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..!

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8 thoughts on “What Is Wrong with Nigeria and Nigerians?

  1. My don’t kill ur self 4 Nija cos mere words nd article writing can nt save us. We just need d mighty hand of God 4 our salvation, if nt don’t b suprise we re treding bk 2 slavery. GOD SAVE NIJA

  2. Thank God you posted this with the sharp details about what happens in Nigeria.And that depicts what goes along in the rest of our dark continent.It is even nerve breaking to find people in our sacrificed generation who support meaningless events as such.The budget for this could be used to provide social infrastructure and services and improve the lives of millions instead of using some political excuse to force funds into the pockets of jackals who continue to kill Nigeria and Africa.In the end the voice of hope will triumph.

  3. I hate reading articles like this because i end up hating why being a citizen of this so called claiming giant of africa…Don’t mind that speech of his about “what we are enjoying today” i once had the opportunity to see the aso rock where those criminal are living then you won’t blame him especially. the worst is that some of us who complains end up being influenced¿where is asari dokubo?where is oshumole of all people?and thousands of them !! As am writing this i couldn’t believe that my face is being soaked wit tears because i wish i can help but i realise its just a word like a seed drop on a stone.ONLY GOD CAN HELP US WITH SOMEONE…

  4. The people of this country have been disadvantaged and neglected by their elected leaders, lawmakers and politicians. Some of the public leaders and policy makers are occupied with mismanagement and poor leadership skills in their administration of the country. They neglect and ignore policies that are aimed at improving the standard of living among the people of the country. This poor leadership style explains why most of the people of this notion can be seen as struggling for survival in life. The corrupt impact of leadership and in some areas government operations and its challenges cannot be overlooked. It is only God and the good people of the nation can save Nigeria from this problem.

  5. Adeola
    Thank you for your blog, and your honest and seine view on things Nigerian. For me it is a breath of fresh air, many other blogs overlook things, or simply leave out the basic flaws that are everywhere there.

    About the independence day celebrations, I am puzzled why people are so resigned to allow this charade and misappropriation of funds to occur? This is something that, at the very least the students and civil society up and down the land should mobilise against. I’ve not heard anything to see that this is the case. Yet they are the very ones to shout loudest when things are collapsing around their ears…

    Not only is the amount spent obscene and totally unnecessary, in the 50 years of “independence”, nothing of substance has been achieved. Look at what South Korea, India, China, Brazil, Malaysia even Ghana have managed to achieve by their own efforts, we should hang our heads in shame, shut our mouths and resolve to drag Nigeria out of the pit of corruption and decay. This is especially incumbent upon the leaders, everyone must do their bit. Not only has Nigeria failed to move forward, or even keep up it has fallen behind. In 1960 it was regarded as a middle-income country, now it is well and truly a poor country. The only things of note that are exported from Nigeria today are hydrocarbons (oil and gas), and people (be it legally or illegally).

    It is true Nigerians, are easily mislead and distracted, so those of us abroad apart from a few here and there, will say nothing against these “celebrations”, or some may even go and patronise these “events”.

    I said it once, and I’ll say it again, there is no need to spend this money on this rubbish. The account of N20 million for a party for 1000 kids. What party could be more important, than saving lives?

    People, today are dying en masse due to lack of the basic provision of clean drinking water, and a proper sewerage system.This is a basic necessity of life.

    Click here

    One would have thought, that the occurrence of such diseases should have been wiped out by now. Nigeria is not suffering floods on the scale of Pakistan, yet we have people dying like this. What is the point of having a ministry of health, they are always running to UN (United Nations) for help? Initially it was due to an outbreak of Lassa fever, then the mismanagement of gold extraction in Zamfara that lead to contamination of local drinking water due to mercury poisoning, now cholera. What kind of people do we have in that ministry? What are they doing? What action will be taken halt this maladministration? Yet people want to celebrate! What are they celebrating? Failure, greed, ignorance, self-destruction. Only the unwise would celebrate.

    Many people in Nigeria go hungry on a daily basis, not to mention our neighbours in Niger who are literally starving

    You say President Jonathan, has many groups backing him, and why purely for self-interest based on spurious premises and practices.

    The last two paragraphs illustrate this phenomenon.

    Click here

    You say we don’t learn from our mistakes, at least over the last 50 years this is completely true. The only hope for peaceful change is democracy but his seems to have been rendered useless in Nigerian hands. People are pinning their hopes on the elections in 2011. I say they should think again. When corruption and malpractice are rife in society at large

    read this

    Click here

    you can not expect law and order to be upheld. The people who are responsible for this (the police) have been shown to be corrupt.

    Click here

    So where is the hope for peaceful change? When police commissioners are setting targets for junior officers to collect in bribes from the public each day, (naturally the officers take their cut).

    The other last resort people like to cling on to is to shout God’s name. It simply isn’t enough to fold one’s hands and say God will save us, tangible and intelligent action by those on the ground is what is needed. God has already done his part, there are abundant resources, the land was initially fertile, and people industrious. It is down to people to harness what they have and co-operate amongst one another, instead of abusing and misusing it and deceiving themselves that somehow someone else is to blame for the national predicament.

    If you stop blogging and telling the truth, then that will be one less avenue for the truth about Nigeria to be told to those who have ears to listen and minds to comprehend.

    • I made a mistake, the people of Zamfara are dying of lead poisoning which contaminated the local water supply ( not mercury poisoning as I previously said). Lead is a by-product of gold extraction. Either way both local and state authorities have shown themselves to be inept. These deaths could have been avoided if proper planning and regulation was established and followed through.

  6. speaking as a person who has grown up in Britain while having an African heritage….. well as someone on the outside looking in, but who does aspire to come back to Nigeria to hopefully help the country out of this mess, the things that I can truly say are this. Nigeria has one thing going for it and that is natural resources, most than even a lot of countries. whether it be gold or fertile land. the problem is a deep seated apathy and corruption which is not only prevalent within those in charge but has become the norm for the ordinary citizen who are so afraid as well as apathetic that even while corruption happens they do not rise up. generally speaking people should not be afraid of their governments, governments should be afraid of their people. When it is the former the people will literally not take any BS and will swiftly dispatch corrupt or incompetent governments, even if this takes a long time at least the people know they are free to voice their opinions and do something about these opinions without fear of violent retaliation as long as they voice their concerns through peaceful endevaers e.t.c. However when it is the latter the ordinary people are simply slaves who do nothing while their governments ruin their country….hell just look at the state of Zimbabwe today. The fact is Africa as a whole is seen as a total laughing stock to the rest of the world because we have abundant resources yet squander it. Hell places in Africa such as Nigeria could even look at what other countries are doing in terms of new technology and either emulate them or think of solutions to the problems which they have…….but no not even this is happening. instead all i seem to hear is GOD will provide. this quite frankly is bullshit. why would god help one country over another?. It has been said that God helps those who help themselves, so surely the god you talk about who loves all people regardless of age ethnicity or whatever, would equally give everyone a level playing field which he has done by providing the resources with which to flourish. Even China has come in leaps and bounds to the point where every developed country wants a peace of it and its not even a democracy. This is what I think needs to happen

    1.get rid of those vile encompetant thugs you people call leaders and put in someone who actually gives a damn about the country

    2. invest in infrastructure such as renewable energy sources such as wind turbines , hydroelectric dams,and since its a hot country fucking solar panels… its not rocket science people.

    3. invest in an adequate health care system

    4. education education education. i have a degree in philosophy and law and am currently doing another course for a degree in animations and games design and because variety’s the spice of life, I’m teaching myself Japanese in my spare time. the video games industry especially is a multi billion dollar/pound/yen industry yet there is nothing like this being done in Nigeria? its these kinds of reason why most people see Africa and especially Nigeria as a backwards non-progressive country who in 100 years will still be the same if not worse.

    5. stop whining about about neo-colonial crap….GET OVER IT!!! bad shit happened in the past, but stop dwelling on it. Instead think about the future.

    That’s my two pence. if you disagree fair enough.. but then tell me how you would fix the state of Nigeria and Africa in general.

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