Nigeria: How Did We Get Here?
The litanies of ill fated news that have oozed out of our shores in the past few months have finally caught the eyes of the entire world. The global outcries currently witnessed with the Chibok misdeamour have been absolutely astonishing. Suddenly, we have become the Iraq of Africa, who can no longer help themselves.
It beggars belief how we have turned into a nation were school children are massacred in the middle of the night. How do we explain that twice in a month, there was a bomb blast at the Nation’s capital, without a trace of the perpetrators? Yet, as our leaders, championed by the ‘Okonjonomics’ of Africa will make us believe: We are the largest economy in Africa. Let no one bamboozle us with figures, the everyday realities tells the true story. It is not growth when a vast majority of the youths are without jobs. It is not growth when millions of Nigerians live in untold penury. It is not growth when we are still grappling with basic social and economic infrastructure. While it is true that Aliko Dangote has emerged as a glitter of light in a perilous dark nation, his tale should not be used to gloss over the stark reality that we have lost both the economic and political plot as a nation.
Save for the senseless 30 months Civil War we fought as a people, one can unequivocally say that it has never been this bad for us as a nation. What began as a group of moderate radicals under Mohammed Yusuf has snowballed into an inferno that even the initiators can no longer salvage. The collective grief that the Boko Haram scourge has enmeshed us all in is not only regrettable, but sickening. While it is true that terrorism is a global plague, the frequency and sheer flourish that plague is currently having in our country leaves one dumbstruck. It is certainly not an illusion. We have descended to atrocious levels.
Some have erroneously blamed our current imbroglio on religion; others have faulted our dire leadership, while a few have thrown stones to other factors. However, while the foregoing might have an iota of truth in them, it is perhaps sickening that we are a nation that plays politics with everything. It is saddening that our politicians and their gullible followers never know where to draw the line in their inordinate political pursuits. I have always been of the opinion that we should never play politics with everything. Alas, ours is a chronicle of a dog eat dog. The collective good is often been sacrificed for selfish personal greed.
It says a lot that while Nigeria was playing host to the World Economic Forum, the attention of the global world remained on the Chibok scenario. Slowly but surely, we are getting the kind of media attention that is not only skewed, but undesired. We are suddenly being portrayed like another Sudan, or for want of a crisper analogy, Afghanistan. How we have never learned that Western support often comes with its own price, is beyond me.
It is salient that the movement to salvage our hapless and innocent girls continues. However, it is high time we take a moment and ponder on how we have suddenly degenerated to a savage society, a beehive of miseries. Until we begin to find sincere answers to this question, we will continue to meddle in the dark. We can pass the blame to any one we like, but it is often said that a nation gets what it’s deserve. My penultimate conclusion is this: We put ourselves in this current menace, and until we discover that only concerted, sincere and dogged efforts by all of us can salvage us, we will continue to wallow in the mess.