WHAT CAN PIERCE THIS THICK SKIN?
‘We the People’ of Nigeria are some of the most adaptive people you can find anywhere in this world. We are loud, aggressive and hardworking; and yet we are also foolish when it comes to knowing our rights and demanding for what is right from the people we have entrusted with leadership. With over 70 percent of our population living below the poverty line, much need not to be said about hardship. Perhaps it is this hardship that has turned the average Nigerian into specie that adapts to anything life brings forth. It was no wonder therefore that ‘We the People’ of Nigeria were regarded as the happiest people in the world some years back because we move on with life in spite of our numerous problems. We have over the years developed very thick skin that almost nothing can pierce.
The recent Fuel subsidy probe exposed monumental theft of our commonwealth by a small group of people who have become overnight billionaires without doing anything. How we reacted? A percentage of us who managed to read the report made noise in different social media forums for some days and moved on. Newspapers carried the news in fragments, made their profits and moved on. Meanwhile majority of us either did not know, or did not care or are too ignorant to comprehend the gravity of what happened.
Before this was the pension scam, where an official stashed the sum of 2 billion Naira cash in his house. There were also the power projects scam, capital market scam and the scam called the freest and fairest election. We still were not shocked.
The closest we came to something was during the Occupy Nigeria protests in January which paralyzed the country for a whole week. Sadly enough even that was short lived.
If stealing trillions of naira by the people safeguarding our national wealth is not enough to shock us as a people, let us move to the next subject.
1st October 2010 bomb blast. This was new to us, it involved death and we love life. We were gripped for days, but with the assurance from government that perpetrators will be ‘fished out and brought to book’, we moved on. Even though the news that Terrorists are in our country spread quickly, we were not really concerned because the killings taking place were in faraway Maiduguri.
Then came the Police Headquarters blast in the Abuja. This was also new to us because it involved a suicide bomber!.’ We the people’ of Nigeria could not imagine that one of us could actually blow himself to pieces for anything, because we love to live life no matter what. After days of analyses in the media, the usual script read by the government, we moved on.
We now have an established pattern regarding this. Bomb explodes, people die, some get scarred for life, government condemns and vows, the dead get buried and sadly ‘We the people’ shrug and move on.
True to our nature, we are fast adapting to this dangerous way of life even though we also struggle for the basic things in life. We have failed to hold our leaders accountable and to demand good governance; instead we complain, do nothing and move on. We have completely surrendered our lives to the worst people among us and yet we expect much.
My prayer nowadays to God is no longer targeted towards our leaders, it is rather targeted towards ‘we the people’ of Nigeria to have the courage to free ourselves from this bondage.
@faridah_m on twitter
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