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Beyond Survival



Nigerians are resilient survivors. I keep thinking that at the end of every year, we should all be awarded an “I Made IT” certificate. I guess this is why a lot of us do a lot of celebrating when the New Year comes. People thank God that they made it through the hassles of living in a country like ours.

A lot of my friends who live outside the country cannot understand why Nigerians are so religious or “god-centric”, sometimes I don’t understand it either; but I realize that we don’t have anything if we don’t have hope in a higher deity, someone bigger than our situation. But even this belief comes with its price.

A few weeks ago, I read the story of a nurse who had her license revoked because she was busy praying while an infant left in her care died having a seizure. My friends and I concluded that Nigerians are more religious than sensible because, why else would she fall down and start an intense prayer session when she could have proceeded to take care of the child.

Some people say/think bad leaders are our problem, I say no! It is more of  self hatred and ignorance. These Siamese twins have lead to the destruction of the Nigerian people. I don’t believe that as a people we are built to care about one another or even ourselves. It is just the way we are wired. For example, one of the contestants for the recent local government elections lives on my street. In the weeks leading to the election, he held political meetings in his house every week. There was always a canopy in his compound where a constant array of young men gathered. By morning the street would be littered with cans, plastic bags and every form of debris from disposable plates from whence his supporters had eaten the night before.  The dirt and litter was the only sign that Mr Chairman lives on my street because the ever expanding craters on both exits of the street bear no evidence that someone who claims to represent the interests of the people lives here. Surely Mr. Chairman drives on these really bad roads or does he not?

Living in Nigeria is beyond difficult. When it rains, or our President is in town or the good christian brethren at Redemption Camp are having their once-a-month fellowship, best believe that the ensuing traffic jam will be crazy. I mean a few weeks ago, I spent 5 hours trying to get home (Oshodi) from work (Lekki). There was a point on the ride home when I started crying, because I couldn’t understand why I was still on the road at 9.30pm after I pulled out of the office at 5pm. Why?

You see I’m tired of constantly blaming the ineptitude of the leaders for the bad roads and sometimes I just want us to look inwards, turn the spotlight on ourselves and just see if we’re living our lives as model citizens. Most of the times, we’re not. Two cars collide in the middle of the road, do they move over to the lay-by or the side of the road to ease the movement of other motorists? NO!!! Right there in the middle of the road, they take out their frustrations and sometimes even fists get shot in the air. Threats are exchanged and you hear the ever so frequent “Do you know who I am?” speech! *sigh* It’s all so exhausting. When there’s no other way to go, we face oncoming traffic… Yeap…”One way”! Heck everyone does it… Yes everyone, even the law enforcement people. The police, the soldiers, the traffic management officers. The indiscipline cuts across the ranks, and yet we run to church on Sundays and lift up holy hands to God and yell “Father, save Nigeria!!!” I have news for you… He is NOT coming down to save you from yourselves.

Sometimes, I can understand how well meaning Nigerians get roped in to the decay that has all but eaten us alive. I remember my first year at university, we were supposed to go pay our school fees at the UBA Bank branch on campus, the queues were endless but I would diligently wait for my turn. The thing is, my turn would never come. People kept asking their friends to “give them space” on the queue, thus pushing me further to the back. Sometimes they would go to the front, tell the cashier some sob story and get attended to. Nobody liked going with me to the bank because I would always wait my turn which always ended up being a colossal waste of time because 2hours later (no exaggeration) I’d still be there. One day my classmate told me “It’s like you don’t have other things to do. Abeg give the security man your teller and “something” so we can leave this place” and believe me 5 minutes later I was out of there. That was the last time I would queue to pay my fees. I had been sucked into the vortex of bad behaviour and it felt good.

Perhaps, this is the reason why people behave so badly. Maybe there is a story behind why people toss trash in the drains, drive like lunatics, collect a bribe before doing the job they are paid to do (and still managing to make a mess of it). I wonder if perhaps there is a reason why people use public restrooms so badly… I mean what sort of person pees all over the floor of Chicken republic because they don’t want to get infected by the toilet?

It’s all very burdensome to think about because I believe if you take away ignorance and greed we’re half-way to solving our problems as a nation; and when I say ignorance I don’t mean a lack of a formal University education, I mean a deep rooted ignorance that pervades the society. The ignorance that makes you believe that you are better than the next person.

I have no idea how to round this article up because its content is quite bleak. I don’t have a message of hope like the pastors, because I don’t believe God is going to come down to fix Nigeria’s problems. It’s very likely that He is waiting for us to get our act together. I STRONGLY believe that WE are our problem. You and I; and it’s up to us to look inwards and become better people and better Nigerians. Imagine if every Nigerian or even just 50% percent of us did our bit to make this country better? Imagine if we didn’t toss our banana peels on the street and just waited our turn on the queue.

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make all the difference. It’s the small things that make us merely survivors.

Photo Credit:

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. kiki

    November 16, 2011 at 10:51 am

    My point exactly….well said. I keep telling people to do their own bit first before expecting our leaders to do theirs.

    • Wahl

      November 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm

      You’re kidding right? The only right thing needed, is to get our leaders off their seats by revolution. We are humans, in the midst of all this suffering, our animal instincts take over. I am not blaming anybody. I blame the government. Americans would behave the same way if their government were as bad as Nigeria’s

    • Olumide Coker

      November 26, 2011 at 2:24 am

      you fail to remember that we are our leaders and our leaders are a subset of us. Our leaders are not from space or from mass, they are all nigerians. We are not imposed with leadership from America or From Asia, amongst us came our leaders. Our leaders is a perfect reflection of our followers.

  2. Nonso

    November 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Well said… My thoughts exactly.

  3. moses

    November 16, 2011 at 11:21 am

    well said…………. words carefully put together..

  4. mo

    November 16, 2011 at 11:21 am

    Well said,we all have a duty to perform. I totally feel you on the aspect of us waiting for God to come help us. Its not enough to pray, even the Bible says prayer without works is dead. We all need to do our bit and stop waiting around for the ‘government’, afterall, the government itself is made up of people like you and i. The level of decay in this country is so disheartening.

  5. lekwe

    November 16, 2011 at 11:23 am

    i am right behind you on this….the change starts with ME and YOU

  6. tinu

    November 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

    like seriously i almost cried in the traffic this mornin and on gettn to my office the first thing i hear is the naggn of my boss about how i dont work enuf with all this traffic i face and all i just told myself that my day has jst been killd i criously wonder how nigerians cope with all this like u say we are religious and the nxt thing we say is GOD HELP US.

  7. Minki

    November 16, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Wow! Well Said Indeed… I Am Glad A Lot Of Nigerians Now See Things Differetly… God Will Heal Our Land And Soon Too, But The Time To Be Real Citizens, Is Now… Nigeria Is Counting On You!

  8. leaj

    November 16, 2011 at 11:49 am

    The change starts with ME not you, I say it starts right here with me.

  9. ThEO!

    November 16, 2011 at 11:55 am

    But every now and then, I remind myself, “The Land IS Green”! I will do my bit and encourage others to do same. Many times though, one has been so badly “contaminated”, battered and bruised by life in this country your sense of right or wrong or just plain civility is completely skewed. I think its at that point we really need to cry, “God, save us! Save us from us!”
    The Land is Green!

  10. Qaudron

    November 16, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    The next time i hear that word God will heal our land or by His Grace we will be saved, i will shoot somebody. I am so tired of our hypocrithic nature, where God and doing evil comes in the same sentence almost to easily. A leader steals and after he has stolen goes to Church or Mosque for Thanksgiving and we all accept it as the norm. We are all so tactless, ignorant and simply lack love and respect for one another. If we dont love ourselves that we see everyday, how can we love God or be patriotic. Only a Nigerian goes somewhere and destorys it so that his other Nigerians have no opportunity of the same chance he/she had. The first time i ever went to Singapore it was visa free for Nigerians, today our brothers and sisters have destroyed our reputation there that you need a long reason to be given a visa. Why do we always destroy everything and why is it that doing the right thing means your are slow or stupid or and circumventing the law and looking for a loophole means you are smart. Nice article by the way, i just needed to vent my anger, we have no more values and most of all we lack love and with that comes respect for everything else.

    • dayo

      November 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

      Dear breathren its okay to vent. But it is not okay to not know where and how to direct your venting. The phrase God will heal our land or by His Grace we will be saved does no harm to anyone but tends to placate violent emotions like the one you are experiencing. I dont think u are a bad person or a violent gun-totting ill-informed Nigerian. I just think u are as confused as the writer. it is okay to be critical but it is also very important to be analytical. The calling of God in times of problems and going to church to get away from problems is not in itself the problem. America as a country is where your mentality is now in reference to God and church. America moved away from God and church thereby moving away from right and wrong and then what happened next: the subprime mortgage scheme(in which by the way nobody went to jail-all white people), stock exchange companies dupping the public(no one went to jail-all white workers), no respect for the elderly(in some cases the youth will try to beat you up), sexual perversions of every kind(even some including little children), racism and police brutality(unless you are well knowned-wealthy or famous) and all kinds of criminal activities u can think of. So we as Nigerians should thank our stars(or thank God) that Nigerian at least still go to church or pretend to be rightous because the day we decide to collectively move away from wrong and right is the day our demise is imminent. But always Godincharge.

    • jay

      November 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Dayo, the writer is not confused neither is Qaudron! I am a practising christian as well, but i tell you solemnly, anyone who says God will heal our land is talking utter bollocks. God is not going to heal nothing, we have to heal the land ourselves. You saying ‘going to church and pretending to be righteous’ is okay, is precisely what is wrong with our dear country Nigeria. I would rather people do not go to church but are disciplined, conscentious and morally upright. All those problems you listed about America abound here in nigeria except you do not live here. We have teenage armed-robbers today, kidnappers, indiscriminate police killings, spouses killing their children or fellow spouses, stealing, maiming fellow human beings for body parts and ritual purposes, etc. How has all the praying and church proliferation helped? Please, by all means pray, but stop calling God to help Nigeria when the same church goer will drive out of church and start living like a Babylonian!

    • larrydavy

      November 16, 2011 at 9:38 pm

      I need to preface what I’m going to say by stating that I completely believe in God (through Jesus), however, your assertions that the United States is more morally bankrupt than Nigeria is illogical. Nigeria is the quintessential oxymoron: the most religious nation in the world and one of the most corrupt (leaders and masses).

      Most of the issues you’ve mentioned are experienced by every society in the world, just in varying degrees.

      Furthermore, the United States has not decided to “move away from wrong and right”. Religious groups still exercise their beliefs, although they have to contend with those who believe religion has no place in public life (which I disagree with); but I know the importance of separating church and state: I don’t want someone to silence me because they disagree with me, likewise, I don’t want to silence someone I disagree with.

      God gave us free will. If most Nigerians understood that, they wouldn’t feel they are better than their fellow Nigerian, and they won’t want to control other people (whose actions have no impact on theirs).

      If we have a moral high ground to stand on, why can’t we as Nigerians conduct our business and government ethically?

      Trust and transparency breeds economic growth, and with trust and transparency wealth is not concentrated. What Nigeria needs is a mental shift and imbibing the proper principles that lead to prosperous society.

      The United States has its challenges, but it still remains one f the greatest nations on earth (if not the greatest).

  11. Yemi

    November 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    I like this article, you just voiced everything I think about on a daily, but it’s not ignorance that makes people think they are better than the next person it’s arrogance. The thing about Nigerians is that the mindset needs to be changed and that’s much harder because it had been rooted from childhood, imagine a parent asking a child who has been in a fight if he slapped ‘the other child back’ instead of scolding the child for being in a fight. Then they grow up to become adults who walk into a room and expect people to move aside for them or cut corners on the road and say that they are being ‘smart’. And even Nigerians in the UK, they spend all their time complaining about Nigeria and say how organised the western world is but the instant they walk into Muritala airport they revert back to their Nigerian self saying ‘if you don’t act smart they will just push you to the side’ and so at the end of the day you end up with a whole nation of people who think they are acting ‘smart’ because they believe that if they don’t the next person will take advantage of them. It’s quite sad really so we end up with a nation filled with Politicians who are there only to make themselves rich, students who pay to get through school, young boys online trying to scam people, young girls looking for rich men (who actually don’t realise that this started from the time their mothers used to look at them and say ‘one day you’ll be the presidents wife, instead of saying ‘one day you’ll change the world’) Nigerians have a mindset and until that changes not much will. it’s so sad, gosh I could write an essay on this.

  12. annie

    November 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I have been saying the same thing for years, I just haven’t had the energy to write an article about it. & so for this I say, THANK U. Hopefully we’ll listen & start doing… Hopefully!

  13. Seyifunmi

    November 16, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    The most annoying speech of all is “Do you know who I am” one. Even people who have barely achieved anything feel they have the right to yell out do you know who I am. I have to stop and ask them “what are you” because it is a little baffling for me.
    We are part of the problem, the few of us who sit back and watch, and hope religion will come and save us. Pray from now till eternity comes if you don’t get up and address the problem then you have equally enhanced it. #Shikena.
    It is indeed the little things that make all the difference and we need to get our acts together no doubt and stop lifting up holy hands hoping for fire to fall from heaven if truly we have been part of the problem, otherwise the only fire coming our way would be a consuming one.
    I still wrote something about this today posted here … I want to make a difference, I wish that everyone would take this stand, and walk the walk most especially.
    My friend Atoke has said her 2 cents, I have said mine, now lets walk the talk!

  14. rynyx

    November 16, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    oh my God, Atoke, i could kiss yu right now. i wrote an article once to read at a public gathering and my supervisor would ny approve it becos it was going “going to step on toes”, we are afraid of the

  15. abla

    November 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Very true and depressing. My brother said to me yesterday ‘Lagos is d same way it was 15 years ago or even worse sef”. There’s hope sha. Beautiful write up.

  16. rynyx

    November 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    of the truth..its just really sad. our major problem is not the government. we hate one another, i mean real hatred. or how do u explain that accident victims aare first robbed before help gets to them,or a superior can fire someone just becos they are not from the same state.. and the amazinf fact is that these pple lead the prayers in church for nigeria, absolute balderdash….God is not going to make any move because the power to transform nigeria lies with us, it statrts from our minds. our orientation must change,,,if they take all of us to America, we will destroy the country cos of our backward minds….for me, i will be different, i already try and pple insult me and call me MUMU, well i dnt mind…its the least that i can do, i dnt care if its just me and fela durotoye, i still believe so much in this country…

  17. dayo

    November 16, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I am sorry for you…because you are part of the problem more than you think.becos you think that people go to church so that”God will come down and save us?” people go to church and mosques and temples for that matter bcos they want to be better in their lives. You do not go to church but yet u were sucked into the vortex of bad behaviour…geee I wonder why?!And the ignorance u claim pervades our society is the same ignorance, and to a fault, that pervades all developed capitalist societies. In case u are quick to forget Nigerians did not cause the global economic meltdown that is still around us, greedy, non-church going, me-myself-and-I mentality of self-rightous europeans and americans did. Hence the wall street protest.

  18. Mary O

    November 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    I feel your pain for our people. I have written so many articles like this. I have organized so many seminars in my office and other places and I have gotten involved in arguments, dialogues on the way out of this penkelemess (oops, peculiar mess). Like you rightly pointed out, God won’t come down, we are the problem and we must see it and decide (collectively on a large scale) to become the solution. It’s not rocket science….the land is still green.

  19. jay

    November 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    Seyifunmi and Qaudron, well spoken! Its time we stop calling God and praying like Abraham while committing acts of wickedness and selfishness in our daily lives like King herod. The Europeans don’t pray as much as we do, definitely don’t have as many churches, mosques and prayer houses as we do. Yet they prosper and their society is more sensitive. We have to change our ways, and it starts from me and you. Start educating your neighbours, friends, siblings and parents about the need to know that every little act of indiscipline, selfishness and ignorance will have a negative and multiplier effect. let us start to re-orientate ourselves one person at a time.

  20. bumytweety

    November 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    @seyifunmi,ose [email protected],thumbs up!

  21. Aibee

    November 16, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    When I was reading the part about your LG Chairman, I thought to myself ‘ our chairmen must be related’ because you so aptly described my LG Chairman’s house and the craters on the road. Imagine my suprise when I found out we aactually have the same Chairman because I also live in Oshodi!

    On a more serious note, I totally agree that God will not save us, neither will he help us. WE THE PEOPLE have to be the change we need. WE THE PEOPLE not the government. We the people have to vote out bad leadership and vote in good people. And where the bad eggs want to rig our votes, take to the streets in peaceful protest. If that doesn’t work, try civil disobedience. Only when this fails should we resort to violence. But we must 1st of all arise and bring about the change we want. It begins with ME, it begins with YOU. God Bless Nigeria!

  22. well?

    November 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm


    naija’s main problem is that somebody feels he is better than the next person which you have said already.

    but imagine if the british never joined us together. do you think nigeria will be as bad as this?


    most people will be educated and will not behave the way they do. there will be money for free education. and ‘if you can’t beat them …. ‘ will NOT exist cos the majority will be educated.

    our main problem started when two imcompatible parts came together and some sections were forced to start stealing, like joining along.

    • ufedo

      November 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      isnt about two*

  23. well?

    November 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    the solution might be to split peacefully.

    as you know most govts in the country are bankrupt though the money remains in the system so what is the use being together as a country if the accounts are in red?

    • Tomi

      November 16, 2011 at 3:44 pm

      Please, please, please the ‘let’s blame the British Colonialists’ argument is old and quite frankly lazy! Did they not colonize India? or Singapore? These two countries are as, if not more divided than Nigeria on racial and ethnic lines plus Singapore has next to nothing in terms of natural resources, yet it has risen to be the world’s fourth leading financial centre. Their independence was in 1965 o! Please, let’s call a spade a spade and look internally to solve our problem.

  24. Queenbee

    November 16, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    What got me laffing was” I mean what sort of person pees all over the floor of Chicken republic because they don’t want to get infected by the toilet?” Nigeria!!! This country needs a miracle!

  25. Joey

    November 16, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    ” “Father, save Nigeria!!!” I have news for you… He is NOT coming down to save you from yourselves. ”

    I love this part and the other one about our ignorance being “deep-seated”.
    Nigerians still have a long way to go, not necessarily because of bad leadership (though that is depressing enough on its own), but because of greed and ignorance. Our selfishness and greed causes us to continually ruin our society with corruption-but who can blame us, when are leaders are no better. While ignorance blinds us from the harsh reality that there are serious socioeconomic issues in the country.
    In my opinion, nigeria has been in a state of emergency for
    Several years now, we just don’t realize it. Our security situation is no better than Afghanistan and social infrastructure have fallen apart- when I have to buy water, run a generator for light among other survival techniques, my society has failed me.
    God save us from ourselves.

  26. BukiOni

    November 16, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Wow, feeling super convicted right now. As former U.S. President John F. Kennedy said in he’s inaugural address “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country” #truetalk

  27. moi!

    November 16, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Well said! Finally people are beginning to understand. God expects us to do the right thing as it affects us. That’s why he gave us a brain that is obviously superior to that of animals! The problem in our country is that we refuse to use our brain and like the lazy child would rather call on the almighty to do the things we could do ourselves.

  28. MelonX

    November 16, 2011 at 3:41 pm

    I have given up hope on my country. There was a time I actually felt things will improve with the advent of cell phones, cable tv, internet etc. If people become exposed to how people in other parts of the world live, perhaps we too will open eyes. I was wrong. In fact, we have regressed. I just returned from a trip to Lagos after a couple of years away and this trip confirmed to me that unless corruption is eliminated and we have ‘open-eyed” visionary leaders we are doomed. If you have an opportunity to “check out”and live a better quality life abroad, even in Ghana…please do not consider it for one minute, take it and run. Nigeria is good to make money ‘cos the commerce is there, and perhaps enjoy family- other than that, my take is we only have one life;live the best life you can.

  29. Nk

    November 16, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    @ the Nurse story, That is typical so called Nigerian christianity!! hissss
    I live in the UK, I was queing waiting for a bus one evening when I heard this two girls

    first girl – This people liiiiiiiiiike line abi na que dem dey call am sef (with emphasis)
    Second girl- abeg make we just stay here (meaning close to the first person in the que)
    I turned and gave them a dirty look
    First girl- which one be this Jamaican girl own naaa hisss, see as her eyes be sef! hiss
    Then I turned and said ” make una go stand for que” people wey stand here no be goat!!

    The girls – hahahahah so u be naija babe? ha! na wa ooooo na once we take dey know our selves ooooo!! which one now?
    I immidiately put on an ascent and said am not one of u!!
    with their heads down, they went back to the que which was now about 20 people
    There’s this saying … U can take a child out of NIGERIA but can never take NIGERIA out of that child!
    What am saying in essence is that, this so called “Bribe” is embedded in every Nigerian, Yes! u can say ooh am not like that. Trust me we r like that!!!! we always want to boycut things!!
    When I was coming to the UK I thought I was going to another paradise. “Where I will Shit and press button to clean ma Yansh” ( escuse my french) …. where “I will press another button then it will take my hands and wash”… I never knew I will be queing for buses nor running to catch the bus!! Come and see the word “Discipline” how people obey law and order! pls let Us all change pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease if not for us for our forth coming generations !!

  30. Seun Akinsanya

    November 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    God bless your ink pen & God bless your heart! It is quite refreshing to see progressive minded Nigerians thinking of the way forward. This article just said everything i was thinking. It is about time WE stand up and change our ORIENTATION. Our Orientation as a country is killing us. I challenge us to do whatever we can in our limited and unlimited power to be the change we desperately crave in this country. I have started mine, time for yours. Nigeria is watching! Let’s be the #ChangedNigeria. Visit us on and let’s spread the word. God bless you, God bless The Seun Akinsanya Project (TSAP), and God bless the Federal Republic of NIgeria.

  31. Biodun

    November 16, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    This topic is so broad we can go at it for days. If we decide to locate a hugely popular church right off the most important motorway in the country, then the people who claim to proffer religious solutions to our self inflicted issues are actually part of the problem. WAKE UP NIGERIA. GOD GAVE YOU A BRAIN FOR A REASON, JUST AS HE GAVE THE REST OF THE WORLD..HE WILL NOT COME DOWN TO SAVE OUR SORRY ARSES. GOD IS NOT AN UNFAIR OR UNJUST GOD. IF HE CAME DOWN TO SAVE YOU ALL, THEN OTHER EQUALLY DEPRIVED COUNTRIES HAVE THE RIGHT TO LAY CLAIM TO THE SAME MIRACLE. The change that has now become our holy grail lies within you.


    November 16, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    A must read for Naija! welldone.

  33. moiself

    November 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Beautiful piece. Good to hear dat the change starts with us, one person at a time,but most times we pay too much lip service..too much hypocrisy. May God help us,but the change starts wit U nd I.

  34. Negel

    November 16, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    Seriously this article made so much sense, its high time we realy walk the talk!!! for This country of ours needs a real change for the better.

  35. Zima

    November 16, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    U hit the nails on the heads very well. But the question is – how many of us r willing and honestly read to make that bold step towards change, when morals r so decayed etc etc etc!!! Change cms from within but by the power of God if one accepts His helping Hands. Glad I read ur article.

  36. bhee

    November 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    very well said……
    esp the part where someone’s religion has to delay someone else’s marriage cos of traffic. In a country with leaders?….

  37. Cabella

    November 16, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Our leaders are not spirits – they come from among us. If our leaders are corrupt it means WE are corrupt. The question is: are YOU ready to sacrifice your bank or telecoms or oil company or consulting job to make a change? Are you ready to be threatened, arrested, beaten, called ‘ashawo’ to make a change? Oh! You want to make some money first and then use that money to make a change? LOL! When YOU stop being greedy, selfish and corrupt then Nigeria will change. Enjoy the country you have created and you foster.

  38. gbegborun

    November 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm

    @ Bellanaija.

    A correction on the above news article about the woman who was praying while the baby had a seizure. The baby didn’t die and went on to make a full recovery and is now 5 years old

  39. Keke

    November 16, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    The boy with the seizure didn’t die oo!! He just has some health problems now. Needs to assistance of people around him to carry out daily activities.
    But I love ur article, nice 🙂

  40. Rose

    November 16, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Our religiosity is what makes us drift in a zombie like state and be accepting of our leaders raping us. Infact it’s the reason we ask them can we bend over some more? When we hit a brick wall we push deeper instead of doing something about it. Picture this scenario; there are 10 passengers on a journey somewhere in Naija and another 10 somewhere in say the UK. The chances of there being an accident leading to premature death is higher in Naija by reason of the bad roads and bad driver training/attitudes + bad health care. But what do the 10 Naija passengers do, we pray, oh yes we pray some more and bind the old lady in the village plus mama Daniel who was our friend until we quarelled a few weeks ago. A few of the Naija passengers die and we say ‘we said it! the old witch done it, no it was mama Daniel’ OR we talk in whispers, ‘those who died probably didn’t pay tithe’ etc. A people who know that the know that they know that statistically they stand a high chance of dying on the roads irrespective of witches, mama Daniel’s or tithe will rush and pressure those in authority to FIX THE DAMN ROADS!

    Religiosity has also made us not to be our brother’s keeper, always a lot of excuses e.g. ‘If I go to my village and fix the local schools or build boreholes etc, them witches will notice me and kill me’ yeparipa! Ask yourself why when oyibo comes to build these same boreholes them witches forget to get them!

    Our over superstitiousness is why we were a laughing stock a few weeks ago with the whole ‘Death Number’ i.e. ‘dont pick up the phone if you receive a call from so and so number’ lol! We say we sabi pass them but all them enlightened nations would laugh if anyone had told them the same thing. That we believed and went into a state of hysteria and paranoia is evidence that the rot is deep. ‘My people truly perish because of a lack of knowledge’

  41. Truth be told

    November 16, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    ‘I don’t believe that as a people we are built to care about one another or even ourselves. It is just the way we are wired.’ – honestly u hit the nail on the head. Since I left Naija and came here, I decided that this must be our problem cos I cant see why we can’t look out for each other and better our community. Honestly

  42. Mary007

    November 17, 2011 at 12:11 am

    We keep going back to this topic and guess what? We still need more of it. A friend with a high paying job once begged me she wants to come on a visiting visa and stay put with me, I told her I would not be a part of it and asked why not go through the route of education, work visa or the lottery. She had but no luck yet and that she was ready to leave her high paying job just for sanity! She was not delusional about life abroad she just wanted a sane environment.

  43. Purpleicious Babe

    November 17, 2011 at 1:16 am

    My own contribution…..

    I think the article is well written and I agree with it.

    However, I believe we should start by making an impact and atoke that starts from you.

    If you want a change, you have to act that change.

    I believe you and BN Team can come up with ways to influence your local community,

    Maybe you could team up with likeminded people start by VOLUNTARILY cleaning up dirts in your area not because you want to BUT because you want a change and that starts from YOU.. YES YOU.

    Or maybe its not cleaning, why don’t you team up with people from your local church or work and offer an outreach. You DO NOT HAVE TO BUT YOU WANT a change and its starts from you.

    There are plenty ideas you can work with and do it VOLUNTARILY and whatever happens YOU HAVE DONE YOUR PART.

    I am afraid change is very easy to PREACH but ask many people what they have done to make A CHANGE you see this (????) question marks… they have done absolutely nothing..

    I propose to BN to start corporate social responsibility imitative that involves giving back to the COMMUNITY. Pls take a picture of it and do photo diary on it to encourage others to do it also…..

    MAYBE have a section on your website that involves CSR.



    so until I see any actions… I dont care why people are VENTING their anger…


  44. pynk

    November 17, 2011 at 8:17 am

    we arent survivors, sorry but we are victims of what we accept. Lets call a spade a spade.

  45. joy

    November 17, 2011 at 10:04 am

    nice write up….
    my 2 cents: faith without works is dead….we cant keep praying 2 God 2 heal our land while we fold our arms watching and not acting…the only way we can act right is if we hv love for one is love dat wld make u see the need not to trample on other people’s rights or steal or kill…

  46. Bolaina

    November 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Yes Nigeria is been destroyed by Nigerians!!! We are our own problem. The change you ask for can only come from you.!!!! Its easy to point accusing fingers. We are all part of the problem. For as long as we remain who are and keep doing as we have always done. Nigeria will keep getting worse…..Hard core truth. Nice write up

  47. unknown

    November 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    thank you for the very well written piece……so true and so sad……you really hit the nail on the head and u r already on my fav writers list, well done!!!

  48. blueeyed

    November 21, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    Hmmmmm. It’s so depressing that we have people who still think God’s gonna come down to fix Nigeria even among those that have passed their comments here.
    @dayo, we’re so religious, yet so corrupt. How do you explain that? God loves America more than Nigeria? There is definitely some very wrong concepts wired into our believe and actions!

  49. ola

    November 28, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    We are definitely Strong People in Naija, that no one can doubt. It is a wonder the country has not been torn apart by some serious Civil War.

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