Sponsored Ads

Thursday, 3 December 2015



It's been 55years since Nigeria won independence from her colonial masters and a lot of progress has been made in areas of public theft, abuse of power, marginalization, endless recycling of people who know nothing or care less about development etc but same can't be said of our public institutions, human resource development and empowerment, maintenance culture, etc. I won't go into all of that just yet...maybe when Arsenal wins the league and we all know that's not going to happen anytime soon.

There is a chance that many will misinterpret this article and probably think I'm trying to start a fire or something but that is no way near my intentions. It amazes me how we act so condescending sometimes and I can't help but wonder if we're trying to win independence a second time. I once went to a restaurant, greeted the waiter, though he didn't respond. I placed my orders and he nodded. Just then, a white guy came in and without saying a word, the waiter quickly greeted him and asked what he would like. The man told him and he quickly prepared it and served him. I was still there in front of him, feeling like a dwarf or something invisible. One of us was incredibly lucky that a counter separated us because someone would have spent his night in the hospital...most likely me sha. I'm not against being courteous to a foreigner, they're humans and deserve to be treated with respect but we aren't any worse or lesser. If I'm not treated with any form of civility in my own country, my home, where else will I get the respect?

Then there is that “If you're in America, you're rich” mentality our citizens have. Once you leave the shores of our country, everybody in your village expects you to build him/her a home and sponsor them on yearly trips overseas. No one really cares how you're faring; you're in heaven....sorry, abroad, so you should be fine. Well, NEWS FLASH.... The US has got some of the most dangerous cities in the world and money doesn't grow on trees outside these shores. Some would rather stay outside their country doing menial jobs rather return home to be useful to their community. I agree they do have a better economy, constant power supply, good health care and education but working as a store clerk with your engineering degree makes no sense to me. Better a king than a slave my man. Why do you think these selfish power mongers clamor for state creation?? The piece of cake allotted to them doesn't quench their greed, so they seek a state where they can be treated as kings.

You're even lucky preference is often given to Nigerians coming from abroad. Our employers don't just believe in the quality of graduates our institutions produce year in year out...plus the 'he/she went to America' mentality some of our employers have. Sometimes though, you can't blame them for their preference for foreign-trained graduates. Why would they hire the home-trained graduates, when our students are ready to abandon their lectures, as soon as they hear that a politician is going to share money at his/her residence? I've seen this play out several times, funny thing though is, the student union leaders always go away with most of the cash. Throw a bone and the dog is yours, our government has a way of ensuring that we live at their mercy.

That the education system is in tatters, is no surprise either.  That way, they (politicians/employers etc) can continue to import labour, pay them exorbitant salaries and of course, get their cut from these foreign establishments. We're taught as little as possible, with poor infrastructures and all. Then when we graduate, we realise just how poor we are in our area of specialties and we just get peanuts in silence, grateful that we are even hired. Meanwhile, the government officials can afford to send their kids outside the country to some of the best schools, leaving the rot in our education system unattended to. As long as they’re not affected, they’ll never be bothered.  Why should they repair the rot in the education system? Who are we to compare with their kids? The juicy positions are for theirs and theirs alone.

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) no longer cares about the infrastructures or the quality of education in the institutions, most of them are now more concerned about their retirement age and remunerations. They embark on endless strikes without regards for the future of the students. Once the strike is called off, it is business as usual. We often hear cases of lecturers extorting from the students, through any means possible and these lecturers don’t hesitate to fail them(the students) as many times as possible, if they refuse to part with some money or drop their skirts. lf you happen to report any of such incidence to the senate committee, then maybe the nightmare you had last night wasn't scary enough. The senate committee which is supposed to provide an even platform for students disenfranchised by lecturers is actually made up of these lecturers who make schooling unbearable for the students. That is a topic for another article. I won't even waste my time on the SUGs in Nigerian institutes, they're not worth it.

Then there is the racketeer in the civil service and other government parastatals. To get a job in the civil service, is now a battle of connections. You must know someone, who knows someone, who knows someone. Then you have to pay a heavy sum for a job you're not sure of securing. The frustrating part is, you're not even certain when your next salary will be paid. It could be six months later or one year....nobody knows. All we know for sure or at least what the government ever wants us to believe, is that they're short of funds. However, funds are readily available when it's time for them to pay their outrageous salaries and of course, when they set up panels whose reports are never implemented. What happened to the NLC?? The one union that used to ensure that the Nigerian workers were treated fairly, the union that once fought for any civil servant whose right was abused....Well, they’re not even responsible enough to elect their own leader. Exorbitant contracts are awarded for projects and little is used to execute. A governor repairs a stretch of road and decides to advertise this 'massive' achievement on every bill board in the city, using funds that could be invested in other sectors of the economy for their useless campaign. Little is given but much is looted...a Trojan gift.

The mass media which is supposed to expose these acts have been bought over just like the NLC. No state media dares to broadcast any information that is not in favour of the government of the day. Why should they??? How can they speak ill of their employers? Nobody wants to lose his or her job. It's easier for me to score a goal in open play than for one to secure a job in any government parastatal... I haven't scored since 2013 and yes, I am a 'striker'. The few media houses who dare to speak up, risk losing their freedom. Hence, most of the few hide within their shells. 

Most of our security units, are used to suppress the freedom of the citizens, especially at the state level. It was supposed to be an arm that enforced law and order but it’s just another institution above the law. It is just another arm of the government. Literally. You dare not speak up for fear of being haunted by the men in blue and black. I've seen them in action before and trust me, you don't want to be their victim. I'd rather watch Telemundo or spend my holiday in Barbie Island, than to be their 'customer'. Several times, we hear stories of accidental discharge here and there, unsolved murder cases and wrong suspects presented for trials, while the guilty ones are protected from justice. The scratch the government’s back and the government scratches theirs. It is only in Nigeria that I see criminals going about with escorts. But then, you can't help but pity these officers. How much do they get for risking their lives and for all their troubles??...Peanuts. The resources allocated to them gets squandered by their bosses and little is left for those at the bottom of the tree. Hence, they come up with several strategies to fend for themselves... Illegal road blocks, sporadic arrest of citizens, etc. Again, another case of the government ensuring that we live at their mercy.

They say justice is blind but in Nigeria, it collects bribe as well. While growing up, I was taught that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. In most cases however, the exact opposite is the case in Nigeria. They are there just to do the biddings of the highest bidder. The government always bids the highest of course. How many high profile corrupt cases have been prosecuted in recent memory? Only two....Bode George's case and the other being that of a corrupt official who was fined about 700k for stealing millions. He paid it on the spot....and the stealing goes on.

So many cases of unfair hearings and pending trials, leading to the overpopulation of our poor prison facilities. The prison which was meant to reform, actually deforms because of the inhumane treatment meted out to those individuals behind bars. Sadly most of them aren't guilty....but since they know 'nobody', they're considered irrelevant and can easily be disposed of.

It's hard to be a slave to a foreigner but it's harder to be a slave to your own brother.  It hurts so much when I think about it, it's hard to understand the motive behind their actions. I could be the next victim of their crazy antics, it could be you or my brother, my friend or yours...this scares me a lot. Responding through violence only makes one worse than they are. Violence solves nothing...diplomacy does but damn it takes too much time and concerted efforts. Still, better in peace than at war. It’s amazing how a small group can hold a country to ransom.

Our mentality has been so shattered that we can't think of any other way of succeeding except through the government.... and going to 'America' of course.  I wasn't born during the colonial era but I've read and heard the stories and trust me, with regards to being free, there is little or no difference. It's like we're trying to break free again, it's like fighting for independence again...it feels like I'm still a slave.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading and appreciating creativity.We hope to see you here again. Please feel free to drop your comments and suggestions as they are catalysts for improvement.