President Umaru Yar'Adua has been gone a long time. Back in 2009, when I was at City Uni, I was asked by one of my professors to write about the many things going on in Nigeria. Some of my fellow students couldn't understand the things we deal with in Naij, like PHCN, the "Enough is Enough" movement, and how we could have a missing president. So I wrote this:
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It is a thing of rage not to be able to be at peace with what your tomorrow will bring.
It is a thing of sheer frustration to live in a place where hardships come quick and fast, like a series of storms, ceasing briefly, only to come again when you're just coming to terms with the destruction the last one brought.
It is madness to wake up each day with dread, because "what are they going to do to make life harder and screw us over today?"
Who do they REALLY think they are?
Who do they think WE are?
We watch as fuel prices increase, electricity gets worse, foreign exchange gets higher and higher, and the small comforts some of us used to pacify ourselves become further and further out of reach,
We look as the price of pure water, gala, indomie, small fish in the market continue to rise, so even the most basic of meals become a struggle for the non-smartphone toting, regular (wo)man on the street.
Aso Rock is a fortress, protecting only those who have access to it by hook or by crook - and many of them are crooks to the core.
They pontificate over the things that don't matter, and avoid the things that do. It is almost as though they take delight in seeing how much they can drag people down and kill their spirit.
They kill businesses each day. Honest people can't make a living. Crime is on the rise. Sadness and anger are the default emotions for many.
WHO DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE?
What kind of leader has a heart and mind so impenetrable that the suffering of the masses doesn't prompt him to listen to voices of reason, and change his thought pattern?
What kind of man ignores what's happening as those who make the laws push ONLY the things that benefit them, so they can continue to rake in the benefits and money this country DOESN'T EVEN HAVE, while the most vulnerable are forced to suffer more and more daily?
It is a thing of shame that this my country is bent on making life so hard.
It is a thing of shame that this is who we are. That there is no arm of government which is truly FOR THE PEOPLE. That the laws you make in that Senate house are for your own gain. That daily we have to wonder "how are they going to kill my joy today?"
Shame on you, Nigeria. Shame.
*Pictures courtesy of Tobi Tejumola - Instagram @BadmanTej*
3 guesses on what this is about...
I wrote this post on the Accelerate TV website about 10 months ago, when we had a fuel scarcity. I am beyond upset that this is now our reality. Everyone, everywhere is affected. The long queues causing horrible traffic as they stretch longer and longer by the day, blocking entrances/exits, taking up precious road space. And if you've ever been in Lagos, you know many of us already think of road rules as those funny things we don't need to obey. *I'm not even joking*
Here are a few of my favorite bits that are still (very sadly) our reality...
Hi guys! Apart from my TV and documentary work, I recently started writing for Accelerate TV, an infotainment blog inspired by Access Bank. I'll be writing a monthly blog for them titled "Diary of a Young Lagosian"
Here's an excerpt from my first article:
"Hi, I’m Lamide and I’m an honorary Lagosian. I say honorary because technically I’m not from an old Lagos family (calm down, Lagos Islanders!), but as I was born here and have lived here for more than half my life, I claim it fully; perks and all. In fact, some days I struggle to think of the perks; I remember a Lagos that wasn’t so chock-full of cars, people, places, churches and most of all, of mayhem.
So here’s my opinion: Lagos needs to become uncool. That’s frankly the only way I see we have to manage the craziness we experience here day to day."
Please read the rest of the article here, and let me know what you think!
I've got my Permanent Voters Card. So I can vote. I was the last in line at 4pm on a Monday afternoon, and I left behind people who were frustrated because their cards had not been found, as the INEC staff vented their frustrations about not having materials, not having time, and not being paid.
At the end of the day, I got my Voters Card. That doesn't sound so difficult, right? Unfortunately, millions of people are confused, uninformed, misinformed, or exasperated about/with the process. From workers not being equipped properly to electoral staff/ad-hoc workers not showing up at all, to delays in disbursing the voters cards, there are real, valid fears that millions will be disenfranchised, and come February 2015, a major chunk of eligible voters won't be able to vote.
In a system causing more frustration and confusion than anything else, many can't help but wonder what's going to happen when the time comes to vote in another set (or the same set) of people to lead a country rife with problems too complicated to delve into.
Read more here: http://businessdayonline.com/2014/11/inec-pvcs-the-missing-millions-in-lagos-kano-kaduna-rivers/