Monday, December 18, 2006

Why the long faces?

A considerable pall seems to have descended over Nigerians. If you see the number of comments on Donald Duke's most recent post, you can almost touch the despair. Friends of mine have descended into various states of depression over the PDP Affair - I can understand the fact that their optimism has been severely dashed. Naijablog, Funmi Iyanda, and UkNaija are all suitably enraged and despondent.

But being upset at the way Nigeria runs its affairs creates the illusion that there was a reason to be optimistic in the first place. Can someone please tell me anything about Nigeria that has made them feel optimistic, since independence? For the Dukists, he's but one man. Being able to watch 007 at a Western style multiplex doesn't smack to me as progress. Being able to eat dodgy Chinese food isn't exactly progress. Debt relief. Wonderful. How has it changed the proverbial price of crayfish?

When has anything ever genuinely improved? People might say that the Soludo/Iweala/Akunyili structural reforms have made a genuine difference. Perhaps so with NAFDAC, but how has all the restructuring created any tangible change? There are no signs of change in Nigeria. There never have been. And the quicker people wake up to the realities, the quicker they can accept shams like the PDP primaries with the dollops of salt required.

Nigeria gained independence from being one of Elizabeth Regina's dominions in 1960. And that has been the highlight of Nigeria's existence. 46 years ago. Which basically means that the majority of Nigerians have never had a moment of real optimism. Estimates put 42% of Nigerians at below the age of 14. That's the generation that'll be saddled with this sad excuse for an inheritance. It's a good thing the national anthem was changed from Nigeria, We Hail Thee, to Arise, O Compatriots. We all know there's nothing to hail, and Nigeria does need to arise off its arse.

6 comments:

soheb said...

Nkem, the depression is palpable.

The cynical side of me (of which there is some) agrees wholeheartedly with you. And as a blog post, this one works well.

But I will believe that change is possible. I must - for the sake of the (potential filled)120 million people,(or not - when are the census results being released? better not be before this election brou ha is over), for West Africa, for black Africa and for black (& black loving) people everywhere.

Oh and did I mention for myself?

However, at times like this, reality - real reality, not my hopeful reality, bites. And I am left feeling.... cold.

I don't know what else to say. I feel like shit.

Nilla said...

@ Soheb,
"But I will believe that change is possible."

Change is possible..and it's up to us.

Confessions of a moody crab said...

Why the long faces? Well, for once we (myself included) thought that Nigeria and the Nigerian people are politically developed and mature to know what is good for us.
Factors/ circumstances such as the rejection of OBJ third term plan, Ribadu/EFCC, Soludo/Iweala/Akunyili, 21st century/age of technology made most people hope that these factors would influence our political conciousness and that of our leaders.
How wrong we were! We are still ruled by powerful northern oligarchs. These are illitrate old men that are out of touch with reality and don't understand with it means to be a good leader. We better brace ourselves for another four years of corruption, widespread poverty and mismanagement!

boab said...

hope is often irrational. yet, we need it to take the next breath...we need to believe that there's something to believe in, or we might as well die.

Monef said...

Without hope, there is little reason to go on. All over the world when things have seemed hopeless, there have been masses who persevered and one day were vindicated. I have to continue to hope that day will come for Nigerians

Atala Wala Wala said...

Hey, it's all about expectation management.

If you expect Nigeria to become a World Power in ten years, then of course you should be moody and despondent.

But if like me, you had looked at the mess and resigned yourself to the fact that it would be at least a generation before we could talk of significant progress, then there's no need to bash your head against the wall. (Or as I like to say, "Blessed are the pessimists, for they shall never be disappointed.")

It's enough for me to know that there are the beginnings of dealing with the problems, even though the effect of these beginnings will not be evident for a long time yet.