a day before, nonetheless treated in death with disrespect. They had been killed by their country – and it couldn’t even pack their bodies well.

I sit down (in darkness, because I cannot stand the terrible sound of my generator this one night) in my living room as I write – and I can only think to myself, oh you Dana Frequent Flier Chude, it could have been you.

It’s not just that it could have been me. That’s not the worst part. This is the worst past: I could have been the one in that flight waiting for 20 minutes after a fatal crash and then knowing the plane would explode because I live in a wretched country where emergency services would arrive only about an hour after, and people will die who could have been saved.

That’s the part that gets me. And as these miserable government officials scramble to protect their irrelevant jobs so that they can make enough money to buy First Class tickets on airlines that might crash and kill their children tomorrow, I realize what an intensely hopeless case our country is.

So I ask myself; why are we still in Nigeria – a country that does not deserve many of us – even when we have a choice? Why are we living a country that cannot safeguard us, cannot support us, will not satisfy us? What madness keeps me here?

The logical thing to do is to leave fastest way we can; once the opportunity that turns up. But we stay, because e go better, because it is well, because God dey; because somehow somehow we think we can survive it; maybe even improve it – despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

(Read the YNaija Editorial: It’s time to get desperate HERE)

Maybe we can and maybe we cannot. But this I know: I don’t want my child to grow up in this mess.

What am I even saying? My child will not grow up in this mess. No child deserves to live in a country where its people have chosen to live like animals. Especially not the four children of the Anyaenes, who have gone to be with the Lord, but didn’t need to be burnt to pieces in the process.

Burnt to death by Nigeria and piled up like animals in a room, one body on top of the other … fluids mingling.

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Comments (83)

  1. Mortuary is a whiteman’s tradition exported to Africa. African tradition demands that a corpse should be buried within 48 hours at the most, for reasons of health and hygiene, to avoid flies spreading disease from the decomposition of the body,
    Why should a family decide to place a corpse in the mortuary, especially when it is known that there is no freezer to function adequately ?
    Is it for ostentatious display of “come and see” celebration ?
    The Islamic method of burial within 24 hours is something to be emulated.
    A family that keeps the body of a dearly loved member in a mortuary, simply to plan a protracted and over-expensive funeral, when it would be better to bury the diseased as soon as possible, without delay; and then gather for post-interrement celebrations at their mutually agreed convenience; should know better than to complain about the stacking of bodies in a charnel room that is misnamed “mortuary”.
    What else do they expect.
    The day that I visited a family member at Ikeja General hospital, in the casualty ward, and went outside in search of the toilet, I passed by s doorless room, which stank of human debris. It was not the mortuary, just a holding room, where victims were placed prior to identification and documentation processing.
    It was then that I saw the wisdom of my late father’s request that his body should never be abandoned to the reckless ignominies of local mortuaries, regardless of expense or sophisticated equipment. Since then, when ever I have any say in the matter, I always advise that any fresh corpse should be buried promptly and intact, without the debasing extremes of autopsy, carving up and butchering the body of a loved one, as if death itself is not enough indignity, without having to defile the sanctity of corporeal integrity.
    Why does a corpse have to be displayed two weeks after demise, by which time the features are macabre and frightening. A fresh corpse is more serene, and the sooner it is committed to the Earth, intact, the better for those left behind; rather than borrowing money to declare ‘surplus’ in the wearing of expensive costumes, feting and ‘closing road’ with chairs and tables and alcohol and jollof-rice and pounded yam; only to suffer the poverty of debt thusly incurred.
    This same mentality carries over into the selfish misbehaviour of those who get to any position of power, whether it be political or economic or commercial or educational or religious; each person wants to take everything for himself and his own immediate family, without sparing any thought for the welfare and progress of other ‘less-fortunate’ citizens.

  2. Nigerians have become worse than refugees living in their homeland being ruled by their townspeople and we say we're free and independent.

    No, Nigeria needs to be liberated and freed from this oppression!

  3. Chude OON, sorry about the loss of your father. May his soul rest in peace.

    Hmmm! So we diasporans are not unpatriotic after all.

    "why are we still in Nigeria – a country that does not deserve many of us – even when we have a choice?"

    We must not be sentimental about Nigeria or living there.

  4. right question.

    I doubt how many people will truly say "YES"

  5. Sorry to hear about your dad! Chude, I know you to be a strong advocate of the "E go better" philosophy. But as for me, I gave up on living in Nigeria about a decade ago. And that's why Applause Africa now operates fully from the United States. Everyone has just one life to live, and I believe you should live it to the fullest. In most parts of the world, people life their lives; in Nigeria, their lives life them! I am so proud of The Future Awards as it enters its 7th year. It actually does remind me that truly, e go better!

  6. Thank you Ekundayo Samuel, I am getting better, this girl is not for dying! God bless you bruv, I am praying with you but we need something rash to happen to Nigeria, then radical change will come. There are people who pray and believe in God here too. In fact my relationship with God has gotten better since I got here. I speak to my own system with the word of God and it hears. I am a child of God, a prophet and priest, just like you and every other person who is worshipping God and God alone and having that close relationship with Him, loving what He loves and hating what He hates, being devoted, trusting and faithful, obedient to His word.

  7. This is the only comment that ignites hope because it is backed with pragmatic solution. Others were complain laden with bitterness. Though I have since lost hope in Nigeria, I couldn't think of a better place to raise my kids when I begin to have a family. America may be safe, but i will be a second or third grade citizen constantly adjusting to the social norm and reacting to news, opinion and decision of the "Superior citizen"; On this basis alone, I am ready to fight for the soul of Nigeria. Please Count Me in.

  8. The story of Dana Plane Crash Victims is the story of us all; and the cry of Chude is the cry of us all.

    As long as we keep hanging to false hope, our story Dana Plane Crash Victims, and the cry of Chude, will remain unchanged.

  9. i do not agree with u…….every country has their peculiar problem

  10. Wow such a powerful article and yet finally hitting the bitter truth. I feel at times Nigerians do not want to face reality until something such as massive as the plane crash hits them .

    I myself was on the crusade from the US to want to go back to Nigeria, and want to get involved in a new direction, but after taking the time to really understand our system I have realized the govt is not going to change anytime soon and those that say they are coming to change the govt on a white horse I look at them twice.

    I do believe we have chances to making impacts through private businesses but once again it is very easy to get caught up in govt regulation.

    I am just sad that Nigeria with all our resources, potential, and human capital we have come to this point. It is just a pity what we have become.

  11. I usually experience a mild chest pain periodically due to cold weather, but Sunday night was something else. I had the worst experience ever in my chest, the pain I felt like i was being stabbed over and over even though the weather wasn't really cold that night, but my country was COLD, hearts were COLD, the earth was COLD, and that gave the reason for the chest pain which I felt and I'm still but it is milder now.

    This is not the first time we're complaining, and so I took a different route this time around and i asked myself:

    What next after; the pain, the grief, the sorrow, and of course the complaints? And alas! I found the answer between lines of these excerpts:

    "we did not start the fire but we are burning now; we did not start the war but we are fighting now"…..words of Lucky Dube in his track titled MICKEY MOUSE FREEDOM

    And to bring it home,

    "there's fire on the mountain but no one is on the run; one day the river will overflow and there will be no where left to run to….then we would wish we had put out the fire"….words of our sister Asa in her track titled FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN

    What most of us (especially the supposed generation of hope) crave for is to own a comfortable home, a nice car, have a classy wedding, mingle with the high and mighty, seek cyber glory, and all other good things of life EXCEPT FOR ONE THING, to fight for and contribute to the development of a society in which comfort isn't just defined by the monetary value involved but by the peaceful state of mind we experience.

    On daily basis, our love for country is becoming glaringly feigned or perhaps, cloned. We pant for the beneficial aspect of being change agents but not for the sacrificial aspect. It is easier to blame the Government for the rot in the system, but let's remember that WE MAKE THE SYSTEM COMPLETE.

    After all said and done, we will keep being on the hurting side no matter how far away we might be from the shores of the Nation. The occurrences in the country aren't as heart breaking as hearing the "HOPE" that is left saying they want to jet-out. Let's have a moment of truth beloved countrymen,

    We are all failing ourselves.

    This is where I belong, this is where I call HOME, and I VOW to thee my country NIGERIA not to continue in the path of crashing you and dealing with your corpse with utter disregard. As much as I will keep ACTING, I will also keep praying that you shall not die, but RISE to DAZE the World someday. I believe!

    Long Live Nigeria!!

    Long Live My Fellow Country men!!

  12. Joy!!

    I can't help but comment on this. When the HOPE of the FUTURE are all "blending in" grappling for cyber glory which is born out of a deep-seated FEAR OF TOMORROW though falsely denied, I am afraid the worst is yet to come….and then we shall remember…..

    "we did not start the fire but we are burning now; we did not start the war but we are fighting now"…..words of Lucky Dube in his track titled MICKEY MOUSE FREEDOM

    And to bring home,

    "there's fire on the mountain but no one is on the run; one day the river will overflow and there will be no where left to run to….then we would wish we had put out the fire"….words of our sister Asa in her track titled FIRE ON THE MOUNTAIN

    We are all failing ourselves.

  13. "The lines have blurred between activism and showmanship. We are all in a continuous struggle, not for love of country, but for self gratification and building brand equity." ON POINT!!

  14. this country will continue to affect us.. no matter what.
    because our roots are here, and we can only but be a part of our roots.
    when their parents left over 30years ago, they were not even born.
    yet they died in this crash.. http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/05/us/nigeria-cras
    we must make this country great again. We must by all means come together to demand greatness.

  15. "The responsibility of a country is not in the hands of a privileged few. We are strong, and we are free from tyranny as long as each one of us remembers his or her duty as a citizen. Whether it's to report a pothole at the top of your street or lies in a State of the Union address, speak out! Ask those questions. Demand that truth. Democracy is not a free ride, man. I'm here to tell you. But, this is where we live. And if we do our job, this is where our children will live. God bless America". Joe Wilson. And I say, God bless Nigeria…Even if we can individually run away, what about our family members, friends and those that are not that lucky to run away? We need in our own little ways, individually and collectively, start to make concious efforts to get our societal values back on the positive track. The change we require will start with us…

  16. First of all may the soul of those that died in the ill fate plane crash rest in perfect peace. May the good Lord receive their soul, Amen. A lot of good men, women and kids died in a disaster that should not have happened. This is really sad. What happened was very unfortunate and sad, I had wanted to keep silent and quietly mourn the faithfully departed. However, people have been going on and on with people and government bashing. I am not holding brief for Jonathan’s government, but we as a people are facing new challenges in this country. This government did not cause all these problems. Now, even in developed countries, they are never 100 percent ready for disasters and they do not always have a rescue plan in place. Flood is a problem in certain parts of the UK, yet every year the government fails to put in place adequate measures to safeguard the loss of lives and properties. Whenever there is heavy snowing, Britain almost shuts down. I am not comparing Nigeria and the Western world, yes our government is inefficient in many areas, but I think we should all come together as a people and proffer solutions. Furthermore we should all ensure that the people that caused the plane to crash are made to face justice. We have been experiencing plane crashes in this country that should never have happened. The government have sanitised the aviation industry, but a lot still needs to be done. Let us all keep up the pressure and ensure that sustainable reforms are carried out and that those behind Dana Air are punished. On the issue of rescue and crowd control, we are a people that watch out for one another because most times, the government is not there for us. This is an opportunity for the government to put in place a comprehensive rescue plan/procedure for the country that will combat such disasters. Disasters will always occur. Let the government learn for this, it is sad that we are not a country that tries to prevent problems from occurring; rather we wait for problems to happen before acting, even in some cases we still do not act after a problem has occurred. These men, women and children that needlessly lost their lives in this plane crash are heroes. They should not die in vain. Let this mark a turning point in our history, let the government do what they have to do in order to make sure that this does not happen again. We as the people will keep on asking the government questions and proffering solutions. Of course many people are angry and rightly so, because this should not have happened in the first place. However this is our country and one day we will get it right at least for the sake of our children and grand-children. This is our country and so many people still love this country despite its problems. We cannot allow this country to die… I am of the view that the government should do something to immortalise the victims of the plane crash…I mean they were murdered, literally…

  17. Oh Mine…This is sad,why should their bodies be stacked together?..Am so ashamed of my country and everyone's self disinterestedness.

  18. Heavy heart! We speak, we go silent. They rule cos they believe we don't have a choice," don't worry there will adjust' they wiLl say. We are all guilt, yes I am ! same blood will not be on my children. But how do I stop it, running away , for how long, staying who will I go to, they are all connected to same cabal or will be forced to join so they can't speak. They refuse to lay the foundation becos of the wickedness in there hearts. But Gods sword is their last option. Did I hear you say when will it start, his wrath will come upon them. Cursed be on them that has caused us this ill fate, they feel their children will eat from it, there children will disgrace them. A country ruled by cheaters and lairs, fraudsters and gamblers, evil thinkers and satanic Agent. #when will my beloved country be good.

  19. I have always said it and for emphasis i will say again- Nigeria is God's comedy channel. What with all the churches and mosques, fire-spitting pastors casting and binding and praying and fighting the 'demons of oppression' in the land;the Imams and Ulamas and the Emirs and the Obas and the Obis who have compromised their position because of filthy lucre? I empathize with u, Joy Isi- we can not be the only parents of our kids no matter how much we try, [that rapist guy who smokes kpoli in our neighborhood, that unmarried woman who multiplies her love on all sizes of men, that 'Uncle' who touches ur sons and fondles their kiki are all abnormal adults who inadvertently teach the youngsters- it is pathetic.]

    At least i do not suffer the loss of those whose Pastors/Prophets and Imams 'guided' to vote an all time inept leadership. Come, when and how does a President inspire leadership by flashing a cassava bread today and an energy-saving bulb he imported from Taiwan the next day. Everything is wrong with this fish and it is from the rotten head that the smell stinks. Next time we go to the polls, let us vote that man from 'Our village' who worships in 'our mosque/chapel' because that in itself is enough to translate to acumen for eventual development we all yearn for.

  20. Why is the truth only ever told in blogs and chat-rooms? Where are the newspaper headlines shaming the political elite? And when foreign journalists find the courage to criticise, why are they howled down by Nigerians themselves?

  21. It is not surprising what happened, I visited NIja two months ago, the plane I was supposed to fly in developed fault and the flight was cancelled. What I do not understand is how a company will be allowed to operate with only one plane per route with no alternative if it was to develop a fault. This is putting profits before people's lives. These so called politicians are not ashamed to send their children abroad to enjoy the amenities we pay for with our taxes. I could not believe my eyes when I saw the fire brigade equipment used in the Dana Air crash-the recycled one from the 1960s. What a shame. My heart breaks each time I think about the crash. It could have been me or members of my family. Death is not a respecter of person and is a debt we all have to pay someday.. I am very sorry for our people in Nigeria as they are held ransom on ALL sides, POOR ROADS, ARMED ROBBERS, KIDNAPPERS, BOKO HARAM, ETC!!! May God help NIGERIA AND ITS PEOPLE.

  22. My dear brother, I am so ashamed of our system right now. I'm presently in the UK but I have always romanced the idea of coming home and settling down. However, I have several life long conditions that cause me the utmost misery but I have some medication. I imagine what my life would be if these illnesses had caught me in Nigeria, to be honest, I am almost certain, I would have died for where is the ambulance when I need it for emergencies? Where is the regulated medication, for how am I sure that the local chemist (pharmacy?) is selling it and would be authentic? Where are the doctors and hospital bed when I need it? Wont they be on strike and I would have to pay through my nose to get a bed. My family is not rich, neither am I right now, so for people like us who are under the economic radar we are dead!
    When my father passed, I made every effort to get him buried at home for the last time I went to Atan cemetary, I met a human skull sitting woefully by one of the graves; a dog was busy battling with someone's thigh bone but nobody batted an eyelid because they were used to it!
    We have no respect for each other and do no see ourselves as human, especially our leaders for how can they justify all the trips abroad, enjoy of the sensible law and order and infrastructure and then come home and not wish to build the same for their people?
    We are a shameless nation with obtuse ignorant and utterly wicked leaders and I am so ashamed!

    1. Deb Herd you see how much I suffer. How am I to live at home with my conditions? It pains me deeply and I am so sad because I wonder what it is I can do to help change my country and I am so powerless!

    2. I don't have any answers abi, but put ur trust in our God n he will show you what he wants you to do xxx

    3. Those of us here under d economic radar hav God who has been seeing us thru.We pray a lot expecting changes in d system,but do little for d fear of being harassed&molested.To survive in dis country is by God's grace.Even d little we do in mass protests wouldnt have been possible if not for democracy.Personaly,Abey,you need a divine touch.That is guaranteed here.You need a man of God that will speak to ur body system,you are God's image,you wont die young.I'm not sure u went there wit d ailment from Nigeria.I'm convinced d healing&breakthrough u need is here.AT TIMES,GOOD THINGS DO COME OUT OF NAZARETH…

    4. Those of us here under d economic radar hav God who has been seeing us thru.We pray a lot expecting changes in d system,but do little for d fear of being harassed&molested.To survive in dis country is by God's grace.Even d little we do in mass protests wouldnt have been possible if not for democracy.Personaly,Abey,you need a divine touch.That is guaranteed here.You need a man of God that will speak to ur body system,you are God's image,you wont die young.I'm not sure u went there wit d ailment from Nigeria.I'm convinced d healing&breakthrough u need is here.AT TIMES,GOOD THINGS DO COME OUT OF NAZARETH…

  23. My dear brother, I am so ashamed of our system right now. I'm presently in the UK but I have always romanced the idea of coming home and settling down. However, I have several life long conditions that cause me the utmost misery but I have some medication. I imagine what my life would be if these illnesses had caught me in Nigeria, to be honest, I am almost certain, I would have died for where is the ambulance when I need it for emergencies? Where is the regulated medication, for how am I sure that the local chemist (pharmacy?) is selling it and would be authentic? Where are the doctors and hospital bed when I need it? Wont they be on strike and I would have to pay through my nose to get a bed. My family is not rich, neither am I right now, so for people like us who are under the economic radar we are dead!
    When my father passed, I made every effort to get him buried at home for the last time I went to Atan cemetary, I met a human skull sitting woefully by one of the graves; a dog was busy battling with someone's thigh bone but nobody batted an eyelid because they were used to it!
    We have no respect for each other and do no see ourselves as human, especially our leaders for how can they justify all the trips abroad, enjoy of the sensible law and order and infrastructure and then come home and not wish to build the same for their people?
    We are a shameless nation with obtuse ignorant and utterly wicked leaders and I am so ashamed!

  24. Below is a list of airlines operating in Nigeria and their average fleet age, as seen on planespotter.com , Please have in mind the oldest allowed in Nigeria is 22 years while Russia is 10 years.

    Air Nigeria

    Fleet Size: 12 Aircraft

    Average Fleet Age: 13.5 years

    Oldest Aircraft: 18.2 years

    AeroContractors

    Fleet Size: 11 Aircraft (+ 1 On Order/Planned)

    Average Fleet Age: 19.7 years

    Oldest Aircraft: 20.7 years

    Africa Charter Services

    Fleet Size: 2 Aircraft

    Average Fleet Age: 32.1 years

    Oldest Aircraft: 32.8 years

    Air Taraba

    Fleet Size: 0 (+1 on order/planned)

    Average fleet age: 10.5 years

    Arik Air

    Fleet size: 21 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 5.5 years

    Oldest Aircraft: 11.3 years

    Axiom Air

    Fleet size: 1 Aircraft

    Fleet age: 24.5 years

    Bellview Airlines

    Fleet size: 2 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 31.9 years

    Oldest aircraft: 33.2 years

    Chanchangi Airlines

    Fleet size: 6 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 25.6 years

    Oldest aircraft: 30.2 years

    Dana Air

    Fleet size: 4 Aircraft (used to be five until Sunday’s crash)

    Average fleet age: 21.4 years

    Oldest aircraft: 21.7 years

    First Nation Airways

    Fleet size: 3 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 18.4 years

    Oldest aircraft: 19.3 years

    Government of Nigeria

    Fleet size: 2 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 9.5 years

    Oldest aircraft: 12.1 years

    IRS Airlines

    Fleet size: 5 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 21.6 years

    Oldest aircraft: 22.5 years

    Kabo Air

    Fleet size: 5 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 34.5 years

    Oldest aircraft: 41.3 years

    Max Air

    Fleet size: 6 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 24.1 years

    Oldest aircraft: 25.7 years

    Overland Airways

    Fleet size: 2 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 22.2 years

    Oldest aircraft: 25.6 years

    Tradecraft Airlines

    Fleet size: 1 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 25.4 years

    Transky Airlines

    Fleet size: 1 Aircraft

    Average fleet age: 28.2 years

    NOW, THE CHOICE IS OURS TO MAKE..FLYING COFFINS

  25. Two concepts which should link all Nigerians to Nigeria! Are you a typical or atypical Nigerian? Nigerians have been portrayed has fraudsters, drug lords, scammers and associated with all forms of vices! There are also Nigerians of virtues! How do we define Nigerians now leaving behind the religious sentiments and tribal segregation! The Nigerians of virtues and the Nigerians of vices! Typical with traits and tendencies or atypical? Which is which? Change is possible with identification and indication of where we belong!we proclaim and reclaim the true identity of virtuos Nigerians, patriotic and making vices and all unacceptable immoral acts undignifiable and perpetrators paraded with all disdain and shameful contempt! Typical or atypical! We proclaim

  26. Disaster happens anywhere in the world! We have a responsibility has responsible govt(both leadership and followership) to ensure there are measures in place to regulate and reduce risks! Given an opportunity, typical Nigerian will exhibit same traits of unnecessary intimidation, assault, battering, theft, fraud, disorderliness put elsewhere in the world! No intent to contribute to the well being of the world or to the society! Its all about what I can! With stricter governance and strict regulatory measures, adequate punishment for wrong doing and social justice and fairness, Nigeria should excel but tribalistic tendencies and religious sentiments are the undertone conspiracies working against Nigeria! See where I better pass you lead Nigeria! Egoistic tendencies, worship of money which is power in Nigeria and tempting God!the devils proposal to Jesus Christ!

  27. Very very sad turn of events. One feels so helpless in this situation. God help nigeria!

  28. Wow. I thought I had shed enough tears to last the year. Chude your piece and the comments that followed, ahhh *crying* this is just not right.

  29. I feel for all the lost lives on the plain crash, and all the grieving families. But running away is not the answer, cos every conutry has had her problems and have worked hard, shed blood to make changes and today we look at them with envy.Every thing good comes with a prize ask the black americans etc. If we want change in our country we need to start with our selves. We look to others to make the change rather than ourselves…..

  30. December1999 – I moved back to Nigeria after 15 years in the UK. I was excited, I was happy. I wanted nothing more than to give back, contribute towards our development. Everyone said I was mad. I didn't think so. I defended nigeria (yes small n) – to the last. I worked in non for profit media communications – published magazines and produced films on social development issues. To what end? I ask myself. Fast forward 12.5 years – I am in the UK and I don't want to go home…..

  31. December1999 – I moved back to Nigeria after 15 years in the UK. I was excited, I was happy. I wanted nothing more than to give back, contribute towards our development. Everyone said I was mad. I didn't think so. I defended nigeria (yes small n) – to the last. I worked in non for profit media communications – published magazines and produced films on social development issues. To what end? I ask myself. Fast forward 12.5 years – I am in the UK and I don't want to go home…..

    1. Yemisi… why don't you wanna go home?

    2. so you have now realised that nobody with a choice or half a chance would stay in naija! This is a jungle that sprouted from seeds of iniquity, only the most vile can flourish! Welcome to my world!

    3. That's so sad, to come to feel like that about your homeland…

    4. Yemisi, We all know how you feel & it's ok. I'm just glad Martin Luther King Jr. didn't cave in or my own country wouldn't be where it is today. My prayer for Nigeria is that MLK Jr's would raise up in this country & make it a great, Godly nation one day soon. If we lose Hope we've lost everything. ~aimee~

    5. our source is important in lyf,we just dat God should put an end 2 violence nd calamity going in dis country…so dat we'll enjoy d land nd gud tins God has gave 2 us…aunty Yemisi u belong 2 d league of a Africa women.

    6. Y girl! Only the strong survive…only the wise excel… & u girl are one of us so…

    7. I shouldn't say it but …..I told you so…dysfunctional mess of country. The question I always ask people….if you weren't from Nigeria, would you even consider living there???

  32. I am one of those fortunate to have left Nigeria. When we first left, I really wanted to go back but even now, 6 years later, my husband would not even allow me mention the name Nigeria (by the way, he is Nigerian). The recent Dana air mishap has further solidified his position "Is that the country you want to go back to?" he says, pointing to the CNN news report on TV, "to hell with them and their country, they can eat all the oil money and come here on vacation and send as if dollars is going out of fashion, but I am staying right here. I would rather give my children a good and safe living than staying back to make billions in Nigeria, with the knowledge that I could be shot dead in the streets immediately I step out of the house.” Honestly I can’t blame the man, he has put up a good argument I can’t reply to, so we are staying put.

  33. Chude we have not always agreed on things and mostly that was because you had not yet got to the point that you have got to with this finely pondered and written piece, and I had long passed it. The age thing I guess. It was never me being cynical, because I too had come back to try and contribute to making this country work. I am sorry that you too must lose that ingredient that somehow somehow keeps us hoping and believing, and I understand that you would not want your children growing up in such a mess.

    I encourage you to keep up the fight for the betterment. It is going to be a function of the youth making a resolute decision to change individually and collectively AND actually doing it. It can be done, it must! Because you can run away from the mess that is (y)our home (as I did to raise my children abroad) but it is the only home we have…just ask the many Nigerians stuck in diaspora limbo, who yearn to be home.

  34. @ayopo oladayo 'religion' is anoda big problem we ve,pray and den sit and do nothing..*scoffs* it is what we all hide behind *God dey* e go better*..wif reference to karl max,religion is d opium of d people..I think we ve become addicted to this opium and are nau like 'junkies'!!redundant,dependent and weak!!let us take action!!

  35. @Joy Bewaji,

    Sometimes, it is sad how we leverage on tragedies that have befallen our fellow beings to fight our small battles. What has Ohimai got to do with your frustrations? How is Ohimai linked to the Dana crash? The last time I checked, this dude is just a special assistant to a minister. Give the young man a break! We are all frustrated. And who the hell said some people in government are not frustrated too? Look, don’t get me wrong. This is not about an individual. What we are dealing with is a systemic collapse of our national life and we are all responsible. Let's stop trading blames and pointing accusing fingers at perceived enemies in or out of government. Healer, heal thyself first!

  36. As I go through this write up I cannot but weep for my father land. We are really living like animals.

  37. I pray that the path to Paradise may glow ahead for them as they find their way home. Journey well, brethren!

  38. I have never felt sad like this all my life…We must rise up and act now. Enough of be warriors on Twitter and being cowards in real world. We must be organized, we must create a structure that can kill this system that's killing our people. It's not going to happen overnight, but each of us must take responsibility in our spheres on influence. We all can't be in public offices, but we each live on a street, we work somewhere, we worship somewhere. Let's start from where we are, if we can't influence the people on our streets, and communities how can we influence the whole Nation. The system has failed us, we should not fail ourselves. Let's organize and join forces and KILL THIS SYSTEM THAT'S KILLING OUR PEOPLE.

    1. @Esta, you are very right. We have Twitter and Facebook to organise. This is what happened in the Arab countries, most of them started with a group of friends and it just spread. If we can find more people who are as passionate to see a change, we can meet somewhere and being to strategise on how to go about reforming the country. I know a few friends who are already talking about it. If anyone is interested let me know and we can hook up. ENOUGH TALK. Pls note theat it would not be easy, if you are not ready for the fight DO NOT JOIN.

  39. Hmmm(sigh)as much as we can all see that complaining alone cannot help or better the situation of things in our dear Fatherland,I think dere's something else we can do.PUSH-Pray Until Something Happen.contribute your little quota that&let's see if we are not gonna see d change we want.we can't fight the government becos they are the AUTHORITY over us but we can help by praying for a visible difference in our nation.other countries are not better than us but they did something dat brought the good you see in them now.if you try read the history of America,you will know that dere was a time in their country wen all they do was to PRAY then they got it.they had the heart of IMPORTUNITY,not taking No for an answer,until they got the best.Even God loves to reward on consistency.my fellow Nigerians,let's join hands,mouth &our all together to bring out that BEST in Nigeria thru our PRAYERS.we can't help the nation through negative thoughts and words-As a man thinketh in his heart,so he is.we don't only think negative,we even say it but its not too late to retrace our steps by going back to God and each day,pray for this nation.Nigeria depends on

    you and I,are we gonna fail Her-No.so let's get up to our responsibilities cos dis is our Land of Inheritance.thank you and God bless Nigeria

  40. Having read through, all i can say is 'God help our children. Chude, this is sad(sigh)

  41. Sigh! What do we do? It can get better, but we have to start talking and acting. Who will start enlightening the youths, young students, youth corpers, student unions etc.? We have to start aggressively demanding that which is our right. Adequate funding & implementation of budgets for our schools and universities at least so this generation can have some modicum of proper education which is at the least relatively comparable to other climes. How do we start asking this govt to use the $1.2 billion 'saved' on Fuel Subsidy Removal on policies that will directly improve the lives of the average market woman, poor bricklayer and child labourer on the street? What? how? when? I am lost!!

  42. My fear about Nigeria get worsened every blessed day.Millions of us can't even afford to pay for a travelling document in order to live in a saner society where things works,where human lives are treated with respect,where hope means real hope.

    Sometimes I use to think there is a force working against Nigeria,I can't help but cry for my dear country.

  43. We need a completely new fresh start.You know like "kill" everybody and start again. Where is our value system? What do we truly value as a nation? God help us as we also help ourselves.

    @AnthonyEkene

  44. SAD! Unfortunately, there is even no hope in sight. How can we continue like this and keep hoping against hope?

    They say our problem is bad leadership, but we seem to have worse followership.

    No jobs, no good education, no security, bad roads, faulty aircrafts…. Tears tears tears

    Are we ever going to get it right?

  45. SAD! Unfortunately, there is even no hope in sight. How can we continue like this and keep hoping against hope?

    They say our problem is bad leadership, but we seem to have worse followership.

    No jobs, no good education, no security, bad roads, expired aircrafts…. Tears tears tears

    Are we ever going to get it right?

  46. God 4bid I live or raise my kids in nigeria I've read twice nw bt wht abt ppl who wake up everyday knowing thr kids will grow up in d same system nd endure worst than thy did? A frnd asked me,will it ever get better? I answered NO… D bible said in d last men shall become lovers of themselves,thr love shall turn cold,war,disease,rage etc. Now u tell me,will Nigeria ever become a nation we'll be proud 2 live in? Dts d future we look 4ward 2 nd 2 those dt say thy cry(laughs cynically)I've stopped shedding tears. Rather I've made my peace with God

  47. As i read dis article, i felt so bad cos am like a trapped animal with nowhere to run to. I have been abused on fb and confronted at my local church for daring to mention d fact that Nigeria was not making progress. Recent events have confurmed my fears and am shocked to learn how a 22 years old moving coffin dat would not be granted licence in other climes was given permission to terminate more than 200 innocent souls. Yet d bastards are thinking of coming back in 2015 when its obvious we are heading nowhere. Cry my belove country. Even Ethiopians will not treat her citizens with so much disdain.

  48. We are all products of a bad system. A system that cares nothing for me. It will be well with us,in a thousand years from now. Not with this our 'social network Generation' that can't think. I can't cry for Nigeria

  49. its terrible but am nt suprised about wats happening>>>wer are not perpared for any sort of disaster…the signs are there….almost everything is wrong….people love money more than life…..its a big shame to nigeria….. corruption is like cancer in our country…. we say God help us. BUT Heaven help those who help them self…..i can only save God should should save us……..

  50. Chude,

    you have said it all!

    God forbid that i live or have kids in that useless place!

  51. The entire piece hit me. But Joy Bewaji's comment drives the despondency home. The lines have blurred between activism and showmanship. We are all in a continuous struggle, not for love of country, but for self gratification and building brand equity. Children never listen to their parents. They however don't find it difficult to walk in their footsteps. I was always convinced that the future wasn't in doubt. Now, I am not so sure. This isn't the life I signed up for.

  52. Chude!To imagine that the Anyene kids were visiting their continent Africa for the first time is heartbreaking for me!That did kids only came to get burnt and be treated in this shabby manner in their own country is pathetic!The gloom is high the doom is here!I still have some blv that a change in Attitude will and Orientation change and save our country!

  53. Dat last line of d 1st comment actually brought tears to my eyes..I am to blame as well as most of us,d rot has eaten deep,d fight for survival is a dirty one,we've all become pigs..shamelessly eating off swamps..from top to buttom,we are all to blame..*sigh*

  54. Been thinking of what to write. Nothing is coming up. Just tears. Bitter tears… Who will bell the cat?

  55. Depressed is an understatement of the feeling here, Chude. Words fail me

  56. There must b 'CALM' after dis STORM…my heart burns me, at a depth that is very unreachable for help….over d lost lives in d DANA air crash….I could only weep dry air, cos ma blur eyes skipped tears in fear.

  57. Everything is wrong with this country, Chude. Yesterday I was screaming at a Visafone office – they accepted my monthly internet fee but 12 hours later my line was not activated. I had another roar at my children’s school – those condescending attitude, poor service I notice even after paying fees that leave my bank account anorexic. Would I need to spend so much if we had a public school system that exists?! My generator was stolen only last week. It didn’t hurt me as much as the sense of insecurity I felt (mostly for my girls) in a society that just doesn’t give a shit! If I wanted to report to the police, they’d expect me to pay more money than the generator would have cost for them to carry out a shoddy investigation! Nothing works. No one cares. All man to himself. A callous society that continues to breed its kind. Even the so-called new generation- the one Future Awards believes may change the system. Chude, I’m sorry, I just don’t see how they will. And even if they get into power, will they not carry their father’s old suit and carry on the same way. See Ohimai Amaize already sounding like the same people he “fought” to overcome. That same tactless behaviour, same arrogance, same disconnect. It’s my daughter’s birthday today; and even whilst she is happy mummy loves her so dearly. I think about the future she has in this country. 90% of Nigerians are trying to scrap a meal, the rest of us are busy being iconic on twitter. If you dare to stand out, you stand like a sore thumb. So we blend in – join the system that kills us, remain silent, form a clique where we console ourselves that we matter, or just…sigh! *don't make me cry this morning oh!*

    1. WOW joy.

      you hit the nail on the head.

      someone sounds like me. Gosh you said it all NOBODY cares and i fear for our children.

cool good eh love2 cute confused notgood numb disgusting fail