Friday, April 9, 2010

Se na like this e go dey be????????????

I guess I should first issue a Caveat...

Beware: it’s ranting all through....... not proffering any solutions here, I however welcome your kind comments, help, advise, prayers etc, it is not an attempt to discourage anyone either.......
I need to vent.......or maybe I'm just Melancholic today......

I watch with a very heavy heart the drama being played out in this country every day.
I wonder....sometimes I know, I hope...other times I despair......I pray and later I doubt.I keep asking....., is this is how things would continue to be?
So many issues are on my mind about our dear country.

Where do I start from?..... Most of us heard about the bizarre event that took place on the Lagos-Benin road, where the death of some Nigerians was caused by armed robbers. Different versions of the 'truth' has been relayed to us; Some claim that a bus was ambushed by some armed robbers, who after raping and robbing the passengers of their possessions, asked those passengers who did not have money to lie in a row on the road while driver of that passenger bus was forced at gun point to drive over these unfortunate individuals....killing them all ( and that this happened just early this year), another version claims that the robbers after raping and robbing the passengers, asked those who did not have money on them to lie on the express road in a row and while they continued their 'operation', an unsuspecting truck carrying some food stuffs approached and as these thieves started to shoot at the oncoming truck, the truck driver on seeing/hearing gun shots in his bid to escape ( from these armed robbers), hurriedly drove over the people lying on the road thinking they were logs of wood and that this happened sometime last year. There are lots of sites with the stories and the disturbing pictures on the internet like here and here.

Whichever of the ‘truths’ is correct, the fact is that our roads are not safe!, armed robbers do as they like on our express roads day in- day out! I tried to imagine how much time it would take to stop a bus (by ambush), ask the passengers to highlight, rob them of their possessions, rape some of them and even lie them down on the road in a row ......the ugly truth is that these robbers knew they had ALL the time in the world to act out their scripts on our roads -their stage, ....they knew of a fact that NO law enforcement agent would catch up with them, and that we had no emergency response systems in place! Whether they asked the driver to ride over them or if another truck driver did it, is immaterial. We all know the particular robbers were sure of not being caught, our roads are play fields for all sorts of men of the under world.

It’s even more disheartening to see the way our lawmakers, government officials and leaders (who at that time were not even sure of the exact picture of things) speaking eloquently, brandishing bogus vocabularies, debate the issue of national security, some condemning the driver of the said truck, asking for his head, calling down hell, fire and brimstone, asking for all sorts of safety measures to be put in place on our roads. Its been many weeks since then....we are yet to feel as little as a finger… the impact of all these talk, we are yet to see more armory or security posts on our roads, neither has the roads been repaired or street lights fixed nor have we had emergency /medical posts stationed on the roads. A lot of 'preventalbel deaths still occur on our roads from accidents and all sorts of evils. I keep wondering for how long our roads will continue to be death traps.

So much for religious for the recent Jos crisis, a lot of people have taken time to do good justice to the stories like here and here and here. I watch with shame the way our media, law makers, government official are all calling for immediate action, and all kinds of expedited actions in response to the situation in Jos, while the killers are still having a field day counting more and more victims .............will things continue like this?

In the same breath, still on religious crisis... Its the 3rd year since Toyin Oluwaseesin was brutally wasted by some zealots, her live cut short, her children and husband deprived of the love and embrace of their loved one. Toyin's story can be read here. 3 years! And no one has been brought to book, our country has not been able to give her family justice, it's obvious we are in a country where any person(s) can take laws into their hands, kill others and still go scout free...............for how long will this continue?

I don't want to go into the recent bombings in the south east, the boldness with which the Nigeria delta militia keep claiming they are responsible for different bombings and their ‘dare-you –whole-nation-to-do-anything’ attitude. I don’t even want to talk about the credibility of elections carried out across the nation, the lip service and greed of the leaders/politicians, the corruption and indiscipline that has eaten deep into the fabric of our society, the warped mentality of the average youth growing up in Nigeria which is “anyhow, just get the money, forget integrity, forget a good name, forget humanity” the ineffectiveness and lack –luster state of the of the Nigerian police, the continuous deplorable state of our infrastructures…..I could go on and on, but you know about all these already.

But you see why I’m a bit melancholic today......
The more I think about all the issues around the great nation Nigeria; the more my heart sinks, the more I loose my faith in the unity, the purpose and essence and the bright future of the nation called Nigeria.

What breaks my heart the more is the fact that it is still business as usual in Nigeria. Everyone still carries on like ‘that is how life should be!’Citizens like me (home and in diaspora) just carry on with our lives .....We sigh, we complain, we analyse, we debate, we speak plenty of English and then just ‘go- on’ with our lives. The religious institutions (that should be a voice, pillars of truth and part of the conscience of the nation) are carrying on with their businesses as usual too! I don’t want to talk about the lawmakers or the judiciary. Tthe few Nigerians that try to do something positive are criticised, discouraged or even silenced.

It’s exasperating to see how money is being embezzled, wasted all in the name of allocation, contracts, etc
It seems like a curse or the nation is jinxed; because whenever some silver lining seem to appear, the dark clouds just show up again, we all thought Alhaji Yaradua was a fresh breath from the 'crudeness' of 'Baba', in a short while we discovered that we got in a deeper ‘shit’ instead, and I just cant help to wonder, if this is how things would continue.....

Its so distasteful the kind of popularity we get for being the 'unpopular' giant of thanks to the Mutallabs of recent. I see how the world media disparage any of our efforts at something good, honourable or noteworthy ......and I don’t blame them!

you see, I'm, wondering......................
If my generation would see that great Nigeria we dream, pray and hope for.
If my children would know a country where its citizens are proud any day, any where to flaunt their green travel passports.
If stories that are exported about Nigerians would once again be those that would inspire and gladden the hearer.
If we would ever know a leadership that is sincere, could be trusted and ready to work for the good of the citizens of the country
If the hard working, honest Nigerian would be recognized and be proud that ‘there is dignity in labour’
If trust, truth and Integrity would ever be synonymous with the word Nigeria,
If this, If that, If, If, If, If, If, If.............

I live in a country where ‘abnormal’ has become the new ‘normal’
I am a citizen of a country where you are not sure of authenticity of anything, infact you need to double check whenever you are greeted good morning in Nigeria that its not yet past 12 noon.
I own a passport of a nation who’s chief security officer, leader, commander-in-chief, president, and chief steward has been missing for over 4 months! and all sorts of unimaginable drama attends his disappearance.
I am in a country which is one if the largest exporter of crude oil, and its citizens still suffer untold hardship in the name of ‘fuel scarcity’

and because
We still live in darkness .....with constant ‘no-power’, no electricity supply, and dealers of generating sets/diesel/petrol/gas are having a field day smiling to the banks and have formed a strong-hold against the nation having constant power supply.
We are our own government, we provide, our own electricity, provide our own water, provide our own security, and some people even have provide their own accessible roads to their homes/offices themselves!
We still 'sleep' at different embassies, suffer humiliating treatment there just to get a 'pass' to leave this country.
We have so much, our budget value keeps increasing every year, we make so much revenue from oil export and others, yet we lack so much, the average citizen still lives in poverty!
We seem to be citizens of some banana republic
We know how to add colour to any story of the Nigerians, ours will be always different with some interesting, corrupt and disappointing twist!

In as much as I belong to the school of thought that believes in miracles, in the eventuality of change, the victory of hope, and the persistence of faith!
The more I see, read, hear and think about the current happenings in this great nation,
My heart fails me,
My faith in challenged,
My hope kinda diminishes,
My mind cannot stop asking................

The more I ponder, the more the lyrics of a popular Nigerian musician's song keeps coming to my mind .... Se na like this we go de dey?

I have faith! I pray for my country, I long for the new Nigeria of our dreams,

But then............ I cannot help but na like this e go dey be?*

*Se na like this e go dey be? = local pidgin English in Nigeria for 'Is this how things would continue to be?'