We are angry, of course, we are. I mean every day comes with new records of national failure — today we are the most corrupt, tomorrow we are the country with the largest number of extremely poor people — it seems to be government’s pastime to sink us to astonishing lows. Buhari get in here! We are angry, our brothers and sisters in the North are slaughtered on a daily basis, their villages are sacked and the bloodletting is the stuff of fictional horror. It’s impossible to keep score of the carnage except you are Femi Adesina, the angel of death with a calculator. We get even angrier when we hear of the starvation and depravity happening in IDP camps, a problem that is losing relevance with time. The misery they now face! Nothing is working, nothing! Maybe only SARS. How did we go from a nation that the rest of the world looked up to as the beacon of black excellence to a nation at the precipice of total shutdown? How did things get this bad that even security operatives designated to keep us safe are now the ones we dread the most? Nearly every young Nigerian entrepreneur needs to put on a modest layer, why? You don’t want SARS to find you prospering; feels like we are in communist Cuba of the 1970’s. It is NOT well
I could go on naming the problems of Nigeria, but you already know them. They are as rife as the soot-filled air of Port-Harcourt — a byproduct of this failed democratic experiment. We are angry, angry enough to post diatribes on social media, angry enough to call for the impeachment of the president, angry enough to misguidedly support just any candidate that is not from Daura. But whatever anger we have now is futile, seeing that though it helps us jabber about the problem, it never guides us to the solution. And because anger isn’t a sustainable emotion, the rage ultimately fades as we continue to wallow in this disjointed diversity called Nigeria. So, think, how did we get here? Every time I ask older Nigerians this question they have varying answers:
“The civil war ended this country”
“Shagari drove the Ghanaians in ‘83 and God cursed us for our evil”
“Since Babaginda brought SAP, na suffer everywhere”
“During FESTAC 77, they invited all the witches of the world to this country and since then, the Devil didn’t leave”
“We are no longer a prayerful nation”
“We are too religious”
Phewwwww! So many wrong answers, all apportioning blame to some other person or event but ourselves. We have to come to our senses and acknowledge that we (have) failed this country. For over half a century, we sat idly by as the very worst people repeatedly took power. We let evil men reign while we feigned the required outrage. So, we should be angry at ourselves, for we let our guard down for far too long. We should be angry at our institutions; for when I was much younger, it was often sermonized in churches that politics was a dirty game while the same churches invited these “dirty” politicians to lunch building projects. We should be angry at our media houses and influencers who seem to lose their tongues when it’s time to speak out, turning into shadow supporters of the cause like Nicodemus.
Finally, in the midst of all that anger, we should path a way forward. We should force the government to put in place sustainable policies, before the news cycle changes to something more mundane. We have some of the greatest minds in the world here, so it is totally incorrect to think that we don’t have the elixir to raise a dying nation. We are the medicine to our disease. So if you think I’m talking to you, then this is your clarion call. For if you find yourself passionate for this country, if you are trained enough to proffer pragmatic solutions to the ills facing Nigeria, join them. Join them, yes, join the bad guys, the reprobate band of demonic politicians who want to destroy us. As more well-meaning passionate Nigerians join them, this battle to save our country will one day — maybe not in the next decade — but one day we would have enough good fellas to fix this country. This silent revolution is not a quick fix, but I dare say it is a permanent solution. The Imam who saved Christians in Plateau last week is an example of how through individual patriotism, we can collectively save this country. You too can be part of the solution
‘Every nation gets the government it deserves,’ a wise man once said.