It takes a lot of patience to be a Nigerian these days, to drink the dregs of despair and disillusionment that have become prime servings in Nigerias banquet of brokenness, and to read from the chronicles in which Nigerias challenges are cast in copious calligraphy.

It takes a lot of fortitude to live in Nigeria these days, a country where muddled thinking in the highest places makes citizens scratch their heads so hard until hairs are pulled out and scalps are shaved clean.

We have become a people given to self-destruction, to self-harm – a people always at hand with an oblation or a libation to self-sabotage. We have become a people that chew their own tongues, and cut their noses to spite their faces. And while we are at it, the bevy of the blind and deaf occupying our halls of power thank their stars for the bliss that ignorance is in a country where impunity rides the clouds of national affairs like chariots.

Even in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, on a daily basis, public primary school buildings become magnets, drawing the anger and frustration of even our youngest children. Every other day, their roofs, windows and chairs are hit and made to take the heat from those who feel prematurely shut out of the jamboree that the country has become. Or chicks simply learning how to be birds.

At the national stadium, with the opportunity to go to the world cup evaporating like mist after our insipid display plays into the hands of inspired opponents, we morph into monsters and descend on stadium facilities. We pull down, we destroy, we tear, all without tears. We even cause the death of a doctor who came from another country to work in our own for a while. It is no longer enough for us that our soil is soaked with the blood of our brothers and sisters, the blood of foreigners must now be collected too.

On social media, out of loss and lies, we weave a language that lacerates, one that luridly laments imaginary ghosts while doing nothing to move us closer to our goals. Gradually, we have become a people unable to truly feel the good taste of life because our blistered tongues have long known unique torments.

However, we must rise from our ashes, dust ourselves and dig out our voter cards. With 2023 bearing down on us, we cannot afford to be lured by the sirens of passivity, indifference or apathy. There is no question of sleeping on our watch. Because  those we elected in 2015 and 2019 havE murdered sleep in the country, sleep has become practically impossible.

We must not allow ourselves be entrapped in thinking or asking, “Why should we vote when our votes won`t count?” as that bridge will be crossed when we get there. We are Nigerians and we can do that. We can do anything.

Today, instead of working, Nigeria is full of the walking dead chiefly because those elected to steer the ship are content with debauched sleep while the ship entrusted to their care perilously heads for the rocks.

It is not enough that we lament the lepers and locusts   who have been cut loose to destroy the Giant of Africa. We must do something about their swarms and colonies. It begins from the mind, from those little things we can do or refrain from doing. While it is true that with proboscis longer than the Nile River, life is being sucked out of Nigeria by the parasites who populate our politics and polity, we can go again.

We can attempt to rebuild Nigeria. We can make things work again. Things used to work before the incredible military follies of 1966 and the years that followed. We can decide to bequeath a better and brighter future to our unborn children. We can do all of these and even more to get the Giant of Africa back on its feet.

But to do these, we cannot take negativity as building bricks. To erect walls within which we will be safe with our values, we cannot afford to build with bricks kilned in negativity.

We cannot turn on the celebrations when others perish simply because they are not from our ethnic groups; we cannot turn on the waterworks only when situations affect us or our own, while conveniently keeping back the paperwork that can ignite the rights of others.

There is a lot of stink in the country now but it does not help that at the sight of the national flag the only thing we feel is revulsion while nausea surges whenever we hear the national anthem.

We may not always see the wood for the trees everyday but we must resolve to change Nigeria`s situation bit by bit on a day by day basis so that at the end of the day, we can all be considered as the generation of Nigerians that caused an ailing country to recuperate while logging the fires that kept its unborn warm.



Kene Obiezu,


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