Nigeria can be great again

Nigeria…When people mention this country, it triggers a lot of emotions in the mind of citizens ranging from love to irritation to annoyance to anger to frustration. This labyrinth of emotions can largely be attributed to the unpredictable as well as exciting nature of occurrences in Nigeria. If it’s not the foremost citizen of the country spending over 100 days receiving medical care in another country, it’s the strangest tales of animals suddenly ‘stealing’ monetary resources from ‘secure’ government structures.

The people are generally happy no doubt, but the dark cloud of dissatisfaction that everyone walks around with is thick enough to cut through with a knife and we all carry the ancient load of recycled leaders on our backs as though they’re a burden we can’t be rid of. We party, get married and build families in an environment that’s increasingly toxic to development and peaceful co-habitation, yet we sing daily “one nation bound in freedom…”

Shall we talk about the incessant bombings or unprecedented killing in the northern and eastern parts of the country, or maybe we should discuss the dilapidated state of our government offices over a cup of tea or the sorry situation that we refer to as the ‘educational’ system here while chewing on some of the nonexistent ‘free lunches’ that public school children were promised.

Continuously and as in a vicious cycle, we all troop onto roads riddled with potholes, mad drivers and hungry police officers, transporting ourselves on fuel that is exorbitantly unaffordable and fast diminishing. We feed ourselves, our children and all of our people on food that is nothing to write home about, excusing our poverty mentality with the guise of ‘survival’. We hold our tongues because nothing will likely change and we’ll probably be booked for ‘hate speech’ anyway. A place where our mainstay, agriculture, has been put away for an expendable resource…*cynical laughter*

When our foremost citizen thought it wise to insinuate that women are only useful as housekeepers and sex objects and went ahead to demoralize youths who work relentlessly by calling them ‘lazy’, what then shall the others do? Often, we hear of our leaders exhibiting childish traits, yet we kiss their feet and chant ‘sir’ and ‘ma’ because all we want is a piece of the national cake they’ve looted.

With too many of our people living below the poverty line, it is an irony that our country is the largest economy in Africa.

It’s funny sometimes how we all see the evil being perpetrated on a regular basis and look on as though nothing ever happened…

A wise man once said that “when good men do nothing, evil abounds in the land”, this is the reality of daily living in Nigeria. A sad reality indeed, one that can be remedied. We all have a part to play in this, let’s rise up, stand at attention and try to live up to the words “In love and honesty to grow, and living just and true…”

Elections are a breath away, please eligible citizens, go out and vote for a YOUNG, deserving candidate. Emphasis on YOUNG. Proper research and a genuine interest in the government are also good starting points.

Nigeria needs to be great again. And only WE can make that happen.

-The Grace Ola


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