ETCETERA has been a controversial Nigerian artiste and social commentator who often than not holds contrary opinions to most topical issues around entertainment industry and politics in Nigeria. He recently dropped another thought provoking article on current situation in the country.
Is Nigeria getting worse? That is a very provocative question. I have found that most people that hate Nigeria are very eager to agree that Nigeria is getting worse, while a lot of those that love Nigeria are very hesitant to admit that Nigeria is in decline. Well, I am proud to be a Nigerian, but I cannot lie to myself or tell you that Nigeria is doing just fine. The evidence is undeniable.
Our economy is ill and is rapidly getting worse. God handed us the resources to be one of the greatest economic machines in the world and we have wrecked it. But until we are willing to look in the mirror and admit how bad things have got, we won’t be ready for the solutions that are necessary. The truth is that there are things that we can do to reverse the decline. It does not have to be permanent. We have got away from the things that made Nigeria great, and we need to admit that we are on the wrong path and start fixing this country.
But if we choose to continue down the road that we are currently on, it will lead us into the darkest chapters in Nigerian history.
If someone had written a story about what is happening now in Nigeria 20 years ago, people would have laughed and said “Wow that is a good story, but it would never happen here, not in our Nigeria.” But now, the joke is on all of us. Nigeria has turned into one big comedy club where the audience is wearing a frown as they listen to the president cracking his “Change” joke. The president speaks of change from the same mouth that he nominates those purported to be ministerial nominees. He should tell us what change he expects from the list. How do you achieve this change doing the same old things with the same old people? Some governors on the list are still entangled in corruption allegations levelled against them by their successors. What happened to your zero tolerance to corruption mantra? This whole change thing is becoming a gargantuan joke that is not funny at all.
A devastating economic collapse has left the country in a stagnant decline, where Nigerians are still sleeping under bridges, ghettos like Ajegunle are overfilled, while almost all houses in Victoria Island and ikoyi lie vacant with ‘for sale’ banners hanging on almost every gate, the kleptocratic politicians openly steal billions of dollars, and remain free, while people charged with petty thefts go to jail and have no bonds, protests break out and are quickly stifled by an authoritarian police force, media houses are getting shut down and becoming government controlled and relay repeating news stories that have little to do with real events, and are more focused on propaganda and nonsense, a politician takes several multimillion dollar vacations at taxpayer expense, while ordinary Nigerian families cannot afford the skyrocketing food costs, the senate is hopelessly unable to pass any kind of legislation that can benefit average Nigerians, but easily pass legislation benefitting themselves and usurping the constitution, prisons are built and manned waiting for those who dare to speak the truth against to power, the roads in estates built by politicians and their rich cronies are tarred over and over while the areas occupied by the poor masses are left in ruins, terrorists are granted amnesty and pacified with fat monthly allowances while law abiding citizens are gnashing their teeth.
Whew! Did I miss anything? What about a hero? Maybe a small glimmer of hope. Maybe Buhari? hopefully. I would like the next paragraph of this article to read, “At Nigeria’s darkest hour, the people defied the odds, and ignored the experts and elected a man of character and convictions to the office of the Presidency, and the said man restored the constitution, defeated boko haram, brought back the missing Chibok girls, brought justice to the people by arresting the evil men and women responsible for years of death and debt upon this nation.” Now I like that ending. Will it happen? I hope to God it can be so.
If I told a story 30 years ago that Nigeria will be worse off at 55, would you have believed me?