by Bayo Oluwasanmi
Let those words sink in. 180 million people are without regular and steady power. No treated water. No roads. Hunger is prevalent. Food is expensive. Salaries are not being paid as at due or not paid at all. Ritual killings for money, unemployment, poverty, delayed and denied justice, corruption, kidnapping, abduction, armed robbery, failed education system, failed healthcare system, insecurity, hopelessness, and fear of tomorrow, and much more are the trade marks of Nigeria at 57. This is where I grew up. This is where my family lives. This is my home.
And my home is dying. I have been struggling to come up with the right words to express my feelings and my thoughts on the 57th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence. Social media has provided me with a space to write my remarks, observations, and more often than not, rants about the Nigeria situation. I shared my anxieties. I cried in silent sobs at the pictures and the news from Nigeria that competes for sympathy and sadness. Absolute silence from the plunderers, wreckers, and the defiant rogue ruling class has become more and more unbearable for our people. As expected, despair began to unite Nigerians as we comforted each other.
Thinking of Nigeria at 57, nothing came except tears. I’m crying as I write this. How can I put into words how it feels to be completely helpless as the country as I have always loved slowly turns into Hell. How can one fully express in words that could convey, in any way, the overwhelming sense of constant pain, of horrible uncertainty, the fear of tomorrow, and the fury of wasted lives through epidemic of manufactured evils? How can I explain to people and to the world at large that Nigeria, my home, my heart and soul, is dying? The fear of death is an eternal companion in these evil times in the unlivable nation. So, as my country celebrates its 57th birthday, would it be appropriate for me to write a eulogy for its seemingly inevitable death? Perhaps some choice words as a send-off to the erstwhile giant of Africa.
As Buhari administration struggles to figure out the way forward out of the thicket of unfulfilled promises and dashed hopes, could I dare hope for a stay in its execution? Or is this just another delay in Nigeria’s pre-ordained death? Because of the morally bankrupt and kleptomaniac legislators who continue to strangle Nigeria and choke its citizens, the army of the poor is left to fend for themselves. Nigeria is in a perpetual state of anomie that thrives on crises precisely because the beneficiaries – the ruling class – are the ones who maintain and profit from illusion and deception.
It’s no secret that a nation can choose to either exalt itself to her people, thereby becoming an object of national pride or hide itself by dulling the citizen’s senses and intelligence, thus negating the primary purpose of a nation. So far, the body of evidence shows Nigeria pursued the second path. The ruling native tyrants have always taken advantage of our profoundly ignorant, naive, and unsuspecting people fueled by their systemic blinding allegiance to the same people that impoverished them.
It’s sad to note that after 57 years, 180 million Nigerians have been conditioned by school, church, political party to accept oppression as natural law. No wonder, Nigerians have become easy preys to punishment and suffering for engineered transgressions of the ruling elite. At 57, Nigeria’s infrastructure and basic amenities taken for granted have been crippled, social structure dismantled, and family uprooted by decades of neglect and abandonment by the product of an idled and corrupt political class that blindly rapes our people. These quisling parasites coasted to power via election fraud – vote buying, rigging, and other election malpractices.
Fifty-seven years of independence has laid bare the reality of a rotten and corrupt ruling class that never put our people first. This paralysis and complete disregard for good governance pushed our civilization back to the stone age. This crass stupidity permeates all through the different levels of government. With ravaged infrastructure, plundered and stunted economy, decimated citizens, hope against hope, yet, cruelly some people still nurse hope for a lost nation. At 57, Nigeria is a shining example of a government of feckless inaction, fetid bureaucracy, and unfettered bullshit. Nigeria is dying, yes. It’s a victim of the undeserved vindictiveness of a greedy, corrupt, stupid, foolish, and callous political class. As Nigeria begins her 58th year, I’ll encourage our battered citizens to turn their furious indignation into action, their collective misery into an unstoppable bond of vengeance, and direct their anger, blessed anger, to the engine of political and social change.
Nigerians are dying. But if they survive this and rise once again, they may do so inoculated from the diseased inertia, subservience, cowardice, fear, and sheepish loyalty that have crushed their collective spirit for 57 years. That’s a long shot though.
Happy Independence? Nah…
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija