I remember sitting at the back seat of our car as a little girl with my siblings while we drove past a crowd of people on the road who seemed angry, and were singing songs like ‘All we are saying give us our _(insert cause for protest)_____’.
Like an adventure, before we drove out of the compound to school my siblings and I will haunt around our compound and neighborhood for the green grass to stick in front of our car.
“What is it for?” I remember asking Brother Friday (our genial and chubby driver)
“So the people will know we are supporting them and they would not hurt us.” Brother Friday explained.
I did not want to get hurt, and even though I did not know what they were angry about I did not mind showing my support by sticking a bunch of leaves in the windscreen of our Peugeot 506.
Fast-forward to decades later, and people are still angry. Nigeria has not changed in the ways that truly matter; there is still no light, there are still bad roads, pensions still unpaid, our leaders are still having fun at our expense literally. Nothing has changed.
I imagine Nigeria as a grown woman who still sucks her thumbs and soils her diapers; an adult who should be a leader but sadly in need of being ‘handled’. Alas what terrible handlers!
This period in Nigeria will go down as one of the most horrific, and bleak periods this nation has ever faced. We are in crisis! There is no joke or doubt about that. The new government has come in, and things may seem to be working again, but for how long? How long before the mess comes up again, like regurgitated vomit.
I look at my daughter and my heartbreaks; it breaks because she is growing up in the midst of this crisis just like her mother once did. I look at my parents, who are now older, and I have so much more respect for them, it is not easy keeping things together when everything on the outside is falling apart.
People say all sorts of things, from the overtly sanctimonious ‘it is well’ to the down right pessimistic ‘Nigeria should just break up that is the only way.’
What do I say? What can I see? Nothing that gives me reason to hope for better days, better leaders, and a better Nigeria. I am tired of this “hope for a better Nigeria” I have inherited, which I fear my children will inherit with no change occurring whatsoever.
There are hospitals right now with sick people, some in need of surgery who are now at the mercy of this ridiculous fuel shortage, There are businesses of honest hardworking men and women that are currently running at a loss, There are mothers who can not sleep at night because of the cries of their babies suffering from the torturous midnight heat.
Go to the beer parlors and you will hear angry people talking, so angry in fact that the warm bottle of beer does nothing to cool their nerves. Peep into the sitting room of families as they lament the rising cost of transportation and feeding for the family.
What will it take to get Nigeria out of her diapers and transform her into that graceful competent woman she can truly be? Whatever it takes, needs to get done, if we do not want our little ones growing up still asking this same question.
“All we are saying…(insert prayer here)”
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Atholpady