Arise oh Compatriot! Nigeria is passing through sorrowful times. Past weeks have been too challenging for Nigerians both home and abroad. From the wake of world cup’s elimination to the emergence of a dark Lagos – we’ve passed through a lot.
I know there are many people like me that are very optimistic about the Nigerian state and refused to give up on it. We’ve rendered our unalloyed loyalty to the country that through thick and thin we’ll survive together. But, while I remain an eternal optimist I’m also a realist; Nigeria really need conscious intervention of her Citizens.
Indications from all quarters are just too bad. Nigeria is just a Dragon that can neither fly nor throw fire! A beast that should be feasting with the lords of the Jungle because it is the lord of the sky but it is now a playmate to goat.
When we think we’ve had the best of disappointment with the nation’s world cup dream cut short by a familiar enemy last week. Our pain was multiplied by various reports on how we are faring as a nation. The scoresheets were just too miserable to assimilate.
In a report by World Poverty Clock, Nigeria has overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty. According to the report, extreme poverty in Nigeria is growing by six people every minute! Nigeria has around 87 million people in extreme poverty!
If this report is anything to go by, Nigeria is acclaimed to have 200 million people as her population. We have 1, 440 minutes in a day, 1, 440 multiplied by 6 is equals to 8, 640 people that falling into extreme poverty per day! This is not an incentive to present to unborn children as the status quo.
In another report by Thomson Reuters Foundation Nigeria has been listed as the ninth most dangerous country for women. Nigeria had unimpressive ratings in sexual violence with constraint in getting access to justice in rape cases, cultural practices like genital mutilation, acid attacks, forced marriage, child marriage and human trafficking.
However, the male gender shouldn’t feel secured with this report because the female gender formed the better part of our society. These gross maltreatment fostered on female will continue to impede our growth as a nation.
While working as an Intern in Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, South-West Headquarter, Premier Fm in 2015. I worked on a special report titled “Paedophilia- The rape of minor” during my interviews, I encountered a pregnant woman who really lamented about the high level of insecurity of the girl child. She furthered pray to give birth to a male child.
We need to imagine how a society with only men will be. Not palatable right? Treat women right and accord them with respect.
In a similar report, United Nations says 881 children were either killed or maimed by Boko Haram and Nigerians Security Forces in 2017. With the terrorist organization getting 620 and NSF with 261; The purported future of tomorrow lies in ruins whilst their lights extinguished at young ages.
While we are trying to assimilate the bitter facts presented to us by international bodies, we woke up on Saturday morning to discover that close to 200 hundred people have been murdered on Herders and farmer conflict. This communal clash is spreading sporadically and has affected 17 states in the federation claiming at least 1, 813 according to Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho.
If we keep stabbing the Elephant thinking it won’t fall, we’ll wake one day to discover otherwise. Nigeria is going into coma and require emergency treatment. There is bloodshed in this country every single day, things that can be easily, averted but the government feels so negligent that they would rather pay the press to under report the number of casualties just to curry political favour from them continually.
A friend of mine once lamented that our Vice president has unofficially become the Minister of Condolences. The few patriotic citizen are pitching their camp with the pessimists that believe Nigeria no longer have any value. A colleague once said he doesn’t pray for Nigeria again even in the church when they are told to. See what we’ve become…
The renowned Playwright and Author, Late Chinua Achebe, painted Nigeria in his book “The trouble with Nigeria” published in 1977 “Nigeria is not a great country. Nigeria is one of the most disorderly nations in the world. It is one of the most corrupt, insensitive, inefficient places under the sun. We are one of the most expensive countries and one of those that give least value for money. It is dirty, callous, noisy, ostentatious, dishonest and vulgar. In short, it is among the most unpleasant places on earth!”
The above statement is 41 years old and is still applicable to Nigeria. The only addition is that cost of not living is now high, the price of coffin has increased in the market. Something must be done to savage our pathetic situation. I know Nigeria can fly if we all lend her our wings.
To this end, I’ll beseech all Nigerians not to forsake her and always send their goodwill to the state. Nigeria is because we are. She can’t help herself except we render our helping hands. Let’s remember our Fatherland in our prayers.
© Solomon Temitope