There is a lot of angst, anger and despondency in Nigeria these days and there’s no getting around it: the government is directly responsible for it.
I’m usually one of those people who say that yes, the leadership in Nigeria has let us down time and time again, but government cannot be held responsible for every little thing. If tomato seller tell me say tomato don cost because of dollar, na to go find another tomato seller, no need to call Buhari name inside the matter.
But even I am distraught at the news coming out of Nigeria: wave after wave of misery and despair as hardworking people try to overcome whatever obstacle is set in front of them and the obstacles just keep coming.
Pick an excuse. Any excuse. Price of oil per barrel has dropped. NNPC is to be unbundled. Some youth vandalised the refinery. Bunkering and tiffery upandan. All we sha know sha is that there is no petrol. The queues are miles long as everybody – from Bentley owner to okada man to Keke Napep driver is trying to fill up their tank, or at least et enough so as to not die on the main road. To top it off, the generator queues are something like out of the very pits of Hades. It’s just mind-numbing all around.
— Lagos Class Captain (@AmbodeObsarver) March 10, 2016
And speaking of generators, the electricity enjoyed by the majority of the country shortly after the Buhari administration was voted in was a very short spell as most areas have reverted back to their old ways, and in some instances, worse. Tales of “No light for the past three days” are now commonplace, meaning inverters can’t be charged and we’re back to that old faithful – ‘I Better Pass My Neighbour’ – the generator. So much of our young talent and brain capital is devoted towards looking for ways to alternatively generate electricity or at least bypass the need for it. Shocking considering this is 2016.
This affects more than the elite of the country, it affects import and trade and therefore affects even the people who do not know where Murtala Muhammed International Airport is. My friend who works in the bank tells me that the dollar stands at ₦325 today, and we can’t really talk about pounds sterling because that one is just blood money at the moment. Toh.
Unnecessarily harsh limits on forex transactions, how much can be changed, how much can be carried out of the country, how much you can withdraw from an ATM once you are outside of the country – all restrictions that only serve to cripple an already weak economy by curtailing the activities of those that legitimately trade abroad and in Nigeria. What is the thought process?? That the goats who ate the yams kept the stolen funds in naira under some sort of “I know I really should keep this money in Switzerland or some other tax loophole, but I just haven’t got round to it yet. I know! I’ll wait till Buhari comes back into power and do it then jare!” It’s foolishness and it is hurting the masses.
This is nothing new, but education is shiteous and health care is a joke. An aunt that is in dire need of a CT scan was told after 3 hours of waiting that the CT machine is broken and will be sent for repairs. Maybe she could try again in 3-4 weeks. Iranu. Abasha. Oh, and here’s a book written for children by an ‘author’. Make of it what you will:
All of this suffering and not-smiling under the harshest of circumstances, the hottest of suns, and the most hostile of environments. Is it any wonder that people are aggressive and ticked off?! It is difficult to remain civilised and speak reasonably when you can physically hear your brain cells sizzling and frying away. Ees nor good ke??
This is the biggest problem for me bar NONE! My president ‘visits’ our country between trips – presumably to get a fresh set of underwear and a different agbada before he zooms off again. When he is in town, he is hosting world leaders – in the last fortnight alone, we have played host to the Turkish and South African president. Both the president and his vice, Osinbajo, seem to have completely forgotten how to work a microphone – no press conferences, no debriefings, no status update, however untruthful, just to pacify the populace that there is indeed work going on. Just…silence. Because that is what they feel we deserve, I guess.
I understand that there are PDP die-hards crowing with smugness “Shebi we told you Buhari will be a disaster and you didn’t agree?! Enjoy your president ooo!” This level of myopia I can neither understand nor tolerate. Is there a separate Nigeria carved aside for you where Jonathan is still president and you are living in the land of milk and honey? Abi is it really that comfortable crowing while sweating in a petrol queue? It is what it is and we’re all in it together. So let’s deal and see if there is a way forward.
Nigeria, we indeed hail thee 🙁
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