This year saw quite a number of preposterous bills and laws getting proposed and enacted. From the social media bill to the ridiculous allocations made to small administrative offices, our lawmakers, governors, and representatives did persist in deviating from matters that are of top priority to the lives and well-being of everyday Nigerians, to concentrating on undeniably inexpedient policies.
Not that they seem to be stopping in their tracks anytime soon. For one, there’s the new law in Kano banning women and men from using the same transit in a bid to abide by sharia laws, which are heavily embroiled into the culture and ethics lived by in the northern part of Nigeria, while child marriage and poor social structures see no change or improvement. There’s also recently the approval of 37 Billion Naira by President Muhammadu Buhari to be piped into the renovation of the National Assembly complex while our health and education sector sits on layer and layer of rust and mediocre services.
This culture which sits at the base of the corruption the present government has vowed to fight is being normalized, like corruption itself, like every other vice elected officials perpetuate. There needs to be a serious conversation on what our government considers a priority and of how we as citizens who bear the brunt of these bad choices can begin to call the minds of our representatives back to the points they seem to keep missing.
One cannot help but wonder why the government remains largely out of touch with the country’s most primary needs and how doesn’t this contradict the integrity train the present administration is riding on. Knowing our country, and the history of the leaders it has had and continues to have, these deplorable policies are just ways in which the interest of the people remains unsteady in the hearts of our elected representatives.
However, like the strong resistance Nigerians put up against the social media bill brought a stall to its proceeding and spotlighted its ability to stifle protest, freedom of speech and the quick dissemination of opinions, we will continue to use all platforms necessary to speak out against self-serving policies that keep under-served Nigerians where they are.
Nelson C.J is a culture writer with works in The New York Times, Xtra Magazine, OkayAfrica, Black Youth Project, AfroPunk, and a few other spaces. You can find him saving dog pictures on Twitter.