By Ifade Segun
Over the years, I’ve been told by many elderly people in my community, also i’ve read countless number of books that easily make me know that Nigeria was a good place to live one time ago. Infact, without any iota of exaggeration, since our elders ought not to lie, Nigeria was land of peace, unity and productivity. No one will go to bed with an empty stomach, no one will either nurse any plan of organising robbery, to rob his neighbour nor will anyone forge his certificate to have promotion, infact nothing like ghost workers at
government work and no public officials can steal, because it is a family shame for anyone to steal. The people will just ex-communicate the family to avoid contamination. You can’t even see dead body in the street, it is undignified and is total lack of human feeling. That time, they say jobs is more than people, and no graduate. Even primary school or what they called level or standard can finish and decide to work, let alone a university graduate. Even bomb is an alien word to them, and no youth at that time can easily tell you how gun sound let alone tell you different types of gun and their brand.
Indeed, things have changed! Not for good, but for bad!
Now, our song is different. Growing up, like many other generation of mine, I have hardly seen any original products with my eyes. I have been socialized to see fake as original, the sound of gun is now like when a child is drumming. We are used to it and many of us can give you different brand of gun in the market. Now 37 percent of the population are jobless, not because they lack working prerequisite, but because there’s no work. No thanks to our political rulers, having embezzled our treasury, having given electricity contract to family and friends, how can there be 24 hours of electricity for us and companies to power their gigantic machine for production? So many people have left for other countries where profit will be high, since they won’t be spending billions on diesel to have power for production. And many refusing to invest because of power, insecurity, lack of infrastructure, even many foreign investors like Virgin corporation owner is not willing to invest in Nigeria again, citing the greediness of our political rulers, they always want to be bribed even when you have done no wrong.
Today, lives are cheaper here than any other place on earth, with death mostly unavoidable. See plane crash; Dana, Bellview, Sosoliso, Boko Haram Bomb, accidents caused by loopholes on the road, dark road with no light for easy and safe passage by night , see tens of daily petroleum tankers killing 100 at a go, people roasting like a barbecue…This is hell on earth!
In all this, I see hope, I see a future that will take us back to the period when human beings have total dignity, when things will work for better, when no more political rulers but political leaders, where justice is not to the highest bidder and no government will force people to vacate their land without providing another place. Where education shall be for all no matter the social status of the family and job will be plenty.
All these are possible, but we must change our ORIENTATION, we must begin to have and live with values that our elderly ones of yesterday lived with, we must romance hardwork and say no to fast wealth without labour, we must REFORM our land, our military-made constitution, our electoral procedures, our education and others. We must imbibe the spirit of AGITATION; nobody is born as a social activist, it is here that we all start. When we see evil been perpetrated by men, when we see people in sorrowful and inhumane condition, where their predicament is an irony, seeing diverse natural resources that ought to make them live good, that is when some take up the job of speaking the truth and doing good without minding the consequence.
However, the work is plenty but labourers are few! Everyone must agitate for a better society, everyone must take activism as a part time job, every one must stop looking down on people who ask for more and demand for a better society as if they are failures who were just seeking opportunity to be known. As a nation, we must stop accepting anything that is thrown at us by these Abuja sycophants, we must have the spirit of rejecting bad policy that will open our door for poverty. We must ask for jobs, electricity, water, good health system, education for all, and infact, we must be the ones to tell how much government officials do collect. It is our right, we must exercise it to the fullest.
By Ifade Segun Socialist