Dark November Blues

The story of Nigeria is a sad story of cyclic idiocy.

Dark November Blues

By Adeola Aderounmu

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This weekend l looked at the headlines as l have always done. In fact l usually look at the headlines during the week as well. This way l am in touch with happenings and events not only in Nigeria but also around the world.

If you are a columnist or a blogger there is never a deficiency in what can trigger your opinion for your weekly essay or regular write-ups.

For sometime now l have also been thinking about the possibility of travelling to Nigeria for the first time since 2010. This has affected my mood, my disposition and my thoughts in no small way.

When l’d travel to Nigeria as l have done from time to time since 2002 when l first left Nigeria straight to Sweden, it had always been with mixed feelings. Partly, l am happy to see my families and friends again. On the other hand l am sad because l am reminded of the life of poverty that l always return to.

As far as Nigeria is concern, l am still a man living in poverty. I have written many times that becoming a member of the Nigerian family in diapora is not an escape from the poverty that stare at you in the face in Nigeria.

If one lives well abroad or even in Nigeria and pretends to be immune to the intensity and spread of social, infrastructure and material poverty in Nigeria, then one is heartless.

Personally I have never seen living in Sweden as an escape from the life of poverty that l know in Nigeria. It will not matter how long l live in Sweden. l have come to realise that l cannot dissociate myself easily from the several millions of Nigerians still struggling to live on less than 25 dollars a month or nothing at all.

Today l just need to purge my random thoughts, my november blues out of my mind. That way, l become free and my soul is set free.

This happens because there are so many things running through my mind at the same time to the extent that l doubt if l could say l slept well this outgoing week.

When l’d thought about my future trip to Nigeria l am so sad that the people that l know have become fewer in number. One of the laws of nature catches up with us as we grow older-the old and sick dying and newborns emerging.

My mother will not be there amongst those who l want to fondly remember. There are so many others that will be missing and l will not indulge myself in writing about those who went too soon. In almost all the situations where death has cheated me, l realized that the causes are either related to poverty or direct failure of governance.

But l refuse to elaborate further on those who have been taken away from me because of the rat race existence in Nigeria. I will let the tears l’ve shed wash my sorrows away.

There are so many reasons l write regularly, mostly about Nigeria.

One day someone who had been close to me during my adolescence commented on one of my essays: Adeola may you live to see the Nigeria of your dreams.

I think she aptly captured the essence of my essays. She is probably one of those who realised that l could have gone on to live a quiet life like millions of Nigeria living abroad. Those who write genuinely about the socio-political problems in Nigeria have no obligations to do so. It must be the love in their hearts.

My friend’s comment meant that she has been reading a substantial part of my essays where l refused to give up on living a good life in Nigeria. True, that Nigeria where things are normal and work as they should remains in my dreams.

To some people writing about Nigeria and your frustrations about the criminals ruling Nigeria means that you have an agenda, most likely that you have a political ambition that will make you become one of the criminals in government.

Must everyone steal/loot in government? Most people answered: YES.

That aspect saddens me.

In any case, for a country with more than 150 m people having unlimited natural resources and extreme diversity of languages, culture and heritage, there is a need for more voices and opinions from reasonable and selfless people.

This is urgent because a critical analysis of the Nigerian mindset based on the evolution of the social media and in fact conversations with ordinary people one meets leave a lot to be desired. Usually l am easily devastated by the urge of many more Nigerians to participate in politics because they want to become criminals like their fathers, mothers, uncles, friends and neighbours.

Who is going to bring about the Nigeria of my dreams?

Who is happy that several millions of Nigerians remain in absolute poverty living from hand to mouth? Who is happy that their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers are placed on minimum poverty wage of N18k per month? Who is happy that unemployed people may receive N5k per month as poverty unemployment allowance?

Is it not in the same country where some people stole several billions of dollars and remain free men and women? Is it not in the same country where a few men and women called politicians and their counterparts in the military have access to unlimited funds that they can loot, steal and divert for personal uses?

What is security vote? Nobody is even looking at that anymore. I heard it is several billions of naira given to a governor to provide security for the state he/she governs. I heard the governor does not have to give an account of the state’s security votes. Really?

So a governor can divert security vote to his personal account  for 8 years and get away with it just like that. Is this why insecurity is one of the biggest problems in Nigeria?

This country Nigeria is a country built on destructive tendencies in all ramifications!

So the story of a failed country goes on.

The senators are still earning as much as possible doing almost nothing. Sometimes they shout YA or NAY and millions of naira get wired to their accounts. Just like that! Then, they will decide one day to give 5 thousand naira to unemployed graduates. What a fantastic mess? Absolute rubbish and senselessness!

Ministers will finally emerge in the mid-November blues and they are mainly the same old suspects of corruption from the APC or the old PDP converts.

Then the judiciary and the presidency will play the probe game back and forth. They will decide who can be probed or not. Listen! Probe Jonathan! We can’t probe Obasanjo..! We can’t probe Babangida..! Abacha was not corrupt..!

Each government continues to blame the previous administration instead of hitting the ground appropriately to work. The story of Nigeria is a sad story of cyclic idiocy.

I am just wondering.

What can be the worst outcome if Nigerians storm the streets across the country and ask for the sack of all the federal and state senators and legislators and then place them on N5 000 a month until they find new jobs?

On the proposed N5k for unemployed people, my take is that rather embarking on such a disgraceful and dehumaninzing gesture, the government of Nigeria (at all levels) should double their efforts and committments to alleviating the suffering in the land.

There are what we call short-term plans and long-term plans.

Some short-term plans are achievable within 12 calender months when sense is applied. But when you spent more than 6 months to form a common cabinet or executive at state and federal levels, then it doesn’t make sense anymore. It means you are happy with your election or emergence and the people can go to hell!

I think 100% of the unemployed people will be happy to donate their proposed poverty stipends of N5 000 to the motherless babies home if for example electricity is constant in Nigeria say from January 2016 and for ever more.

With a common infrastrucure as electricity many of the unemployed people will become gainfully employed by either engaging in private businesses or becoming  absorbed by organisations and enterprises whose monthy profits are mainly used to provide power and other avoidable costs of running businesses.

Even the olden days agricultural development and settlement schemes of western Nigeria availed much. The blueprints must still be somewhere!

There are endless suggestions on either side of the take.

Long-term plan means tacking the fundamental issues that not only affect the political instability in Nigeria but also addressing the economic and development implications at the same time.

The Boko Haram war, the new face of Biafran uprising and the endless agitations in the South-West and in the Niger-Delta will not go away simply because President Buhari has a military background. You can’t purge away these uprisings and wars by a wave of the hand. Agidi o ran!

Boko Haram was underestimated, see where it is heading. Now people are wishing Biafra a sudden death..! what a pity!

That is why referendum exists.

Nigeria needs one now before the country explodes fully.

At this moment, the most reasonable way will be for Nigerian politicians to eschew their selfishness and adopt regional government as quickly as possible. It will not solve all the problems but it will a bold step in the right direction.

aderounmu@gmail.com

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