This is purely a rant, vent, whatever you want to call it, because I just can’t stand the complaints, hunger and suffering of my family, relatives and fellow citizens anymore. What in hell’s kitchen is wrong with Nigeria? When will it ever get anything right? When will the CHANGE come, will we be alive to see it? Or will it come and meet no one because we had all starved to death?
I haven’t received any salary in five months, my husband hasn’t been paid this year at all; my father is being owed three months salary; my mother hasn’t been paid for six months, has now retired and is still awaiting outstanding salaries, gratuity and pension. These have been recurring themes with friends and relatives of mine since the turn of this year. I didn’t vote for Buhari, I couldn’t have since I wasn’t in Nigeria at the time and I wouldn’t have if I was because I didn’t believe in his promises. But Nigerians didn’t care about his promises either, we just wanted President Jonathan out. Most voters were more anti-Jonathan than pro-Buhari in my opinion. But this is not about Buhari or his policies, this is about priorities. I support the President’s quest to stamp corruption out of Nigeria, all I’m asking is for him to feed his people so they can live to see the promised CHANGE when it finally arrives, if it ever does.
Remember King Saul when he was chasing David to kill him and was investing a lot of manpower and resources into killing David rather than providing for or protecting his people? The current situation in Nigeria looks an awful lot like this biblical story. And I’m not placing the blame all on the foot of President Buhari or the Federal Government, I’m extending some of my wrath to the state governments also and their leaderships. How can a state not pay its workers for six months, six whole months? Are these governors even human at all? Even evil dictators still try to feed their citizens. How do you expect a working family to survive without pay for six whole months? I just do not get it. Where has all the state’s fund gone?
I wrote this poem about a year ago in my book Alisa the Odessa Bride.
Vision 20-what now? (Green White Green)
It used to be 2005, 2010, then 2015
You’ll all be leaving in paradise by 2005
The other came and said 2010 will be the year
The year we get to live like royalty that we are
Reality clouded by expectations, hope and optimism
Eternal optimism for the better future
A long wait for the rejected cornerstone
The magic wand that’ll make it all work
How about a little vision for the now and then
One hand here, another there, two in the other corner
Gently lowering the palsy to the healer’s lap
Easy, easy, uniformly or he’ll drop and die
Nigeria you belong in a place of pride and prestige
You’re never going to reach your paradise without a leap
Key to change is not in the hand of one
If it was, the gates of heaven would have been opened by now
It takes the collective to make change
Not the collective noise but the collective nous
Nigeria you’re on the edge of glory and greatness
Like the man next door I’m ready to jump with you
This piece echos my exact sentiments during last year’s presidential elections. I was admittedly very pessimistic and sceptical at the excitement and optimism of all my Nigerian colleagues during that period. I didn’t want and don’t want Nigeria to stay the same in its rotten state, I do want CHANGE, I just don’t buy the talk that one man can fix Nigeria on his own, or that it can be done within a short time frame. Obasanjo, Yar’adua, Jonathan needed to have played their parts and laid solid foundations for PMB to build on. But we don’t build on old foundations in Nigeria, we buy our own plot of land and start a new building altogether. When time runs out and that building is not completed, the next man also doesn’t want any of it. He buys his own plot and starts his own building afresh. No one trusts anyone or wants to continue what others have started. And we wonder why no progress is being made.
I am for CHANGE, as much as I am up for sacrificing for the greater good. All I want is not to starve to death before that greater good arrives. Give me some small food now, lest I die in this wilderness. Do you think a single Israelitish soul would have made it to Cannan if all they had was the promise of a land that flows with milk and honey and no manna for sustenance in the meantime?