What Is Wrong with Nigeria and Nigerians?

Adeola Aderounmu

I have wept for Nigeria. Not once. Quite a number of times and for real. One day I wept loud. I was sitting in my car and I’d been on the queue for fuel for more than 5 hours. It was in 2006. Sweat and tears mixed freely on that fateful december day. Let’s save the details of the other times that I wept for Nigeria.

The 50th anniversary of Nigeria should be a time for sober reflections. There were more reasons to celebrate Nigeria’s independent anniversary in 1961 than in 2010.

However they will celebrate our 50th anniversary in an ostentatious manner with (in their eyes) a paltry sum of N17b.

I am struggling to come to terms with the implication of the huge cost of the global celebration of our (slaved) independence as majority of Nigerians continue to struggle for minimum level of existence.

A logo has been unveiled. Thirty million naira was paid for it! We have a national flag that 50 could have been written on it. The simplest of things in Nigeria must involve contract awards. JWT won the contract in what was called a logo competition. I call it another baba n’la nonsense.

Two hundred and fifty million naira will be used to produce publications and documentary on Nigeria. Another group of opportunists are already at work. There will be no check and balance system to weigh the output with the funds expended. It is not impossible that 240m alone or more will be looted. This is Nigeria..!

In the run up to this celebration of failure, millions and billions of naira will be earmarked for other projects and expenditures. I have laboured in vain to be part of the opposition to this event. My voice and opinions don’t count.

Shamefully Nigerians around the world will troop to the celebrations that the various embassies will organise. We don’t a common voice of protest. We don’t boycott rubbish to press home our points. We are too divided and diverse. Our weak points are the strongholds of political madness that has ensured that more than 70m of us are living below acceptable level of existence.

The enthusiasm on the faces of Nigerian politicians says it all. These unnecessary celebrations opened up an avenue for the common looting of the Nigerian treasury across all tiers of government. It was probably for that reason that despite all the clarion calls for the reduction in the sum to be expended the amount was even raised from N10b to N17b.

In recent times we have seen how the House of Representatives and the Senate fooled Nigerians with their corrupt practices. I recall their furious comments when they didn’t know where Dora’s fund for rebranding where emerging from. But they shut-up after Dora paid them a visit.

When the N10b brouhaha started, they began their deliberations with a view to cutting the cost. But as usual, because they need their own cuts being the looters that they are, they reviewed the amount upwards. There are no scandals in Nigeria anymore. No, none that I remember since USD12b dollars disappeared under the watch of the Nigerian Military during the gulf war.

INEC ask for 74 billion and got 89 billion. They always add more to make room for the kickbacks, looting and direct stealing of the oil money.

Nigerian politicians and public officials have no human feelings; they are very brutal in their carnivorosity. Among them are dudes who earn over N200 in emolument annually. The highest in the world.

As a result of the reward in politics assasination of political opponents has started in earnest. What is wrong with this country? What is wrong with the people and the politicians? E gba mi o

Seventeen billion naira is not a big deal to those who approved it because they can steal, loot and cart away millions through exaggerated salaries and bonuses while the rest of us can go to hell

They don’t share my pains as an ordinary citizen of this country who has no light, water and other basic things of life. In Nigeria I live in poverty and I am so sad about it. Some people stole my life, they derailed my future.

They are now in party mood and they will splash and waste huge amount of money on a global party. Among other ridiculous amounts a party for 1,000 children has been billed for N20 million.

How on earth can you have a party of 20 million naira for 1 000 children? What are they eating? Gold? Even if the food will be imported from Alaska, 20 million naira surely is meant for outright looting. No more scandal in Nigeria..!

Meanwhile while unveiling the ugly logo Mr Jonathan said “We remember our founding fathers who fought tirelessly for what we are enjoying today. ‘They did not labour in vain. Through their efforts Nigeria gained independence in 1960,’ he said. He said the anniversary was a celebration of peace, life, determination and ability to remain as a nation in spite of all odds. ‘We have striven above political and economic tussles as well as our cultural differences. ‘We have had our shares of ups and downs but surmounted them with the indomitable Nigerian spirit”.

Sometimes I wonder the kind of audience or spectators that attend the occasions when blatant lies like these are thrown into the air. The founding fathers of Nigeria have definitely laboured in vain. The independence we got has brought suffering, pain and poverty of the highest order.

I wish Dr. Jonathan could in plain terms tell us what we are enjoying today in Nigeria. Maybe absolute darkness, total collapse of public educational institutions, bad roads and insecurity are part of the enjoyment. Oh I forgot, kidnapping is part of the enjoyment..!

For the avoidance of doubts the so called Nigerian spirit made popular by late Yar Adua in his inaugural lies in 2007 has not helped us surmount any damn problem. On the contrary it has added more to the vices in the Nigerian society with impunity at the helm.

The other day Dr. Goodluck Jonathan gave awards to some crooks and told us to emulate them. Why are we educated at all if this is what we get? We reward looters because in Nigeria the givers and the receivers of National awards are the same gang.

But why should we emulate looters? I forbid that with whatever it takes. I know the son of whom I am. I will never emulate all those people who have destroyed Nigeria by their corrupt practices and greed. Maybe Jonathan should start writing his speeches by himself or he should spend a few minutes to read them before the occasions.

On a very personal note, I have tried to close my blog a few times but I keep coming back. I will probably be around for a little while more and then I’ll make a final decision-to quit or continue. I’m almost sure I may not write anywhere else except my blog. I’ve had enough.

Nigeria is becoming more and more hopeless. Certain things are happening now in Nigeria and on the cyber space that reveals to me that we may be fighting a lost battle. Nigeria’s problems are extraordinary and the diversity of our opinions may never allow us to move ahead.

I’m finding it more and more difficult to find a group of Nigerians who are really sincere with their comments about Nigeria. I’m finding it more difficult to associate with people. Everywhere, I get disappointed with the way people see Nigeria’s problems and their opinions on ways to solve the problems.

More disappointingly, I’ve been looking at my generation wasting away as well. I don’t know what to do and I might just give up someday.

Unless something radical or unimaginable occurs, Nigeria will remain a hopeless country. But how can a radical change include a common ignorant man who has fetched water from the same dirty well since 1958 in Northern Nigeria, a blogger who earns big by publishing falsehood, mama Risi who sells rice at Ketu bus stop having no idea of government and an opposition figure whose intention is also to steal if he wins? What a dilemma? What a country?

I must warn though about the trend in Nigeria today.

Many groups are announcing their support for GEJ. There is one Goodluck Supports Group, and many others including the Nigerian Artists.

We must NEVER forget that Abacha was the sole candidate of all the political parties before he met his tragic end. When Yar Adua was alive, almost every group in Nigeria gave him a second term despite the fact that he was not even half way on his first term.

Nigerians are gullible, opportunistic and myopic. They organise into groups to grasp things and money when the going is good for whoever is in charge. When that time is over, they go underground and wait for the next opportunity emerging with new names and new agenda.

We don’t learn from history. We don’t learn from our mistakes. I am not sure how much longer I can put up with these things. Some of my friends say I’m worked up and stressed because of Nigeria.

Anyway, Thank you for reading my blog.

I don’t know when or how frequent I’ll be posting in the days ahead.

There is something wrong with Nigeria..!