Super Blogs Season II
One of my favourite words is ‘beautiful’ – I am Nigerian! Gosh we love beautiful and big things – gigantic houses and cars, dresses, shoes etc. Even when unaffordable, taking out a cooperative loan is not a hard thing for most. The need to have everything picture perfect has now resulted in what I call the ‘Carpet Syndrome’
We do not mind living in denial as long as our issues can perfectly fit under the carpet. We hide the mentally challenged relatives in the boys’ quarters, hide the students whose parents cannot afford socks and books at the back of the classroom during inspection, hide poor citizens by destroying their shops and houses and we hide the suffering masses in gigantic places of worship.
Usually, we can have a field day ridiculing PHCN for not ‘bringing’ light for the past three days, but God bless the non-Nigerian soul who dares to abuse ‘our’ PHCN! There is a Yoruba adage that says ‘bami na omo mi, ko de nu olomo’ which literally means ‘beat (discipline) my kid for me, is not a sincere request’. We like to do the beating ourselves, because we get so embarrassed about washing our dirty linens in public. Why not wash them in public if it will bring solutions? Are we not being publicly humiliated by our leaders on daily basis?
Let’s picture this – Kunle is the sole breadwinner of his family, his wife is involuntarily unemployed and he cannot afford to send all of his children to school when they can barely feed. His difficulty with feeding and maintaining his family has nothing to do with being poorly paid though, he is extremely well paid. However, Kunle has a habit – he enjoys his toys and gadgets, so whenever he gets paid, he either gets a new car or the latest iPad. Kunle can also be very generous! You know what he does when he’s feeling generous? He shares his money with his family by buying new furniture and repainting the house. You also think Kunle must be crazy? This is what Nigeria does to its people! What is there to hide?
This brings me to the on-going operation ‘clean Nigeria’. When people get their homes or stalls destroyed, what choices do they have other than moving to other ‘illegal’ sites? I personally do not care about how beautiful some places look when behind those images, there are starving families with uneducated children. Nigeria is a prosperous country but individual citizens still have to pay for everything from health to education. There are no general social schemes to relieve hardships. If majority of Nigerian citizens were provided with means of earning their living, would most not stick with the rules? Why do we allow our government put the cart before the horse?
Hate it or accept it, 61% of us live in poverty, there are children out of education, mental illnesses exist, unemployment is rife, security is almost non-existent, citizens feel uncared for and nurse deep resentments. For Nigeria to have a positive image, we should work earnestly towards fixing the issues and not just sit back and encourage unnecessary cover-ups.
The officials who used millions to open a Facebook account, the state governor who bought an at worst ‘comfortable’ celebrity a car, the Director General who ‘fed’ daily with N850,000 – these are the kinds of people we should be getting rid of and not our brothers and sisters who are struggling to survive. People who acquire their wealth through corrupt practices or live above their means have NOTHING to be proud of and should not be hero-worshipped. Enough of the ‘buje budanu’ idolatry!
We need to get our priorities right. We have been oppressed for so long that we jump at the sight of supposedly beautiful places and things. Why should we forget about the beauty of humanity?