You know how they say a victim of abuse can become numb to whatever is meted on them just to survive?
Once, we believed the light issue would be solved. We waited and hoped and believed the campaign pitches and investor proposals until we just started hoping on more tangible solutions like having enough money for that stand-by Lister generator. Or the solar solutions that made it hard to even tell when the genuine power is out or otherwise. Thanks be to God, for free sunlight, the brains to use it to create solar panels that power houses, and the fact that no government policies can regulate its use.
What if we had to pay taxes to have 10 kilowatts of solar energy supplied to our office buildings monthly? If those in power could, I bet this would be yet another option for revenue generation for a country that is constantly running at a deficit of its annual budget.
And yet, it would become a disgruntled normal with time.
We hoped our hospitals would get better. Better at everything. Better staff. Better drugs. Better services. Better equipments. But even this became illusive. Doctors went missing time and time again; they refused to work on empty stomachs. And again we just stopped hoping. No, we shifted our hopes to our Sunday visits to the ‘Big Man’ up there not minding when these visits became more patronising; a trade by batter of some sort.
‘’I give you my time, you keep me in health.”
Because a visit to a hospital in Nigeria could send you to your grave earlier than staying home in your sick-bed could.
Parents pay through their noses to give their children a chance at ownership of a golden piece of paper that confers smartness, intelligence and success skills on its bearer. But beneath the concerted efforts is the nagging fear that they may never find the opportunities to exhibit said smartness, intelligence and success skills because over a million comrades before them were yet to find same.
On one end of the line, and for the benefit of all, hopes produce the courage to create and invent and succeed while on the other hand, hopes produce frustration, enough to kill for, scam for and die for.
‘’There was a bombing in Maiduguri this morning. At the university campus’’.
But they said this war was over and they had come out victorious. They said the land was secure and safe once again.
Over a hundred school girls were moved across state borders by armed bandits and are yet to be found nearly three years later. But the war against insurgency has been defeated – with no spoils of war.
In three years, we had seen blood thirsty men, with no value for the human life, butcher their countrymen and praise their creator while their feet stayed immersed in the pool of blood of their armless victims. What, they even slaughtered their countrymen in favour of cows and livestock!
We watched men burn. Burn because they stole a mobile device, or some cash, or even some food to quench the grumblings of their empty bellies.
And slowly, death was no longer an alien; suffering meant strength and chaos, norm.
Somehow even the hopes we had against all hopes deserted us.
Its one zombie and two dead men, soullessly moving about their daily activities.
”Because your creator says so.” And off he goes across the ledge crashing speedily into a pulpy mass of skin, bones and blood.
”When it gets here, we can worry about it”, says one dead man to another, until he has to bury his next door neighbour, with a pile of human carcasses, many of whom he’s lived with but find very difficult to recognize.
‘’We shield our eyes from the flame, but our country is on fire; every corner a smouldering heat.’’
‘’The hum of generators will numb us; we will remain unmoved by four hours of gridlock traffic; the sound of exploding churches will be just another Sunday morning’’
Icarus – Titilope Sonuga
Our beloved motherland is filled with dead men and zombies; men whose life forces have been drained slowly and life is reduced to mere motions.
We pass by the sufferings and pain and we feel nothing, do nothing. We talk and argue at news stands; host countless conferences and attend expensive summits around the world but nothing ever changes.
I first heard Timi Dakolo’s Great Nation at The Experience 2012 or 13, not certain now. With every word and line and in typical Timi style, he sent hope down the soul of every being in that crowd that night. I could tell from the silence that ensued once he started singing. With every beat of that bass drum and every inflection in his voice, he made me believe that all was not lost, that things would be better, that we were still a great nation, that she held great promise and that one day ”we would shine like the sun”.
I am listening to this song as I sit here in front of my computer and all I can think about are the still missing Chibok girls, the fact that a dollar is almost 500 naira and that this is one exchange rate amongst so many others. All I can think about is a president on leave and the rising prices of everything that has a price tag.
The power shortages, the cost of doing business,the kidnappings, the looting, the bad roads, the looting, the looters walking freely and being elected into newer positions where there’ll be more looting – that is all I can think of.
The Quiet One